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ERIC Number: ED019676
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-May
Pages: 59
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
DIFFERENCES IN THE LANGUAGE OF NEGRO AND WHITE GRADE-SCHOOL CHILDREN 1,2.
ENTWISLE, DORIS R.; GREENBERGER, ELLEN
AS REPORTED IN "DEVELOPMENTAL SOCIOLINGUISTICS--INNER CITY CHILDREN," ENTWISLE, 1968 (ED 011 611), INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED IN THE SLUMS OF BALTIMORE CITY WITH WHITE AND NEGRO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN AND IN SUBURBAN BALTIMORE WITH MIDDLE CLASS AND BLUE COLLAR CHILDREN. THIS SURVEY OF WORD ASSOCIATIONS REVEALED, CONTRARY TO EXPECTATION, THAT SLUM CHILDREN ARE APPARENTLY MORE ADVANCED LINGUISTICALLY THAN SUBURBAN CHILDREN AT FIRST GRADE IN TERMS OF PARADIGMATIC RESPONSES. BY THIRD GRADE, HOWEVER, THE FAVORABLE POSITION OF THE SLUM CHILD HAS ALTERED AND SUBURBAN CHILDREN LEAD ON ALL PARADIGMATIC MEASURES. THE FIRST-TO-THIRD GRADE DECLINE IN THE RELATIVE POSITION OF DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN OBVIOUSLY PARALLELS THE FAILURE OF THESE CHILDREN TO BECOME LITERATE EARLY IN THEIR SCHOOL CAREER. DIFFERENCES IN WORD ASSOCIATIONS PRESUMABLY REFLECT DIFFERENCES IN SEMANTIC STRUCTURE BETWEEN WHITE AND NEGRO CHILDREN AND COULD DEVELOP APART FROM, OR IN ADDITION TO, DIALECT DIFFERENCES, ESPECIALLY IN SEGREGATED ENVIRONMENTS. TO PROFIT FROM INSTRUCTION THE LEARNER MUST BRING MANY SKILLS TO THE CLASSROOM, ONE OF WHICH MAY BE A SEMANTIC SYSTEM CONGRUENT WITH THAT OF THE TEACHER OR TEXTBOOK AUTHORS. IN KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE IT APPEARS THAT WORD MEANINGS, AND THEREFORE THE COGNITIVE ROLE OF WORDS, IS VASTLY DIFFERENT FOR THE NEGRO AND WHITE CHILD. IT ALSO APPEARS THAT WHEREAS SUBURBAN CHILDREN ARE MAKING ORDERLY PROGRESS TOWARD EXPANDING THEIR SEMANTIC SYSTEMS TO EMBED LESS FREQUENT WORDS OVER THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YEARS, SLUM CHILDREN ARE MAKING LITTLE OR NO PROGRESS TOWARD USE OF LANGUAGE THAT IS CONCEPTUALLY MORE ELABORATE THAN WHAT THEY STARTED SCHOOL WITH. POSSIBLE REMEDIES INCLUDE SOME ADJUNCT USE OF TELEVISION IN THE EARLY GRADES AND SPECIFIC TRAINING ON WORD ASSOCIATES IN THE FORM OF ORAL GROUP GAMES LIKE THOSE FEATURED IN BEREITER'S PRE-SCHOOL CURRICULUM. WITH MORE DATA ON THE ACTUAL VOCABULARIES OF DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN, REVISED PRIMERS BASED ON THEIR RESPONSE STRENGTHS AND SEMANTIC STRUCTURES COULD ALSO BE PREPARED. (AUTHOR/JD)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. Center for the Study of Social Organization of Schools.
Identifiers: N/A