The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of Chinese radical instruction with or without using a dictionary on (dicitionary radical instruction or non-dictionary radical instruction) word-recognition and vocabulary-learning. The participants were fourth-grade students who studied in a resource class in southern Taiwan. A multiple interventions of ABACA single subject design was applied in this study. In the intervention phase, students took turns to participate in a dictionary or non-dictionary radical instruction. Weekly and immediate evaluations were conducted to examine the effects of the instructions. By utilizing visual analysis, C statistics, and Wilcoxon test, this study analyzed the outcomes of participants’ scores of weekly and immediate evaluations to investigate the effects of instructions.
The major findings were concluded as follows:
1. The word-recognition effect: There was no significant effects on the learning of word-recognition between two instructions. However, based on immediate evduation, there were significantly instructional effects on average scores, scores of taught words, correcting wrong words, and chinese character writing. Students were performed better during dictionary radical instruction.
2. The vocabulary-learning effect: Students B, C, and D performed better in “dictionary radical instruction” than in “non-dictionary radical instruction”. There was no significant difference between two instructions.
3. The maintaining effect: There was no significant difference on the maintaining effects between two instructions.
4. The stable effect: Four sub-tests which were Chinese character writing, wrong words correcting, pronouncing, and lexical usage were designed for assessing the immediate effects. In sub-tests of Chinese character writing and word correction, four students performed stably in the phase of “dictionary radical instruction” than its of “non-dictionary radical instruction”. In the sub-test of pronunciation, student B,C, and D performed stably in the phase of “dictionary radical instruction” than in “non-dictionary radical instruction”. And in lexical usage test, the peformances of student A and B were more stable in the phase of “dictionary radical instruction” than in “non-dictionary radical instruction”.
5. The generalization effect: There was no significant generalization effect when compared performances of extended-word learning between two instructions.
According to the results, recommendations to practices and future studies were provided.
Keywords: Chinese radical instruction, dictionary radical instruction, word-recognition ability, vocabulary ability