Lang socialization

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Lang socialization

  1. 1. Language socialization across communities How do we become socialized as children into the language behaviours of our speech community? Focus on personal narrative
  2. 2. Interaction of sociolinguisticswith language acquisition Social-interactionist perspective: language is learned through interactions with others Jerome Bruner, Catherine Snow Vs. Innate perspective Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker
  3. 3. Narrating and transmission of culture  Parent-child narratives are an instrument for transmitting cultural values. “Children’s narratives are ... a product of their interactions with the adults around them, who provide the framework not just for the narrative, but for children’s construction of the world” (Berko-Gleason & Melzi 1997:217)
  4. 4. Narrating in immigrant communities  Generational language shift.  Stories reflect transitioning values.  Immigrant families try to balance: - sociability - socialization  Parent-child storytelling is a socio-cultural tool for this process.
  5. 5. From supported to independent narrating  Older speakers - guide the story organization. - provide the basic elements of narrative they expect to hear. What are parents’ goals/agendas in this process? - social / interactional? - educational / instructional?
  6. 6. Berko-Gleason & Melzi (1997) Parents’ interpretation of the narrative task reflects more general values in the culture: - - Latino mothers (Central America) social behaviour & relationships - Anglo-American mothers independence and structure - Hungarian Romani mothers “blueprint of expectations”
  7. 7. Blum-Kulka & Snow 1992: Family dinner-table conversation as narrative socialization context • American families: - ritual of ‘telling one’s day’ - focus on self: individualism & self-accomplishment • Israeli families: - collaborative stories - shared family events in past - collective ‘us’ as protagonists: group/family focus
  8. 8. Child’s role Learning to produce a well-structured, coherent text, in accordance with cultural norms.
  9. 9. In narrating our experiences, we construct simultaneously two landscapes:  landscape of action  landscape of consciousness (Bruner 1986) Actions/events  Background/context  Perspective
  10. 10. European North American • Temporally-sequenced (linear) plot. • Factual, event-centred. • Single experience. • May begin with Abstract Background (who, what, when, ongoing events) Action sequence, culminating in Main Event Resolution of problem End statements- return to conversational present
  11. 11. African-American  Combines similar experiences into one thematically unified story.  Regularity in number of lines per stanza : + 4  a ‘good story’ = facts embellished with metaphors, jokes, slang, exaggeration.  Poetic devices: repetition & parallelism.  Thematic coherence, rather than unity based on strict chronology of events.
  12. 12. Japanese • Concise, succinct. • Combine several experiences into one story. • Regularity in number of lines per stanza: + 3 • Value the implicit over the explicit: elliptical style. • Reflects parental input. • Linked to aspects of culture. • Similarity of narrative form to haiku
  13. 13. Hispanic  May be very few events.  Emphasis on descriptive info – esp. family/ social relationships.  Point of story: to connect with listeners by talking of these relationships; events merely backdrop.  Reflects parental input.  Links with aspects of culture, incl. literature.
  14. 14. Heath: Ethnographic study of language socialization • Language & literacy behaviours in 2 rural communities: - white working-class - black working-class • Norms for language socialization w.r.t. - conversational interaction - narrating stories - consequences for schooling
  15. 15. Children in White, WC community • Socialized to tell factual stories with a moral lesson. • Relate events in sequence, • stick to the facts, • no elaborations. Consequences for schooling: • Non-fictive story • Fictive story
  16. 16. Children in Black, WC community  Socialized to tell stories with a basis in fact, but spiced with exaggeration (“junk”),  in which narrator overcomes the odds  through being clever, tough,  & ignoring conventional rules of behaviour. Consequences for schooling

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