Can a Latin-Based Intervention Improve Vocabulary Among Black Early Readers in the Second Grade: an Explanatory Analysis.

Zwila Burks Martinez, Xavier University of Louisiana


This dissertation investigated whether a relationship between learning a Latin-based intervention in elementary school and improving vocabulary skills among 2nd grade Black students in low-performing schools. Research conducted 100 years ago revealed that the implementation of a Latin-based intervention improved vocabulary and reading skills (Perkins, 1918). In 2008, the results of a national survey revealed that only 15% of public elementary schools offered foreign language instruction, while more than 50% of private schools provided foreign language instruction. By examining a Latin-based intervention, the researcher hoped to identify positive outcomes in improving vocabulary skills for second grade Black students in low-performing schools. As a component of this research, early readers who struggled with the vocabulary component in literacy engaged in a Latin-based intervention for 8 weeks. The study employed a mixed-method design and a multiple case study to collect and analyze data. Utilizing a pre post-test control group design, the researcher collected quantitative data from an informal vocabulary assessment, the CORE Vocabulary screening - Form A. Qualitative was collected using interviews, observation, a collection of artifacts, and field notes. The results revealed significant relationships between the Latin-based intervention and vocabulary acquisition with the intervention group. Based on the results, a Latin-based intervention could be implemented in the second grade and perhaps in earlier grades to improve vocabulary acquisition with Black early readers.