This report has two main purposes. First, we combine well-known analytical approaches to conduct a comprehensive assessment of agreement and correlation of rating-pairs and to dis-entangle these often confused concepts, providing a best-practice example on concrete data and a tutorial for future reference. Second, we explore whether a screening questionnaire developed for use with parents can be reliably employed with daycare teachers when assessing early expressive vocabulary. A total of 53 vocabulary rating pairs (34 parent–teacher and 19 mother–father pairs) collected for two-year-old children (12 bilingual) are evaluated. First, inter-rater reliability both within and across subgroups is assessed using the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). Next, based on this analysis of reliability and on the test-retest reliability of the employed tool, inter-rater agreement is analyzed, magnitude and direction of rating differences are considered. Finally, Pearson correlation coefficients of standardized vocabulary scores are calculated and compared across subgroups. The results underline the necessity to distinguish between reliability measures, agreement and correlation. They also demonstrate the impact of the employed reliability on agreement evaluations. This study provides evidence that parent–teacher ratings of children’s early vocabulary can achieve agreement and correlation comparable to those of mother–father ratings on the assessed vocabulary scale. Bilingualism of the evaluated child decreased the likelihood of raters’ agreement. We conclude that future reports of agreement, correlation and reliability of ratings will benefit from better definition of terms and stricter methodological approaches. The methodological tutorial provided here holds the potential to increase comparability across empirical reports and can help improve research practices and knowledge transfer to educational and therapeutic settings.
“Paperback edition first published in 2005 by Basic Books.”
Includes bibliographical references (p. 245-269) and index
Smarter than we think — Honey, the kids shrunk my brain! — The nearly uncharted wilderness of mothers’ brains — Perception : the expanding realm of a mother’s senses — Efficiency : how necessity is the mother of multitasking — Resiliency : reducing stress, enhancing smarts — Motivation : how mothers summon courage & ambition — Emotional intelligence : how motherhood teaches social smarts — Mr. Moms & other altruists : paybacks to proxies — Better than business school : mothers’ added value at work — Smarter than ever : why motherhood today takes a lot of brains — Re-engineering the mommy track : ideas from some brainy travelers — Political drive : the magic of motivated mothers — Neuroscientists know best : 10 tips to make the most of your mommy brain
It cannot be denied that vocabulary learning is central to learning a language, be it a mother tongue or the second/foreign language. According to Nunan (1991), learning vocabulary in the very early stages is more fundamental than grammar, since without vocabulary one would not be able to use the structures and functions for effective communication. In other words, one can say that without grammar one can communicate little; however, without vocabulary, one can communicate nothing. This, in turn, results in the necessity of placing emphasis on vocabulary learning activities in language learning and teaching. However, as there are no clear-cut answers as to which tools or strategies to learn vocabulary are the best and most teachers have different beliefs about vocabulary learning, they generally follow the activities suggested in the course book in a slave like manner. Vocabulary teaching and learning require several strategies to be put into use and supported by technology, which empowers the process. However, language instructors do not always benefit from computer resources available on CDs or the Internet. As the results of the survey among 80 language instructors show, they are not aware of the opportunities that technology provides to them. Moreover, word lists and flashcards are still the widely used materials used for teaching vocabulary, while online glossing and wikis are rarely used.