Waikato Journal of Education
Journal cover


Key vocabulary
early reading
learning vocabulary.


Sylvia Ashton-Warner developed an holistic approach to reading in the early years of schooling. Within the general approach was an advocacy for the learning of key vocabulary. Ashton-Warner argued that children were interested in words that related to their own daily lives and they learnt them readily. This paper reports the results of a research project that investigated key vocabulary learning in a sample of five year olds in a New Zealand school. It was found that there were complexities in the teaching of key words which have implications for contemporary teachers,  particularly in linking emotional and cognitive aspects of children's lives.

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