ERIC Number: ED227963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Classroom Ecology on Preschoolers' Uses of Functions of Language.
Pellegrini, Anthony D.
Two studies were conducted to determine the effects of specific learning centers on preschoolers' functional uses of language. It was hypothesized (1) that different centers would elicit different functions of language and (2) that contexts which promote fantasy play would elicit more multifunctional utterances than would other contexts. In the first study, preschoolers in three separate same-age classrooms (2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds) were observed on a time-sampling schedule during free play over a period of 4 weeks. Preschoolers' individual utterances were coded as serving either one or more than one function. Housekeeping and block centers tended to elicit most individual and multifunctional utterances. Fantasy play and social interaction among children in these centers were thought to be responsible for this mature use of language. In the second study, same-age and same-sex dyads from two age groups (4- and 5-year-olds) were observed in experimental settings while playing with either blocks or dramatic props. Both contexts elicited a predominance of imaginative language, although dramatic props elicited more imaginative language than blocks. With age, children generated more individual functions and multifunctional utterances. In general, results suggest that different learning centers typically used in preschool classrooms elicit very different functions of language. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Blocks; Social Interaction
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 11-14, 1983).