ERIC Number: ED075716
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Analysis of Word Frequencies in the Spoken Language of Adult Black Illiterates. Final Report.
Stein, Annette S.
Efforts to substantially reduce adult illiteracy in the United States have been largely unsuccessful. The purpose of this study was to obtain a basic word list, based on oral vocabulary of adult black illiterates in two urban centers, which could subsequently be used to develop basic education reading materials, reading tests, and a readability formula. A sample of 263,727 words was obtained from interviews with 128 Negro informants enrolled in ABE classes, representing a subset of the total spoken vocabulary that can be used by the population. The resulting word list was examined for the effect of geographic area (Buffalo and Chicago), age and sex of informants, and race and sex of interviewer. A group of ten informants was also interviewed a second time to determine effect of change in stimulus questions. Chi-square tests were used on the one thousand most frequently used words; for the five variables tested, no significant differences were found (.01 level). The effect of change in stimulus was significant, with differences occurring in words of lesser frequency. However, the vocabulary list based on 128 interviews is considered a valid list for the population sampled and can be used for production of ABE materials. (Author)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Educational Research and Development (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC. Regional Research Program.
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Buffalo. Dept. of Elementary and Remedial Education.