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By Charlene Rivera

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Extra resources for An Ethnographic/sociolinguistic approach to language proficiency assessment

Example text

The discussion will conclude with Page 18 some comments and questions regarding the general nature of proficiency and the role of discourse analysis in helping researchers and educators to understand it. Because of the nature of the data, the researchers immediately began to encounter problems when attempting to classify clauses according to Labov's (1972) schema.  and then the other man, they're they're thinking, what's in there.  Is there a reason for using progressive, alternating to a single use of the preterite, following with a present tense, then switching back to the present progressive?

For example, if a child responds in an apparently odd way to a question, this may be because the child, for good reasons, does not share the examiner's definition of the interactional situation.  Clearly, however, those children who exhibit a variety of linguistic and interactional skills can be more safely judged proficient.  Thus language proficiency assessment is not merely a matter of determining whether or not a student speaks English or another language but rather how well and to what purposes the student can use language.

Samples showing contexts during which rich samples of student conversational discourse were elicited, were compared with samples exemplifying contexts where mutually arrived at topics of conversation were not developed and during which there was little or no student elaboration on topics.  five to seven years old.  Grades 2 to 5, and the most proficient younger students could "talk to topics" using elaborated discourse when this was elicited by the examiner.  show or movie.  Because of this, the researchers recommend that examiners use questions and other utterances such as comments on the topic, that are situated in the ongoing conversational discourse (Cook­Gumperz, 1977), rather than follow a standard pattern of questions in eliciting language from linguistic minority students for assessment purposes.

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