ERIC Number: ED229168
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Kindergarten Children's Communicative Competence: Findings from an Ethnographic Study.
Lazarus, Peggy G.
In anticipation of providing a baseline of competencies on which teachers and school researchers could build, an ethnographic study was conducted of the communicative competencies of kindergarten children as revealed in spontaneous speech occurring across entire school days. Nonparticipant and, occasionally, participant observation methods were used to collect data for 22 days on three occasions during the school year in a public school kindergarten attended by approximately 20 middle-class, white native speakers of English. Audiotapes of whole-group, small-group, and individual activities were made and transcribed, and continuous log notes were made to identify speakers and contexts. Data were twice reduced: first by deleting teacher soliloquies and then by isolating conversational exchanges surrounding problem statements, strategies, or solutions. Hymes' Ways of Speaking taxonomic acronym was used to locate communicative competencies in that remaining portion of the record which concerned problems. Statements referring to problems were found to be distributed in four areas: sociolinguistic, linguistic, social, and cognitive. In the sociolinguistic area, three categories of kindergarten children's competencies were found: metalinguistic awareness of regularities in language use; ability to publicize confusions or problems; and, most dramatic, the artful variation of the components of the Ways of Speaking to accomplish a purpose. Findings are discussed. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: English Speaking; Metalinguistic Awareness; Speech Acts; Ways Of Speaking Taxonomy
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 11-14, 1983).