Applying Incidental Teaching (Including Contingent Access to Materials) with Second Language Learners in a Multi-ethnic Nursery Unit

Effects on child-teacher initiations and child language use

Diane Dolley, Kevin Wheldall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A nursery teacher and a nursery nurse were introduced to and instructed in the use of ‘Incidental Teaching’ (IT) procedures (including contingent access to materials) designed to encourage child-initiated language interactions in the natural nursery classroom environment. The effects of introducing these procedures were monitored over the course of a school year on a target group of second language learning children from Panjabi-speaking homes. Throughout the study teacher-child language interactions were sampled using a radio microphone linked to a tape recorder. For each sample all child initiations addressed to the teacher were transcribed together with all teachers' responses to child initiations. A multiple baseline design across morning and afternoon classes was employed so that the introduction of IT procedures was staggered following the collection of baseline data. After the initial training session, use of IT procedures increased markedly and in both classes children initiated more frequently, as a consequence. The total number of words spoken to the teacher/nursery nurse, and the average number of words spoken per child, increased in both groups. Analyses of the data for the morning class also demonstrated that the IT procedures resulted in marked increases in the use of more complex language forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-58
Number of pages24
JournalEducational Psychology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991

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