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Title:Attention-Getting Strategies of Anglo-American and Puerto Rican Students: A Microethnographic Analysis
Author(s):Mccollum, Pamela Ann
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Abstract:This study is a crosscultural examination of attention-getting strategies. The purpose of the study was twofold: (a) to examine the attention-getting strategies used by three ethnically different children in three different types of classrooms and (b) to examine which behaviors constitute effective classroom participation as it relates to attention-getting in each type of classroom.
The three target children and teachers who participated in this study were as follows: (a) a monolingual Puerto Rican speaker in a classroom with a monolingual Puerto Rican teacher, (b) a monolingual Anglo-American student in a classroom with a monolingual Anglo-American teacher, and (c) a Puerto Rican bilingual student in a classroom with an Anglo-American bilingual teacher. The second and third target children were studied in a third-grade and split third/fourth-grade classroom in Chicago, Illinois. The first was studied in a third-grade classroom in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. Each child was nominated by his teacher as being highly verbal and effective in class participation.
The data for the study were derived from two weeks of field observation at each site and microethnographic analysis of four videotapes of each target child. Results from the field observation showed that the participation structures in each type of classroom differed. Teachers differed in their openness to student initiation, allowed different amounts of noise and movement and sanctioned different behaviors in different manners.
The videotape analysis encompassed both the verbal and nonverbal channels of attention-getting. Successful bids for attention were examined for length, volume, latency between unsuccessful bids and rebids, and the presence of verbal initiatives. The posture, body orientation, head orientation and speaking distance between interactants were also examined. Results of the videotape analysis showed that the Anglo-American and Puerto Rican monolingual children, while displaying different behaviors, varied their bidding style according to the situational context of the activity and in successful versus unsuccessful bids. The bilingual child exhibited rather uniform style irregardless of situational context.
A discussion of the social and linguistic knowledge each child needed to possess in order to perform effectively in each type of classroom is presented. Since that knowledge differed, a discussion of the possible problems which might arise if the three teachers and target children in this study were mismatched is given. Suggestions for future research are given which would help to generalize these results to larger populations of Anglo-American and Puerto Rican students.
Issue Date:1980
Description:229 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8108603
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1980

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