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Title:Observationally-Induced Question Formulation on a Pragmatic Task
Author(s):Scott, Kathryn Jeanice Kutz
Department / Program:Speech and Hearing Science
Discipline:Speech and Hearing Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Health Sciences, Speech Pathology
Abstract:The primary purpose of the study was to measure the effectiveness of an observational learning procedure for teaching kindergarten children a pragmatic use of question-asking behavior.
The secondary purpose of the study was to determine which mode of rehearsal, overt, covert, or no rehearsal, following the modeling procedure had the most facilitating effect on the acquisition and/or retention of the modeled behaviors. The tertiary purpose was to determine the frequency of occurrence with which kindergarteners asked adults the five basic question forms.
The subjects were 25 kindergarten children ranging in age from 59 to 71 months. Each child participated in a pre-experimental assessment which included a battery of standardized tests, a test of imitation ability and a test of verbal mediation ability. No child showing evidence of verbal mediation ability was permitted to participate in the study.
Subsequent to the routine testing program, the 25 subjects were randomly divided into two major groups, the experimental group and the control group. The experimental subjects viewed a 10-minute modeling procedure during which the experimenter/model questioned a "stranger" puppet. After the modeling procedure, the experimental subjects took part in one of three rehearsal conditions, overt rehearsal, covert rehearsal or no rehearsal. The control subjects played games with the experimenter during the modeling and rehearsal times. Prior to and following the modeling and rehearsal session, a pre-test, post-test and a post-retention test were administered to each subject.
The three questions were as follows: (1) With what frequencies do kindergarten children ask an adult female stranger the five basic question forms? (2) How effective will a 10-minute modeling session be in increasing the number of questions asked in a post-test and/or in a post-retention test over the number of questions asked in the pre-test? (3) Which mode of rehearsal (overt, covert or no rehearsal) is the most effective acquisition strategy and which is the most effective retention strategy?
Presented in the order of the three research questions, results indicated that: (1) The ordering of the mean frequencies of the five basic question forms, from most common to least, was wh-questions, yes/no questions, intonation-only questions, indirect questions and tag questions. The results of the statistical analysis indicated major differences between the five categories. Further analyses indicated differences between each of the categories of question forms. (2) The experimental subjects, those who viewed the modeling procedure, showed significant increases in their usage of question-asking behaviors on the post-retention test in contrast to the control subjects. However, caution must be exercised in promulgating the effects of modeling on question-asking behavior, since no differences were found between the groups on the post-test. (3) No support was found for any of the rehearsal modes as an effective acquisition strategy or retention strategy.
The study represents a first attempt to facilitate the acquisition of a pragmatic language skill utilizing a social learning theoretical approach. Although results were not consistently supportive to suggest specific implementation procedures for practice, these findings point to the need for further exploratory investigations in this area.
Issue Date:1980
Description:149 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8026592
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1980

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