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ERIC Number: ED130546
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Childrens' Attitudes Toward Speakers of Standard and Non-Standard English.
Bell, Paul; And Others
There has been disagreement among linguists and psychologists concerning the age at which children develop social perceptions of others on the basis of difference in speech. The purpose of the present study was to determine in what ways eight- and nine-year-old children from different socioeconomic backgrounds might react to dialect differences. The ninety-two subjects came from three schools: thirty-two from a school in a lower- and working-class neighborhood in New York City; thirty from a public school in a middle class suburban area near Albany, New York; and thirty from a high-tuition suburban private school for upper middle class children, also near Albany. The children were randomly chosen eight- and nine-year-olds of both sexes. The study was designed to explore their reactions to "standard" and "non standard" Black American English and to determine the extent to which such children could verbally conceptualize their attitudes using a simplified version of the Osgood semantic differential scale. The scale included the five categories of intelligence (smart-dumb), appearance (pretty-ugly), personality (nice-mean), economic background (rich-poor), and race (black-white). The results show that eight- and nine-year-olds are sensitive to speech differences and, moreover, have absorbed many of the attitudes of society toward standard and non-standard speech. They are also able to conceptualize verbally their attitudes toward speech differences. They have not yet, however, formulated a complete racial stereotype matching the adult model. (Author/CFM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A