Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Frances Moroney Whited


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a facilitating visual-verbal method versus the traditional dictionary method on classroom vocabulary development. Two pretests and posttests were utilized: multiple choice and word passage. A further subtest was included to measure the pattern of noun and descriptor scores. This study incorporated 44 students who were divided into two groups. The students in the visual-verbal group illustrated their words by cutting out or by drawing pictures to accompany them. The traditional dictionary group looked up their words in the dictionary, listed a synonym or an antonym, and wrote a sentence for each. Both groups then proceeded with some form of discussion on their selections. The statistical analyses indicated that there were no significant differences between the two methods. Both groups did, however, show significant gains on all three tests. On the noun and descriptor subtests, both groups did significantly better on the noun selection. The literature reviewed indicated that there was a need for quality vocabulary instruction. This will entail offering students more creative, diverse methods which will increase the student’s level of understanding in his/her speaking, listening, and writing vocabularies. A visual-verbal method could offer this needed indepth understanding of words particularly if it is utilized in conjunction with other vocabulary methods. Further research should be completed employing a larger population over a longer period of time to either confirm or reject the conclusions drawn in this study.