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Andrew Biemiller

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study




  • Vocabulary development
  • School instruction
  • Preschool instruction

Andrew Biemiller

Research Interests

My main area at present is vocabulary and reading (language) comprehension. Having recently established the existence of a strong sequence in which children acquire specific words (Biemiller & Slonim, 2001), I have published a listing of some 11,000 word meanings for use with children in elementary grades (Biemiller, 2009). I am now working on vocabulary instruction needed before school. In addition, I have spent the 1988-1998 period working on self direction in schools, summarized in Meichenbaum and Biemiller (1998).

Applied/Clinical Interests

Practical aspects of vocabulary and teaching vocabulary, especially at elementary and preschool grades. Note that at primary and pre-primary grades, vocabulary must be introduced orally.

Representative Publications


Brysbaert, M. & Biemiller, A. (2016).  Test-based Age-of-Acquisition norms for 44 thousand English word meanings.  Behavior Research Methods. DOI 10.3758/s13428-016-0811-4

Cantalini-Williams, M., Perron, J.,  & Biemiller, A. (2016). Revisiting the Age-Old Question: What are the effects of relative age and gender on young children in school settings?  Journal of Childhood Studies, 41(2), pp 4 – 12.   (Digital journal, URL:  https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/jcs/article/view/16095/6803)

Biemiller, A. (2015). Which Words Are Worth Teaching?  Perspectives on Language and Literacy.  Summer, 2015.  pp 9-13.

Biemiller, A., Rosenstein, M., Sparks, R., Landauer, T. K, & Foltz, P. (2014). Models of Vocabulary Acquisition: Direct Tests and Text-Derived Simulations of Vocabulary Growth.  Scientific Studies of Reading, 18, pp 130-154.

Biemiller, A. (2012). Teaching vocabulary in the primary grades: Vocabulary instruction needed: In E. Kame'enui and J. Baumann (Eds)., Reading vocabulary: Research to practice, Second Edition, (pp. 34-50). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Biemiller, A. (Winter, 2011). Vocabulary: What words should we teach?  Better: Evidence-based Education pp 10-11. PDF

Biemiller, A. (2010). Vocabulary development and implications for reading problems. In A. McGill-Franzen and R. Allington (Eds), Handbook of Reading Disabilities Research, pp 208-218. New York, NY: Routledge.

Kearns, G., & Biemiller, A. (2010/2011). Two-Questions Vocabulary Assessment: Developing a New Method for Group Testing in Kindergarten through Second Grade. Journal of Education, 190 (1/2), pp 31 – 42.

Biemiller, A. (2009). Vocabulary: Development in the First Sixty Months. in Linda Phillips (Ed.) Handbook of Language and Literacy (0-60 months). London, ON, Canada. Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network housed at Western. This is an on-line publication. Available at: http://www.theroadmap.ualberta.ca/vocabularies

Biemiller, A. (2009). Words Worth Teaching. Columbus, OH: SRA/McGraw-Hill.

Biemiller, A. (2006). Vocabulary Development and Instruction: A Prerequisite for School Learning. In S. Neuman and D. Dickinson (Eds.), Handbook of Early Literacy Research (Vol 2) (41-51). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Biemiller, A. & Boote, Catherine, (2006). An effective method for building meaning vocabulary in primary grades. Journal of Educational Psychology. 98, 44-62.

Biemiller, A. (2005). Size and sequence in vocabulary development: Implications for choosing words for primary grade vocabulary instruction. In A. Hiebert & M. Kamil, (Eds.), Teaching and learning vocabulary: Bringing research to practice (pp. 223-242). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Biemiller, A. & Slonim, N. (2001) Estimating root word vocabulary growth in normative and advantaged populations: Evidence for a common sequence of vocabulary acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 498-520.

Meichenbaum D. & Biemiller, A. (1998). Nurturing Independent Learners, Helping Students Take Control of Their Education. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.



Contact Information

Andrew Biemiller
2 Toronto St., #1009
Barrie, ON L4N 9R2

External Affiliations

Associate Editor - Journal of Educational Psychology (2004-2007)

Consultant - Research groups, publishers, and federal (U.S.) and state agencies, mainly regarding vocabulary development and instruction.












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