ERIC Number: ED345317
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr-22
Reference Count: 0
Explanation as Co-constructed Discourse: A Study of Conversations in Low-Income Families of Preschoolers.
Beals, Diane E.
A study examined the role that children, mothers, and fathers played in the construction of explanations in a corpus of mealtime conversations. Data for the study were drawn from conversations collected as part of the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development. Subjects, 32 preschool children eligible for the Head Start program and their mealtime conversation partners, had their mealtime conversations tape recorded once per year when the children were three, four, and five years of age. The majority of the children were white males. Conversations were transcribed and analyzed. Results indicated that: (1) mothers were the central players in explanatory talk, doing most of the explaining overall, producing over half of all "give explanation" and "propose explanation" moves; (2) the children produced one-fifth of these moves; (3) in contrast, children and mothers requested equivalent numbers of explanations overall; (4) mothers tended to request more internal states explanations and evidential explanations than their children; (5) children requested more intentional/command, consequential, and causal explanations than mothers did; and (6) there were some differences in conversational structure across types of explanation. (Three tables of data are included; 18 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conversation; Explanations; Explanatory Speech; Project Head Start
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (73rd, San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).