The process of language socialization: a comparative look at Hispanic and Anglo families with toddlers



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Texas Tech University


The cuhural system in which a child develops directly effects the language acquisition process. In the present study, the role of culture in language socialization in toddlers will be investigated. Twenty-eight families of the Hispanic and Anglo cultures were videotaped in a separate mother-child and father-child dyad interaction. Parents were coded for 10 of the following verbal behavior, ''Praise," "What Questions," "How To Questions," "Yes/NoQuestions," "Directives," "Labeling." "Parallel Talk." "Repeating."and "Non-Verbal Cueing." The children were coded for "Verbal Responses," "Non-Verbal Response," "Verbal Pleas," "Non-Verbal Pleas," and "Unsolicited Remarks" they made to their parents. In addition, a Child Rearing Beliefs questionnaire was administered to help uncover the level of traditional beliefs held by parents in both cultures. Results indicate that the Hispanic parents were more traditional and used more teaching type behaviors, such as "Directives," "Describing," and "How To Questions." The relationship of children's Verbal Behaviors and Parent Verbal Behaviors were dependent on culture and gender of parent. Findings suggest that cultural differences in language socialization are indeed evident for Hispanics and Anglos and should be addressed more in the literature.