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ERIC Number: ED172913
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Studying Children's Language Through Role-Play.
Sachs, Jacqueline
This introduction to, and comment upon, a symposium on communicative competence argues that the appropriate unit of analysis in language development is communicative competence and proposes that the development of communicative competence can be studied usefully through observing children's communication during role play. Communicative competence is distinguished from linguistic competence by the former's emphasis upon the context of discourse and the judgments involved in making speech appropriate to context. Role play is suggested as a source of data because it is a natural activity for children, yet it involves them in situations which do not arise in their real lives (e.g., acting as doctors or parents) and is therefore a setting in which the extent of their knowledge of language use can be assessed. Some problems with this approach are noted briefly. Principles which have been established in other areas of developmental research, e.g., children's tendency to abstract the invariant features in a situation, are recommended as starting points for the proposed research program. The potential utility of this program for other areas of research is suggested and questions are raised about the function of role play in child development. (BH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A