ERIC Number: ED247051
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
What Problems Do American Indians Have with English?
Fletcher, J. D.
A literature survey of more than 800 sources, approximately 140 of which were judged to be relevant, assessed problems Alaska Natives and American Indians experience in learning English language skills required for survival and success in a modern, technological culture. Since the survey was to guide the adaptation and development of instructional materials for elementary and junior high school reading presented by computer, results emphasized receptive rather than expressive language. To some degree the problems of phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics identified were problems facing not only American Indians, but any students learning English as a second language. Morphology problems included American Indian use of inflections to indicate syntatic role of words, use of gender, and representation of noun modifiers by inflections in nouns. Semantic problems concerned concept development rather than vocabulary growth, particularly in color words and words concerning coercion and duty. Recommendations included providing computer practice with selected minimally constrasting vowel pairs; selected minimally contrasting consonant pairs; final consonants and consonant cluster; selected phonemes that do not exist in some American Indian languages; irregular plural noun forms; selected verb tense forms; determiners; third person singular pronouns; semantic implications of juncture; prepositions, verb-preposition combinations, and idioms; passive and wh- transformations; and basic vocabulary. (Author/NEC)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, American Indian Languages, American Indians, Computer Assisted Instruction, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Language Proficiency, Language Research, Language Skills, Learning Problems, Receptive Language, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: WICAT, Inc., Orem, UT.
Note: For related documents, see RC 014 835-837.