ERIC Number: ED212981
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Oral Language Competence and the Acquisition of Literacy.
Torrance, Nancy; Olson, David R.
The language of 29 Canadian children was sampled during the first two years of schooling in free conversations and in more formal school-like tasks as part of a three-year longitudinal study of the properties of oral language and their relation to other measures of cognitive, linguistic, and reading performance. The language samples were subjected to various speech act, grammatical, pronominal, propositional, and cohesion analyses. Preliminary findings suggested ways in which oral language competence related to the development of reading. To summarize, the interrelationships between the structural and conversational variables measured suggest that the more sophisticated maintenance of a topic and the tendency to initiate a remote or abstract topic may be related to (1) the child's facility with the more complex structures of language, namely subordination and coordination, and (2) the occurrence of a range of psychological verbs, such as the linguistic verbs "say" and "talk," the affective verbs "love" and "hate," the cognitive verbs "think" and "mean," and the perceptual verbs "see" and "listen." In general, one side of oral competence, that which relates to the complexity of linguistic structure, appeared to be related to the acquisition of reading skills, while a second aspect of oral competence, pertaining to the initiation and maintenance of discourse topics in conversations, was not related to reading skill. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).