Mnemonic Vocabulary Instruction for Learning Disabled Students

Margo A. Mastropieri, Thomas E. Scruggs, Joel R. Levin, Jan Gaffney, Barbara Mcloone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In two experiments, learning disabled junior-high school students learned the definitions of 14 vocabulary words either according to a pictorial mnemonic strategy (the “keyword method”) or via the principles of direct instruction. Results of the first experiment showed that when specially constructed mnemonic illustrations were provided, the keyword method was substantially more effective than direct instruction. The keyword method continued to surpass direct instruction in the second experiment, even when keyword students were required to generate their own mnemonic images. The potential benefits of mnemonic vocabulary instruction for learning disabled populations are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Health Professions
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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