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ERIC Number: ED018279
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Feb-9
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
ORAL OR WRITTEN LANGUAGE--THE CONSEQUENCES FOR COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA AND THE UNITED STATES.
GREENFIELD, PATRICIA M.
SPEAKING AN ORAL LANGUAGE AND SPEAKING A WRITTEN LANGUAGE INVOLVE DIFFERENT PATTERNS OF LANGUAGE USE WHICH ARE IN TURN RELATED TO DIFFERENT EDUCATIONAL METHODS AND DIFFERENT COURSES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT. BECAUSE ORAL SPEECH RELIES ON CONTEXT FOR COMMUNICATION, A COMMON CONTEXT AND POINT OF VIEW IS ASSUMED BY THE SPEAKER TO EXIST BETWEEN THE LISTENER AND HIMSELF, AND HIS SPEECH IS ATTACHED TO CONTEXT-DEPENDENT THOUGHT. IN ORAL CULTURES, EDUCATION IS ACCOMPLISHED BY THE CHILD'S LEARNING TO IMITATE, USING CONCRETE OBJECTS IN CONCRETE ACTIVITIES. IN A WRITTEN LANGUAGE CULTURE, WHERE KNOWLEDGE EXCEEDS THE AMOUNT WHICH ANY 1 INDIVIDUAL CAN KNOW, ABSTRACT THINKING IS ENCOURAGED, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE ABILITY TO GENERALIZE AND TO MANIPULATE SYMBOLS. IN EXPERIMENTS CONDUCTED WITH THE WOLOF CHILDREN IN SENEGAL IT WAS DEMONSTRATED THAT LANGUAGE USE RATHER THAN LANGUAGE STRUCTURE DETERMINES COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT. IT WAS FOUND THAT WOLOF SCHOOL CHILDREN TAUGHT IN FRENCH NONETHELESS CHANGED THEIR USE OF WOLOF IN A CONCEPT-FORMATION SITUATION SO THAT IN FUNCTIONAL TERMS WOLOF BECAME MORE "WRITTEN." UNITED STATES NEGRO LOWER CLASS CHILDREN HAVE BEEN FOUND TO HAVE THE SAME OBJECT-CONTEXT ORIENTATION FOUND IN ORAL CULTURES AND HAVE SIMILARLY IMPROVED IN ABSTRACT THINKING ABILITY WHEN GIVEN TRAINING. INCREASED STUDY OF AFRICAN SUBCULTURES MAY LEND DIRECTION TO AMERICAN SUBCULTURAL DEVELOPMENT. THIS PAPER WAS PRESENTED AT THE SYMPOSIUM ON CROSS-CULTURAL COGNITIVE STUDIES, AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATION (CHICAGO, FEBRUARY 9, 1968). (MS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: SENEGAL