ERIC Number: ED031475
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-May
Reference Count: 0
Socio-ethnic Status and the Language Achievement of First-Grade Children.
Ruddell, Robert B.; Graves, Barbara W.
Elementary English, v45 n5 p635-42 May 1968
This study investigated the relationship between the syntactical language development of first grade children and their socio-ethnic status. From a random selection of 160 first grade children, 19 Caucasians with highly developed language abilities were selected from a high socioeconomic stratum to be compared with 19 Negroes with low language abilities from a low socioeconomic stratum. When test scores were compared on syntactical items familiar to both groups, the "high" group turned in nearly error-free work and contrasted sharply with the "low" group in the number of errors. The low group deviated from the high group most strikingly in errors in subject-verb agreement, especially in the third person singular. However, on three test items unfamiliar to both groups, no significant differences existed in the number of errors made. These findings indicated the need for the culturally disadvantaged to practice the use of standard English as a second dialect to develop their control over grammatical contrasts. (JB)
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