Vocabulary Instruction to Support the Career Readiness of Juvenile Offenders

Abstract: 

Both literacy and career technical education are believed to be linked to better outcomes for juvenile offenders transitioning back to their communities after release. Therefore, this study employed a single group, pretest-posttest design to investigate the extent to which 13 juvenile offenders improved their understanding and completion of employment-related documents when provided vocabulary instruction embedded within a career readiness unit. The 24 target vocabulary terms were explicitly taught using a concept map and tested with items requiring knowledge of how the terms were applied in documents and related to each other. Students demonstrated significant improvement on the researcher-developed measure after six lessons, t(12) = 6.35, p < 0.001, d = 2.02. In addition, students learned to use the vocabulary concept maps quickly and were able to maintain a high level of accuracy with them across the lessons with only one exception. It took a couple of sessions for students to learn how to complete the associated documents with a high degree of accuracy, which was then maintained until students had to do more than fill in blanks.

Citation: 

Reed, D. K., *Miller, N., & Novosel, L. (2017). Vocabulary instruction to support the career readiness of juvenile offenders. Journal of Correctional Education 68(1), 32-51. 

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