ERIC Number: ED234362
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Dealer's Choice: The Language Processing Game. Instructional Research Laboratory Technical Series #R83006.
Stansell, John C.; Moss, R. Kay
Language is a complex social event. The rules determining its use vary with (1) the language field--the subject, text, and purpose; (2) the tenor of the social interaction; and (3) the mode or type of communication being used. The impact of the field, tenor, and mode on language use is reflected in a college student's retelling of a story to a university professor in his office, her family at dinner, and a friend while walking to lunch. Analysis revealed that of the three narratives, the retelling to the professor was the briefest, had the shortest idea units (usually single clauses punctuated by a rise in voice and a brief pause), and showed the fewest centers of interest (the oral equivalent of paragraphs). It also had the largest number of stalling devices. A comparison of stories a poor language user told in two distinct settings suggests the impact of past experience on present language use. While creating a vivid, complex story in what he perceived as a social situation, the student showed increased hesitancy, decreased mean length of idea units, and fewer and less well developed centers of interest in a story told for more obviously instructional purposes. These observations suggest that teachers need to provide students with a wide variety of authentic writing and reading opportunities. Writing pen pals, writing or reading to younger students, and reading trade materials acquaint students with the real uses of language as it occurs in their world. (MM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Texas A and M Univ., College Station. Instructional Research Lab.