ERIC Number: ED244742
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Symbolic Play and Early Language. Reports from the Department of Psychology.
The relationship between symbolic play and early language was studied in 40 girls and 39 boys between 12 and 24 months of age. Subjects were individually tested during two or three sessions by a female experimenter in a day care center in Jyvaskyla, Finland. Children's symbolic play level was assessed according to a developmental structure of five play levels proposed by McCune-Nicholich (1981) and based on Piaget's sequential stages. Data were based on observations of play sessions with 22 selected toys and administration of linguistic tasks. Specifically, language skills were assessed by recording spontaneous verbal behavior during play sessions and by presenting tasks of language comprehension, language production, and the mastery of morphology. Findings indicated that symbolic play levels follow a hierarchical order. Regardless of the developmental sequence, considerable variation was found at each level that play activities were attained. Results also supported temporal correspondences between symbolic play and aspects of early language; in addition, symbolic play level significantly predicted the mastery of morphology 3 months later. (Descriptions of the levels of symbolic play proposed by McCune-Nicolich are appended.) (BJD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Jyvaskyla Univ. (Finland).