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ERIC Number: ED178203
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Direct Instruction in Language and Speaking: A Study of Mother-Child Discourse in a Working-Class Community.
A naturalistic-observational study of three inner-city, working-class mother-infant pairs was conducted to study early language development and maternal teaching styles. The subjects were three white 2-year-olds and their mothers. Observations were made under everyday conditions as the infants interacted with their mothers and other family members in their own homes. The observation sessions lasted one hour and were spaced at three-week intervals over a period of eight months. During these sessions the child's verbal and nonverbal behaviors were video recorded. Analysis was focused on direct instruction in language and speaking. All three children received direct instruction primarily in naming people and things. This instruction took one of three forms: adult requests name, child requests name, or child volunteers name. There was considerable variation across the children in the frequency of naming instruction and in the distribution of forms of naming instruction. Analysis of one of the mother-infant pairs indicated that the mother changed across time from attempts to elicit imitations to the use of what-that questions. Her infant continued to achieve a high rate of correct responding despite the mother's decrease in help. The results not only fail to support past claims of language deprivation in working-class families, but also indicate that the mothers in this study believed in the importance of teaching their children to talk and did, in fact, engage in direct instruction in language and speaking. (Author/SS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Due to small print size, Table 2 in appendix may be of marginal legibility; Paper presented at the New York Child Language Conference (New York, NY, December 1978)