ERIC Number: ED288376
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Mar
Discourse Characteristics and Speech Patterns Used by Spanish-English Bilingual Children According to Proficiency and Context Variables.
Rodriguez-Brown, Flora V.; Elias-Olivares, Lucia
A study investigated the use of questions and directives by bilingual children of variable relative proficiency in Spanish and English. Patterns in the use of each question and directive type were examined in relation to language proficiency and context of use. Qualitative characteristics of the questions and directives were analyzed. The subjects were six third-graders attending a bilingual maintenance program in a midwestern city. Children were videotaped and audiotaped through a whole day of school, at home, and playing in the park. Results show that the children used the same types of questions and directives as those used by English monolingual adults and children. Questions and directives occurred more frequently in the language in which the children are more proficient. Some types of questions, such as rhetorical questions, were used only by proficient speakers. Personality factors seemed to affect the number and types of directives used by some children. Other factors such as the context of the interaction, the social situation, and the audience influenced the number and types of these speech acts used. The findings are relevant to the study of language development and language proficiency in bilingual children. (Author/MSE)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education Programs, Bilingualism, Comparative Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Elementary Education, English (Second Language), Grade 3, Individual Characteristics, Interaction, Language Acquisition, Language Proficiency, Language Usage, Monolingualism, Personality Traits, Questioning Techniques, Spanish, Speech Habits, Urban Areas
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For a related paper, see FL 017 017.