ERIC Number: ED179944
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Cultural and Situational Variation in Language Function and Use: Methods and Procedures for Research. Technical Report No. 148.
Hall, William S.; Guthrie, Larry F.
A research project combining ethnographic and experimental methods is currently underway to assess whether minority groups use language in ways that put their children at a disadvantage in school. The project, which focuses on social, cognitive, and educational consequences of different patterns of language function and use, has involved collecting samples of the naturally occurring speech of 40 preschool children representing an equal number of black and white, lower and middle class children. The research was guided by questions about whether there are differences in the way black and white speakers structure portions of the lexicon and between vocabulary used in the home and in the school, whether phonology plays a greater role than grammar in producing teacher/student misunderstanding, the extent to which children rely on nonverbal as opposed to verbal cues, the extent to which they are likely to adopt a hypothetical stance toward linguistic information, whether children adjust their speech to reflect the contextual needs of a situation, what children's metabehavioral activities are, whether there are situational differences in adults' language in structured situations, and what the proportion of different uses of questions is across different cultural groups. Analysis of the data might focus on lexical analysis, on analysis of mother/child interaction, or on investigation of constraints on conversation. (GT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.