ERIC Number: ED209930
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Temporal Knowledge Expressed in Preschoolers' Descriptions of Familiar Activities.
French, Lucia A.; Nelson, Katherine
Forty-three children, 2;11 to 5;6, described six familiar activities: making cookies, going to the grocery, having a birthday party, going to a restaurant, getting dressed, and having a fire drill. They described each event three times. The descriptions were elicited by initially asking "What happens when...?" or "What do you do when...?" and then providing non-directive probes such as "Can you tell me more?" and "Anything else?" Reviews of the children's descriptions indicate that the request for description of events divorced from the immediate context elicits a sophistication in temporal structure and relational vocabulary that is often not accessed in either experimental or free-play settings with preschoolers. Performance in such settings can considerably expand what is known about preschoolers' cognitive and linguistic abilities. The baseline competency demonstrated in these settings can provide the foundation for more controlled research that attempts to establish how experimentally based competency gradually develops into the more abstract, decontextualized knowledge that characterizes adults' understanding of relational terms. (Author/JK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.
Note: In its Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Number 20, p61-69, Nov 1981.