ERIC Number: ED254088
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Use of Directives by Two Hispanic Children: An Exploration in Communicative Competence.
Garcia, Maryellen; Leone, Elizabeth
The display of Spanish and English communicative competence of two Hispanic children is explored in a study analyzing directive speech acts (orders, requests, suggestions, hints). The linguistic, sociolinguistic, and strategic resources of the Mexican-American children, aged 4-1/2 to 6 years, are examined qualitatively in data taken from naturalistic tape recordings made in their homes and school classrooms. The data show that the language in which the child has the most grammatical competence is also the language in which communicative competence in issuing directives is best demonstrated. Sociolinguistic and strategic competence appear to compensate for the lack of grammatical competence in the weaker language. Examples from the data indicate that these bilingual Hispanic children know a variety of directive types in Spanish and English by the age of six. Confirming what previous studies have shown, these children tend to use the direct imperative with peers and siblings, and inferred and indirect requests with adults or children whose special favor they seek. The issue of communicative performance is also explored, with particular attention to how the circumstances of the speech act may mitigate against the child's demonstration of communicative competence. (Author/MSE)
Descriptors: Bilingualism, Case Studies, Communicative Competence (Languages), Comparative Analysis, English, Mexican Americans, Persuasive Discourse, Spanish, Young Children
National Center for Bilingual Research at SWRL, 4665 Lampson Ave., Los Alamitos, CA 90720.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Bilingual Research, Los Alamitos, CA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (68th, New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).