ERIC Number: ED136553
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Magic Boxes: Children and Black English.
Rosenthal, Marilyn S.
This study is concerned with the acquisition of social awareness of language differences in preschool children, particularly their awareness of the differences between black and standard English (BE and SE). Awareness is defined as a type of sociolinguistic perception involving three related abilities: (1) discrimination (the ability to discriminate between BE and SE solely on the basis of linguistic variables), (2) categorization (the ability to categorize people according to race on the basis of their speech), and (3) attitude (the expression of attitudes and value judgments vis-a-vis representative speakers of each variety). Three tasks were constructed to investigate these three aspects. The effects of group, age, and sex were also examined. The children were drawn from two contrasting populations: sample A consisted of 90 upper middle class urban/suburban white children attending a private nursery school and a private day school kindergarten; sample B comprised 46 lower class semi-rural black children in a public day care center and a public kindergarten. The findings revealed that preschool children do discriminate, categorize and express specific attitudes toward BE and SE. In all tasks, age and group were the most significant variables. (Author/CFM)
Descriptors: Black Attitudes, Black Dialects, Black Stereotypes, Black Youth, English, Language Acquisition, Language Attitudes, Language Research, Language Usage, Language Variation, Preschool Children, Racial Discrimination, Social Development, Socialization, Sociolinguistics, Standard Spoken Usage
ERIC Clearinghouse on Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois, 805 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Urbana, Illinois 61801 ($3.80)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Early Childhood Education, Champaign, IL.; ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.
Note: CAL-ERIC/CLL Series on Languages and Linguistics No. 43 and ERIC/ECE Catalog No. 159