Language and Literacy: Linking Communities & Classrooms

This assignment asks you to study the language and literacy practices of a child or adolescent. You will provide background information about your subject (must be a child OR adolescent) and collect a linguistic sample which you will analyze and submit with the paper.
(1). Background Information:
a. Explain the collection of the background information. For example, why did you choose this particular subject? How did you approach the parent? Who did you interview to gather information about the child’s schooling or the rest of the data required in this section of the assignment.
b. Provide general descriptive information about the child you choose to study including but not limited to the following:
Child’s gender, age, and grade
Child’s individual history
where was she/he born? Is he/she an immigrant? If so, when did she/he come to the USA?
what language is spoken at home?
what is the child’s family composition? Does she/he have any siblings? What is the child’s order of birth?

-Educational history (report how you gather this information)
Where does she/he go to school? What grade is he/she?
What type of schooling has the child received? Where?
Has this schooling been consistent or uneven? Has she/he repeated any grade?
What is the child’s attitude towards learning and schooling?
In what language did the child first learn to read?
Does she/he read in more than one language?
What is the child able to do in terms of language, reading, writing?

(2)Language and literacy sample:

The purpose of this part of the assignment is to collect as much of the child’s language as possible. Please note that you may have to tape the child more than once. It is strongly advised that you secure an audible sample as soon as possible in case you have to tape more than once.
a). Taped oral sample: You will tape the child engaged in a linguistic interaction with peers such as in a small-group cooperative classroom activity, in the playground, computer room, in one of the learning areas of the classroom (blocks, water table, dress-up\house area), with friends or at home with family members. The sample should be as “natural” as possible. For example, the child should NOT be questioned by you or another adult for the language sample. Rather, you want the child to talk freely. The taped sample should be around ten minutes long and audible.
b). Anecdotal observation: You will describe the activity that occupied the child while you collected the oral sample. This includes recording the setting, the purpose of the communication and the audience. You will observe the child and record as much as possible of what he/she does while you tape him/her. You should document non-verbal behaviors to provide a more holistic sample of the child’s communication strategies.

(3)Transcription of tape:

You will transcribe three minutes of the ten-minute taped sample. It is recommended that you listen to the 10-minute sample on the tape to choose the segment you will transcribe. It is best not to transcribe the first couple of minutes of the sample. Transcribe the segment by listening carefully to the ways the child and his/her interlocutors speak and take turns. Submit the tape cue to the beginning of the segment you transcribed.

(4)Language assessment:

a). Using the transcribed three minute segment, describe the linguistic patterns you can identify in the segment (pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary). Use the book, Dialects in Schools and Communities by Adger, Wolfram and Christian (chapters 1 to 4 and the appendix) to contrast and explain these patterns.
b) You will complement this assignment with the data collected in your anecdotal observations by describing and analyzing the child’s interactive behavior such as the role of politeness, turn taking, and narrative style and explaining the patterns you found.

(5)Conclusion:

Conclude your paper by explaining patterns you identified. Are the pattens found in a particular variety of English? Are these Patterns a result of a disability? Are they found among English Language Learners? Are they due to a combination of factors? Which?

Support your conclusion by referring to the data you gathered and course readings.

*Note: It is very important you attach the 10 minute audio sample with the paper via email.

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