ERIC Number: ED206405
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jul
Language in the Transition from Home to School. Final Report to the Nuffield Foundation.
Wells, Gordon; French, Peter
A longitudinal study of language development in the preschool years was conducted in order to describe developmental sequence and to estimate, at three-month intervals, the range of language attainment in a normal population of children between 15 and 60 months of age. Additionally, possible determinants of variation in rate and style of language development at home were sought, and antecedents of differential progress in the early stages of learning to read were investigated. The sample included 128 children, half 15 months old and half 39 months old, selected from a random sample to give equal representation to both sexes, to four classes of family background, and to birth at each of the four seasons. Results pointed to the importance of preschool experience for children's progress in the early years of schooling and in particular suggested that it was the quality of parent-child interaction that differentially equipped the children to benefit from school. Subsequently, observations of naturally occurring linguistic interaction in the early years of schooling were conducted to address questions about social class similarities and differences between mothers' and teachers' language usage. This third phase of the longitudinal study compared children's language experiences at home and at school, described the teaching styles of parents and teachers, and discussed antecedents of school attainment for children at 7 years of age. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Classroom Observation Techniques, Comparative Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Elementary School Students, Family Characteristics, Foreign Countries, Interviews, Language Acquisition, Longitudinal Studies, Measures (Individuals), Mothers, Parent Child Relationship, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Primary Education, Research Problems, Student Evaluation, Teachers, Teaching Styles, Verbal Communication
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bristol Univ. (England). Centre for the Study of Language and Communication.