Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Special Education and Literacy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Kristal Ehrhardt

Second Advisor

Dr. George Haus

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling


The purpose of this study was to design and establish the technical adequacy of curriculum-based measures (CBMs) of vocabulary acquisition for use with preschool children. This study sought to establish the technical adequacy of two tools that can be used for measuring benchmarks of vocabulary acquisition for both native English speakers and for English language learners (ELLs) who are native Spanish speakers. In order to address the instructional needs for students who are Spanish speakers, a Spanish version of the CBM expressive language measure was created.

In this study, CBMs of expressive and receptive vocabulary were developed based upon the Houghton Mifflin preschool curriculum, "Where Bright Futures Begin" (Houghton Mifflin, 2008). A multiple stage procedure was used to design these assessments to ensure content validity. Concurrent validity was then measured by evaluating the correlation between the CBM receptive language measure and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III (PPVT-III) (Pearson, 2008) and between the CBM expressive language measure and the Get It, Got It, Go (GGG) assessment (University of Minnesota, 2006). Concurrent validity for the Spanish language version of the CBM measure and the Spanish language version of the GGG assessment was measured.

Tests of reliability were also conducted, including inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability. These evaluations were conducted with both native English-speaking children and ELLs. The utility of the measure was determined by having the literacy coaches complete an acceptability rating scale.

The correlation between the English version of the expressive vocabulary measure and the English GGG was moderate while the correlation between the Spanish expressive vocabulary measure and the Spanish GGG was weak. The correlation between the reception vocabulary measure and the PPVT-III was marginal. For English measures, the relationship between the score on the initial evaluation and the retest of that measure was strong; for the Spanish CBM the relationship was moderate. Inter-rater reliability was 100% for the CBM receptive language measure and 98% for the CBM expressive language measure, indicating excellent inter-rater reliability. The literacy coaches completed an acceptability survey and all indicated high acceptability for the measure.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access