What research says about vocabulary instruction for students with learning disabilities

Asha K. Jitendra, Lana L. Edwards, Gabriell Sacks, Lisa A. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


This article summarizes published research on vocabulary instruction involving students with learning disabilities. Nineteen vocabulary studies that comprised 27 investigations were located. Study interventions gleaned from the review included keyword or mnemonic approaches, cognitive strategy instruction (e.g., semantic features analysis), direct instruction (DI), constant time delay (CTD), activity-based methods, and computer-assisted instruction (CAI). While findings for the keyword, cognitive strategy, DI, CTD, and activity-based procedures were generally effective in enhancing vocabulary performance for students with learning disabilities, results for CAI were mixed. The studies are discussed with regard to study characteristics (e.g., intervention intensity, instructional arrangement). Implications and recommendations for future research and classroom practice in teaching vocabulary to students with learning disabilities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-322
Number of pages24
JournalExceptional children
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

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