ERIC Number: ED203647
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb
Communicative Competence in Spanish/English Developmentally Disabled Persons.
The author reviews the literature on code switching (use of two languages within a turn of speaking) as part of the conversational speech in normal and retarded individuals, presents data on language interaction in the speech of seven developmentally disabled persons, and discusses the implications of these comparisons for program planning with Spanish/English developmentally disabled children. Research is seen to show that children's code switching cannot be attributed solely to lack of language differentiation. From a study focusing on the incidence, structure, and function of code switching in seven developmentally disabled children and adults it was found that ethnicity of the conversationalists, syntactic structure, and conversational functions seem to interact in the normal way for these speakers, despite their handicapping condition. Implications of findings for the education of exceptional children include that linguistic assessment should tap the child's communicative competence as well as formal linguistic structures, since a number of sociolinguistic skills develop along with sophistication in using grammar; that training programs which are based on the child's knowledge of social rules for language use will be more likely to be successful than those which violate these rules; that educational plans should consider patterns of language use in the child's community and the family's concern for language maintenance in school placement decisions; that the pattern of each individual's communicative skills must be the deciding factor for where to start in any language training program; and that the foundation in normal language development on which language intervention programs for exceptional children are based will remain rather skaky. (SB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at The Council for Exceptional Children Conference on The Exceptional Bilingual Child (New Orleans, LA, February, 1981, Session W-13).