Thema's en trends in de sociolinguistiek 5
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Academic or school language is a specific register of language that involves the use of language for cognitively complex, decontextualised communication. When children enter school they are expected to be able to participate in situations where this kind of language use is demanded. Some children may be well prepared for this, whereas others are not. In this article the design and first findings of the DASH-project (Development of Academic language in School and at Home) are presented, focusing on interactions between Dutch, Turkish and Moroccan-Berber mothers and their three-year-old children. To enable the analysis of the language use of mothers and children, a coding protocol was developed for this project. The coding protocol is based on functional grammar (Halliday) and focuses on characteristics of academic language (Schleppegrell). The aim of the first analyses presented here is to find out if the coding protocol makes it possible to find differences in the language use of mothers and young children - from different backgrounds and in different languages - related to academic language use. First the dimensions of field, mode and tenor in the coding protocol are being described, as well as the variables that are coded in each field. Subsequently, some preliminary analyses and findings are presented of the language data of two Turkish and two Moroccan-Berber mothers of different socio-economic backgrounds with their three-year old children on a picture task. The results of this analysis show differences in the language use of the mothers and children on each of the dimensions. These differences seem to be related to the concept of academic language in the sense that the language input of higher educated mothers show more characteristics of academic language than that of mothers with a lower educational level.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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