ERIC Number: ED351137
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Language Development in Kindergarten.
This study examined how modes of organizing conversation determine the type of knowledge conveyed to preschool and kindergarten children. Approximately 150 audiotaped conversations from 23 classes of students of different age levels from 2 to 6 years were analyzed. Children's spontaneous speaking turns or answers to teachers' questions were analyzed as a function of their relevance to the teacher's words, whether thematic, nonthematic, incorrect, or uninterpretable. Teachers' speech was analyzed as a function of children's speaking turns. It was found that information was not conveyed through the regular conversation structure in which the teacher asks a question, several children answer, the teacher reacts to one or none of the children's answers, and children seldom respect the speaking turns of their peers. There were relatively few instances of feedback from teachers to children, particularly when children's answers were incorrect, uninterpretable or missing. Children were required to express themselves briefly, and within the context of the topic. Further analyses of conversations in groups of 6 to 10 children were conducted. Results indicated that, compared to the original groups, there was an increase in speaking time for students. Results suggest that teachers should: diversify the objectives and topics of conversation; diversify the structure of the conversational group and their role in conversations; and individualize their exchanges with pupils. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conversational Flow; Turn Taking
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Psychological Development and Personality Formative Processes (6th, Prague, Czechoslovakia, August 26-30, 1991).