ERIC Number: ED333729
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Preschool Children's Help to Second Language Learners: A Case Study of Tiffany.
Hirschler, Julie A.
A microethnographic study and intervention were conducted in a mixed-age preschool classroom with 3- to-5-year-old native speakers of English, Khmer, and Spanish. All were learning English and had native-language support. In the study's first phase, the language of five children was audiotaped during play time. In the second phase, the whole class, then each target child individually, were taught strategies for interacting more frequently and more optimally with second-language learners (L2s): initiation, reinitiation, slower rate of speech, better enunciation, requesting clarification, and recasting and expansion. In the third phase, language data from the original five children were collected and coded. Results indicate that while all target children interacted more frequently after the intervention, one child, Tiffany, far exceeded the others in quantity and quality of interactions with L2s. She greatly increased the proportion of time spent with them, initiated conversations more frequently, and took more turns talking to them than others did. She spent much of her time assuming a teaching role with Khmer-speaking girls, using known-answer questions and organizational comments while directing their play schedules. The findings indicate the potential of introducing such communication interventions in multicultural classrooms. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).