ERIC Number: ED151126
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1974-Sep
Bilingual Classrooms in a Mexican-American Community. The Social Bases of Thinking and Speaking: A Study of Bilingual Chicano Children. Final Report, September 1974.
Wax, Murray L.; Luhman, Reid A.
The study examined the relation of language use and logical thought to social experience with both age and class held constant. The primary assumptions under study were: that the logic of symbolic grouping was highly sensitive to a child's experience with the objects to which that logic was applied; that the existence of diglossia in a bilingual community and/or relative shifts in language dominance might create a situation of language specialization by domain, particularly along the dimension of immediacy and distance; that the content of grouping (those final organizations produced by the logic) was a far more stable aspect of cognition than the logic used to construct it. The study was conducted in a fourth grade classroom in a bilingual school in Las Vegas, New Mexico. All of the children had Spanish surnames. Twenty-eight children took part in an extensive set of interviews in two languages. These interviews were designed to examine inter-relations of language use and the logic and content of symbolic grouping to social experience. Findings included: the logic of grouping was related to children's experience with the objects of grouping; town children had a much narrower and more specialized portion of their experience occurring in Spanish than did the rural children; the logic of grouping employed by these children was not related to school achievement with the one exception of the clustering of the tight-loose factor in Spanish with achievement test scores. (NQ)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, Academic Achievement, Bilingual Students, Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Style, Cultural Influences, Diglossia, Elementary Education, Grade 4, Language Acquisition, Language Usage, Logical Thinking, Mexican Americans, Semantics, Social Experience, Speech Skills, Symbolic Learning, Syntax
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO. Social Science Inst.