ERIC Number: ED222055
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Imitation as a Language Learning Strategy: Evidence from a Chinese Child.
The use of imitation as a language learning strategy was explored in a case study of a child in a Mandarin-speaking family. Recordings were made over the course of 3 months, from the ages of 2 years 10 months to 3 years 1 month. It is argued that restrictive criteria regarding identity of form and temporal proximity of utterances have severely limited the data on use of imitation and distorted evaluations of the imitative process. As a result, imitation has been viewed as an unimportant part of the language learning process. The case study provides examples of the usefulness of imitation under a broader definition and shows imitation to be a continual learning strategy of variable potency. Recordings of the telling of a story without text were analyzed for instances of non-exact and deferred spontaneous imitations as opposed to immediate and exact imitations. The examples demonstrate that a broader definition of imitation provides significant evidence of imitation as an ongoing language learning stragegy. Transcriptions of speech samples and references are appended. (RW)
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 21, p79-86.