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ERIC Number: EJ815487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
ISSN: ISSN-1357-5279
Opportunities for the Development of Communicative Competence for Children in an Orphanage in South Africa
Levin, Karen; Haines, Sarah
Child Care in Practice, v13 n3 p221-236 Jul 2007
Orphanage life places children at risk of developmental delay, particularly with regard to speech and language acquisition. The aim of this study was to evaluate opportunities for children in an orphanage in South Africa to acquire communicative competence, by examining adult-child and child-child interactions and by evaluating the structure and resources of the environment. To meet this aim, the researchers familiarized themselves with the structure and daily functioning of the orphanage, and observed and video-recorded the caregivers and the children. A matrix-based analytic method was used to analyse the data. The analyses revealed chronic deprivation of developmentally appropriate learning opportunities for the acquisition of communicative competence. The caregivers did not use child-directed speech, and were unresponsive to the children as communicative partners. In addition, there was almost no child-to-child language use and almost every child was delayed in the development of communication skills. The environment was well equipped but the children did not interact with a variety of people and did not attend pre-school. Findings are discussed against the framework of the development of communicative competence in non-traditional developmental contexts. In addition, the suggestion is made that caregiver-child connectedness, which is fundamental to the development of communicative competence, could be enhanced by caregiver training in fundamental processes of caritas.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa