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Title:Continuity/discontinuity Between Home and School Patterns of Communication
Author(s):Benjamin, Lawrence Osmond, Sr.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Elementary
Abstract:The purposes of this study were to (a) determine what problems, if any, existed because of some students switching back and forth between the dialect spoken at home and standard English being required in the school; (b) determine to what extent, if at all, standard English and dialect use hinder or advance effective teaching/learning outcomes; (c) determine what attitudes parents, teachers, and students exhibit toward dialect and standard English; and (d) provide the Virgin Islands school system with data for policy planning and curriculum development. One basic research question (How do attitudes of parents, students, and teachers toward dialect affect the students' continuity/discontinuity of communication between home and school?) is presented, and seven subsidiary questions.
Five hundred twenty-three fifth-grade students, their parents or guardians, and their teachers (20) were involved in the study; they were given an attitudinal questionnaire and asked to complete it. The questionnaire sought answers relative to their feelings, thoughts, concerns, and attitudes toward the use of dialect and standard English in the home and school, as well as the importance of dialect to the culture.
The data revealed that teachers are affected attitudinally by students' communicative competence and are inclined to help dialect speakers to accept their dialect as a valid means of communication; but were teachers to teach in dialect, there would not be a significant difference in student academic output or ability. It was revealed that a higher percentage of boys speak dialect than do girls, but girls can and do switch when the social setting requires it. In addition, students feel that the difficulties experienced during classroom communication between teacher and student are for the most part because of their teachers' inabilities to decode and comprehend much of the verbal and nonverbal signals.
Dialect was considered to be an important part of the Virgin Islands' culture but was also seen as a stumbling block in the path to better and higher educational and economical mobility.
Issue Date:1985
Description:103 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521718
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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