ERIC Number: ED222500
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
A Sociolinguistic-Discourse Alternative for Language Proficiency Assessment.
Slaughter, Helen B.; Bennett, Adrian T.
Findings from an interdisciplinary research project, Methods of Analyzing Samples of Elicited Discourse in English and Spanish for Determining Student Language Proficiency, are presented. The research project was designed to develop a unified framework for the analysis of audiotaped discourse samples elicited from Spanish/English bilingual students that is directly applicable to assessing oral language proficiency. The framework for analysis integrated and applied recent research in a variety of fields including sociolinguistics, language acquisition, developmental pragmatics, the ethnography of communication and the philosophy of language. The paper summarizes information about the linguistic features, interactional communicative strategies, and discourse structures used by kindergarten through grade five students in conversation with an adult interlocutor and when telling narratives from wordless books. Criteria distinguishing communicative strategies used by students displaying a range of proficiency from high to low are described in terms of multiple co-occurring variables across lexical, clause, prosodic and discourse levels. As elicitors' discourse styles strongly influenced the complexity and coherence of language produced by students, criteria were developed to describe and evaluate the quality of the elicitation process. Problems and recommendations in the application of a sociolinguistic discourse analysis approach to language proficiency assessment in school districts is discussed. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: InterAmerica Research Associates, Rosslyn, VA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (66th, New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).