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A cluster analysis approach to assessing vocabulary and targeting intervention

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  • This study illustrates how cluster analysis can be applied to vocabulary assessment to classify students into groups with similar profiles of vocabulary knowledge so that vocabulary instruction can be designed and targeted more precisely, especially in light of the multi-dimensional nature of the vocabulary knowledge construct. We performed a cluster analysis with data from 229 native English speaking college students who completed a measure of vocabulary breadth/size (the PPVT-III) and a measure of vocabulary depth/quality (the Word Associates Test). The cluster analysis revealed 6 distinct clusters of students classified based on their relative performance on the two tests. This cluster solution was supported by significant differences among the clusters with respect to the students’ scores on a third measure of both vocabulary breadth and depth (the Verb Subordinates Test), a variable external to the clustering process. The practical implications of such a classification of students for vocabulary instruction are discussed.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International