Effects of TPRS on Very Young Learners’ Vocabulary Acquisition

Ketevan Kara, Evrim Eveyik-Aydın


Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) aims to provide language learners with considerable amount of comprehensible input through stories for language and literacy development. Although it has already demonstrated high potential with adolescent and adult learners of English, its implementation within the context of very young learners and its impact on their language acquisition is an issue that remains to date underexplored. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the possible effects of TPRS on very young learners’ L2 receptive and productive vocabulary acquisition. Nineteen four-year-old kindergarten students in Turkish EFL context constituted a single treatment group of the study. The study had pretest-treatment-immediate posttest-and delayed posttest design. The target vocabulary was taught following the stages of TPRS and adapting them to the context of very young learners. Data collection included receptive and productive picture tests that were developed and administered in one-to-one sessions with each participating child. The results show that TPRS has a positive effect both on recall and retention of receptive and productive vocabulary. Receptive learning was discovered to benefit from the treatment more than productive learning. Additionally, some vocabulary items were found to be more challenging for children to acquire than the others mostly due to their low frequency. The study suggests that TPRS can be used to teach vocabulary to very young learners as it uses techniques that support their language acquisition. The study also provides guiding suggestions to adapt this method to the context of very young learners.


EFL, Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS), Very Young Learners, Vocabulary Acquisition, Receptive and Productive Vocabulary Knowledge, Word Frequency

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