Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Leslie Moller

Abstract

English as a Second Language (ESL) learners at the upper elementary level have struggled to demonstrate the vocabulary required to read in English at grade-level. Although multimedia technologies have demonstrated positive effects as language acquisition educational tools at the university level, it remains unclear how useful they are for language acquisition at the elementary level. This quasi-experimental study used dual coding theory as a framework to examine the relationship between the level of reading comprehension upper elementary students developed and their construction of word meanings through use of multimedia technologies. The study utilized convenience sampling of 85 students divided into treatment and control groups in a Puerto Rican Montessori school. The treatment consisted of use of multimedia technologies that included video, audio, images, and words in a digital environment for vocabulary acquisition instruction. Data sources included pretest and posttest results for the Maze Close test that measures reading comprehension. These results were analyzed using a paired t test. Results indicated that students in treatment groups developed greater reading comprehension than did those in control groups. However, the difference in scores between the groups was not significant, so the null hypothesis was not rejected. Further research is required in order to determine whether a positive relationship can exist between multimedia technology usage and development of upper elementary student vocabulary and reading comprehension. This study indicates the importance of examining whether multimedia technology use in elementary student English reading comprehension can create reading gains for upper elementary ESL students.