ERIC Number: ED218607
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
English Syntactic Development of Second Language Learners: Analysis of Free Discourse at Ages Six, Seven, and Eight.
Byron, Peter M.
Recognizing that school personnel serving limited English proficient students would benefit from objective and valid measures of language assessment, a study viewed the oral language performance of second language learners of English between the ages of six and eight in order to chart the development of selected syntactic structures in their speech. Language samples were obtained from Spanish-dominant children. A total of 4,500 utterances were scored from one to eight within grammatical categories in relation to their appearance in language development. A score of one was given to patterns that appeared early and a score of eight was awarded to those that normally developed later. The grammatical categories included indefinite pronouns or noun modifiers, personal pronouns, main verbs, secondary verbs, negatives, conjunctions, interrogative reversals, and wh- questions. The results support the conclusion that second language learners demonstrate similar levels of category usage across age levels. High correlations were found at each of the age levels for noun modifiers, pronouns, main verbs, and conjunctions. These results support the conclusion that these four grammatical categories could be used to measure the language development of second language learners. The findings also demonstrated a pattern of differential syntactic development that was not readily apparent when comparing only total language development scores. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Research prepared at the State University of New York/Buffalo. Appendix B will not reproduce. Best copy available.