ERIC Number: ED218016
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Narrative Competence: A Navajo Example of Peer Group Evaluation.
Brady, Margaret K.
Bilingual Resources, v4 n2-3 p2-13 Win-Spr 1981
Using formal devices of language (grammar and phonology) and sociolinguistic norms, the study looks closely at the way in which narrative competence is recognized within the Navajo peer group. Children used in the study analysis are 10- and 11-year old Navajo children attending a Catholic school on the eastern part of the Navajo reservation. The stories on which this analysis is based deal with one of the most traditional figures of Navajo belief--skinwalker. Stories were collected from the children as they gathered in self-selected groups within the classroom, with all sessions tape-recorded and told in English. Conclusions indicate Navajo children evaluate and assess the competence of narrative structure and form of their peers by the storyteller's responsibility for a wide range of social and cultural knowledge, knowledge about the nature of social relationships, about the symbolic function of the skinwalker with the world, about the appropriate selection of listeners (usually relatives), and about the culturally defined functions of such stories. Further study is suggested across a wide range of cultures to determine the exact nature and influence of the peer group in the acquisition and evaluation of communicative competence of all kinds. (ERB)
Descriptors: American Indian Culture, American Indian Literature, Children, Competence, Cultural Images, Elementary Education, Narration, Peer Evaluation, Peer Groups, Story Telling
Not available separately; see RC 013 380.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Arizona (Window Rock); Navajo (Nation)