ERIC Number: ED187798
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr-8
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of Kindergarten Classrooms Where Standard English is Spoken on the Speech of Black English-Speaking Students.
Ellsworth, Jennifer K.
This study examines the effect of classrooms where standard English is spoken on the speech of Black English speaking children. The research analyzed samples of language used by 22 Black English speaking children in seven kindergarten classrooms in three Madison, Wisconsin public schools during one academic year, 1977-78. The following questions were addressed: (1) What phonological and syntactic features constitute Black English in the speech samples? (2) To what extent do the students increase their use of standard English phonological and syntactic forms? (3) What language-climate factors in the classroom, including the presence of standard speaking peers and teacher knowledge of Black English, contribute to the acquisition of standard forms? Tape-recorded samples of the students' speech were obtained, transcribed, and analyzed for five syntactic and four phonological features. Classroom observation notes and teacher interviews were included in the data base. Findings document linguistic change due to what has been called the "Natural informal authority of the speech community." A hierarchy of degree of change in use of features which can be used by teachers to anticipate potential reading problems, and to determine which features to address systematically in the classroom, was established. The roles of various factors contributing to the acquisition of standard English by Black English speakers was focused upon. (Author/MK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Meetings (Boston, MA, April 8, 1980).