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ERIC Number: ED228852
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Oral Narratives of Bilingual Mexican-American Adults Enrolled in Adult Basic Education. Final Report.
The promotion of literacy among minority groups depends in part upon educational and sociolinguistic discourse analysis. As a contribution to that effort, the present study provides data on the narrative in the language of Mexican-American adults by gathering and analyzing personal narratives produced in both English and Spanish. These narratives are compared with discourse structures described by Labov and Waletsky, and with interactive aspects of narrative production as studied by Watson and Polanyi. Throughout the study 15 female native speakers of Spanish, most of whom were enrolled in an evening class in English as a Second Language (ESL), were present in videotaped class sessions. Of these, eight ESL students were the major contributors of 52 narrative events. The discussion of the data focuses on point by point comparisons with the two studies mentioned above. Throughout the report links are indicated between the findings and pedagogical practice. Possible differences between English and Spanish discourse, including use of framing devices and the narrator's self-depiction, could interfere with efficient instruction and accurate assessment in the classroom. A final section extends the discussion of oral narratives to reading and writing. The English and Spanish narratives, grouped by language and general topic, are appended. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing.