The Cloze Procedure as a Reinforcement Technique for Content Vocabulary
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AuthorKeeler, Wendy S.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate the cloze procedure as a teaching technique for seventh grade science vocabulary. A quasi-experimental, nonrandomized, control group, pretest-posttest design was used for the study. The sample consisted of 41 students (two classes) taught by the same instructor and was equated in terms of reading levels, ages and IQ scores. One class was randomly assigned to control group status and used a variety of vocabulary exercises such as crossword puzzles, word jumbles, acrostics, categorization exercises and word searches to reinforce the content terms. The other class was the experimental group and used a variety of cloze activities to reinforce the same science vocabulary. The students were pretested on 89 words from the ecology unit in the textbook Interaction of Man and the Biosphere published by the Rand McNally Company. Those words which 85 percent of the students had correct were eliminated from the study. This method left 76 core words to be taught during the treatment period. The 76 core words were organized into eight blocks for ease of instruction. After the instructor presented the material which included all the Block I words, students practiced using the core vocabulary by working on the Block I vocabulary activities designed by the experimenter. The control group used a variety of vocabulary tasks while the experimental group used cloze tasks. This procedure was followed for all eight blocks during the treatment period. Upon completion of the five week treatment period, students were posttested. A t-test and an unweighted means solution of a two-way factorial (nonorthogonal) design were used to analyze the data at a .05 level of significance. The results indicated that overall vocabulary mean gain scores and mean posttest scores were not significantly different between the cloze and vocabulary activities group. However, the cloze group scores were consistently higher in both areas. Vocabulary mean gain scores were not substantially different between males and females but cloze males did perform significantly better than the vocabulary activities males. Females displayed an ability to perform equally well with both instructional methods. Recommendations for classroom use of the cloze procedure as well as suggestions for future research were given.