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ERIC Number: ED243071
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 107
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Communication Skills in the Inner City: Effects of Race and Dialect on Decoding.
Edwards, Thomas O.
To determine the effects of race and dialect in communication effectiveness, a study integrated research in referential communication with work on standard and black English, creating three hypotheses: that decoding within-race or within-dialect would be more effective than decoding across race or dialect, that decoding within any dialect would be equally effective, and that decoding familiar messages would be easier than decoding messages outside one's cultural frame of reference. Three experimental groups of 8 to 10 year-old children--40 black English speakers, 40 black standard English speakers, and 40 white standard English speakers--decoded standard and black English recorded messages about stimuli that were designated intrinsic or extrinsic to ghetto culture. Results indicated that sex was not a factor, race had minimal effects, and dialect significantly influenced the communicative effectiveness of both listener and speaker. The more effective performance by the standard English speaking children was explained by their greater sensitivity to language, and the better performance in standard English by all children was attributed to their greater exposure to this mainstream language. The various interactions suggested a situational context explanation for the use of dialect and stimuli associated with a cultural frame of reference. (Test instruments are appended.) (Author/MM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A