ERIC Number: ED193614
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Effect of Situation on the Verbalization of Black Inner-City Children. Technical Report No. 180.
Steffensen, Margaret S.; Guthrie, Larry F.
A study varied a formal testing situation to encourage verbalization in black, inner-city nursery school children. The children were asked to identify items from the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test in either a test situation (looking at the stimulus jointly with an adult) or a "need to know" situation (looking at the stimulus alone). It was predicted that the children would give longer, more linguistically adequate responses in the sole perception condition than in the joint perception condition. The results supported this prediction. Sole-perception children produced more words and utterances than did joint-perception children, as well as more well-formed short answers and full sentence responses. They also directed more nontask-related verbalizations to the adult. Joint perception children produced more highly elliptical responses, gave more responses in which the tense did not correspond with that of the question, and used pronouns without prior reference more frequently than did the sole-perception children. The sole-perception children also produced more accurate responses. The findings suggest that changes in situational features can result in more valid measurements of a child's language ability and knowledge. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.