Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Daniels, Denise H. (Denise Honeycutt), 1960-

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education


Children--Illinois--De Kalb--Language; Language acquisition; Second language acquisition; Play assessment (Child psychology)--Illinois--De Kalb; Play groups--Illinois--De Kalb; Malay language--Acquisition; Education; Preschool--Illinois--De Kalb


This study examined how children acquire new vocabulary through active play with sensory materials. In particular, the study addressed questions concerning the effectiveness of an active-play approach compared to a didactic approach in helping children learn a second language and to what extent these different types of approaches motivate young children to learn a second language. Eighteen children, ages 4 to 6 years, participated in the study. Half of the children were randomly assigned to the play instruction group and the other half were assigned to the didactic instruction group. Interventions and assessments involved the teaching of Malay words and assessing the number of words children recalled and their motivations to learn the second language. Results showed differences between the play and the didactic instruction groups on vocabulary recall. As expected, children in the play group recalled more words than children in the didactic instruction group. However, there were no significance differences between groups in motivation to learn Malay. Future directions for research and suggestions for developing better means of teaching a second language to young learners are discussed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [27]-30)


v, 51 pages




Northern Illinois University

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