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ERIC Number: ED264019
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Using Play Behavior to Describe Young Children's Conversational Abilities.
Shulman, Brian B.
The effects of three play contexts on young children's turn taking, topic maintenance, and topic change skills were investigated. Participants were 40 normally-developing, English-speaking Caucasian children of middle-income parents; they ranged in age from approximately 4 years to 6 and one half years. Subjects were subdivided into younger and older groups each containing 10 males and 10 females. All subjects engaged in three counterbalanced experimental conditions with the same examiner on three consecutive days. Conditions were entitled "Let's Go Shopping,""Kitchen Play," and "The Secret Box" and involved, respectively, a toy grocery cart and plastic food items; a toy stove and refrigerator, plastic plates, cutlery, and assorted cooking utensils; and a cardboard box containing a rubber ball, a toy telephone, some dolls, a comb, and a toothbrush. No formal instructions were provided to subjects who were told only that they were "going to play." Examiners' verbalizations were limited to the use of conversational placeholders and descriptives. A total of 150 spontaneously produced utterances were analyzed. Results suggested that thematically-oriented and goal-directed play contexts serve to maximize young children's use of the above discourse parameterss investigated in this study. Recommendations for designing and implementing such contexts are offered in order to enhance children's conversational and linguistic skill development. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A