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Cohesion in spoken and written dialogue: An investigation of cultural and textual constraints
ECE Faculty Publications
  • Johanna S DeStefano, Ohio State University - Main Campus
  • Rebecca Kantor, University of Colorado Denver
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Publication Date
Interactions of language, culture, minority group membership, and literacy instruction in schools have evidently spelled success for some children but not for others. The purpose of this study was to explore an area of intersection among language use, ethnolinguistic group membership, and literacy learning materials to provide additional insight into the higher rates of literacy problems in urban black and Appalachian cultures. Specifically, it investigated how the informal discourse modes, exemplified by mother-child dialogue in a child's home environment, compared and contrasted with more formal discourse modes, exemplified by dialogue among characters in basal reader stories and in children's storybooks. Cohesion was used as the primary form of analysis. Findings, based on a determination of tie types as well as identity and similarity chains, indicated that the dialogue of the mothers and children across the three ethnolinguistic groups was more similar than different, and in turn, was similar to the dialogue among characters in children's storybooks. None of these resembled the cohesion patterns found in the dialogue of the basal reader stories, which were found to be unique to that genre.
Citation Information
DeStefano, J. and Kantor, R. (1988). Cohesion in spoken and written dialogue: An investigation of cultural and textual constraints. Linguistics and Education, 1(2), 105-124.