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ERIC Number: EJ1149068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1082-3301
Teachers' Literal and Inferential Questions and Children's Responses: A Study of Teacher-Child Linguistic Interactions during Whole-Group Instruction in Hong Kong Kindergarten Classrooms
Chen, Jennifer J.; Liang, Xiaoting
Early Childhood Education Journal, v45 n5 p671-683 Sep 2017
This study investigated the extent to which preschool teachers and children (ages 4-6) used literal and inferential language within the context of whole-group instruction in four kindergarten classrooms in Hong Kong. A total of 20 sessions of videotaped classroom observations of linguistic interactions between teachers and children were transcribed and then analyzed using a coding scheme to determine the cognitive complexity of teacher questions and child responses with reference to four levels of abstraction, representing a literal-to-inferential continuum. The results indicated that the teachers' questions were predominantly literal in nature (83%), and similarly the majority of the children's responses (77%) were also literal. Furthermore, it was revealed that in an average instructional session: (a) teachers produced significantly more utterances than children; (b) the difference in the quantity of teachers' questions between literal and inferential levels was statistically significant; (c) similarly, the difference in the quantity of children's responses between literal and inferential levels was also statistically significant; and (d) children produced a significantly larger quantity of shorter than longer utterances. As there is distinct value in whole-group instruction as a salient context for teacher-child interactive, linguistic engagement in kindergarten classrooms in Hong Kong, it is particularly vital that early childhood educators understand what types of linguistic interactions are occurring there and how to target professional development for teachers to better support language learning in young children.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A