Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School Psychology

First Advisor

Melissa Collier-Meek

Second Advisor

Lindsay Fallon

Third Advisor

Rebecca Martinez


Research over the last two decades has shown middle school EBs are at risk for academic failure due to compounded systematic challenges that prevented them from acquiring reading proficiency level required to succeed in academic setting (Bowman-Perrott et al., 2010; Deussen et al., 2017; Sheng et al., 2011; Slama, 2012). EBs face shortages of qualified teachers, lack of access to quality instruction, and lack of appropriate assessment tools (Carnoy & Garcia, 2017; Sanchez, 2017; Umansky, 2016). This crisis is particularly acute for middle schoolers, as academic content often requires extensive reading. Middle school EBs are falling behind academically in comparison to their non-EB peers, disproportionately identified in special education, and more likely to be retained or drop out of school (Gandara & Hopkins, 2010). Currently the available research suggests that vocabulary instruction is essential for older EBs literacy skills and best practices in vocabulary intervention could be applied to support EBs (Baker et al., 2014; Hall et al., 2017; Vaughn, 2022) . The current study examined the effectiveness of an online, text-based vocabulary intervention program on EB’s academic vocabulary knowledge, reading fluency, and reading comprehension. Using a multiple-baseline design, four EBs were provided with six weeks intervention. Visual analysis and descriptive statistics was used to analyzed the result. Results indicate improvement from baseline to interventions on word knowledge for both target and non-target words. However, the result did not show improvements on reading fluency and comprehension. The findings from the current study encourage continued research on text-based vocabulary intervention to support middle school EBs with varying demographic characteristics reading achievements such as vocabulary knowledge, reading fluency, and comprehension.