Title page for ETD etd-03102007-072045

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Nicholas, Judy Lavender
Author's Email Address jnich12@lsu.edu, jnicholas@caddo.k12.la.us
URN etd-03102007-072045
Title An Exploration of the Impact of Picture Book Illustrations on the Comprehension Skills and Vocabulary Development of Emergent Readers
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Curriculum & Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Earl Cheek Committee Chair
James Wandersee Committee Member
Margaret-Mary Sulentic-Dowell Committee Member
Pamela Blanchard Committee Member
Laura Mullen Dean's Representative
  • vocabulary development
  • picture books
  • picture book illustrations
  • indirect vocabulary development
  • comprehension skills development
  • emergent readers
  • reading instruction
  • reading
Date of Defense 2007-02-05
Availability unrestricted
The formal instruction process of teaching reading to emergent and beginning

readers needs to incorporate a much more multimodal approach. People today, not only

in America but in many other countries as well, are more graphically oriented than any

other generation has ever been. Children in our society expect to experience pictures and

images in almost everything they encounter. This graphic orientation needs to be taken

advantage of and incorporated into the educational process in ways that can be beneficial

to the learning environments of children in our schools. Reading programs need to

forego one-dimensional teaching methods and learn how to expand their methodologies

by taking advantage of various approaches that prove to be advantageous to the

development of children.

This study observed emergent readers as they demonstrated comprehension and

retelling skills both with and without the aid of illustrations that would normally

accompany a story. Observations and informal, descriptive assessment of indirect

vocabulary development in relation to the books used in the study were conducted.

These observations and assessments were directly linked to whether the studentparticipant

was shown or not shown the illustrations of a story that was read to him or

her. The study also described the personal impact that picture book illustrations had on

students as they related to the processes of learning how to read.

The study showed that students who visually experienced the illustrations

accompanying a picture book had greater overall story comprehension and retelling

ability than those who did not see the pictures of the story. It showed, as well, that the

students who saw the pictures as a story was read to them had greater indirect vocabulary

development than did those students who did not see the illustrations as the story was

read aloud to them.

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