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Dissertation Information for Adele Fasick

- Adele Fasick
- (Alias) Adele Mongan Fasick

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Case Western Reserve University (USA) (1970)

- Prosanta K. Saha

- Conrad H. Rawski
- [Indecipherable1]
- Carolyn Gifford

MPACT Status: Complete - Except Indecipherables

Title: A comparative linguistic analysis of books and television for children

Abstract: The development of language is an important intellectual achievement of early childhood. By the time they are four years old, all normal children have learned the language spoken around them. Almost from the time they begin to speak, children do more than imitate words and sentences. They construct entirely new utterances based on rules which they have abstracted from the language heard around them.

Variations in language learning among normal children are very slight. Some lower-class children, however, have difficulty in coping with school situations because at the time they enter school they have not mastered as much standard English as middle-class children. One possible reason for this difference is that some lower-class children do not hear enough well-formed, nature language at home. Television brings a great deal of language into most homes, but children do not appear to learn much language from television. Listening to children's books being read on the other hand does seem to be associated with the development of verbal skills.

In this study, the language of five children's picture storybooks and three children's television programs was analysed. Twelve items of vocabulary and sentence structure which have been associated with language maturity were chosen as measures of the verbal content of the books and television programs.

The sentences used in the books proved to be more complex than those used on the television programs. The sentence lengths and the amount of subordination in the children's books were very similar to those of adult literature. The television programs contained simpler, shorter sentences and less subordination.

The vocabulary items tested did not reveal a striking difference between the two media. Enough mature, standard English was used on the television programs to make untenable the hypothesis that children could not learn language from these shows because the shows did not contain appropriate verbal items.

The three television programs studied were more similarly in their rankings on the various tests than were the books. The five books ranged from very simple to quite complex texts both in terms of verbal items and sentence structure. In this way the books could be arranged along a continuum of language complexity in a way in which the television shows could not be.

The results of this study indicate that research is needed to determine the cause of the apparently differing effects of listening to books and of viewing television. Among the possible reasons for television's lack of impact on children's language when compared with books are the social context of reading in the home, the appropriateness of the books to the language level of the child, the degree of repetition in book language, and the effect of rereading books to children. The relative importance of these factors can only be determined by further research. Such research may also reveal how close a match is desirable between the language children use and the language presented to them in various media.

MPACT Scores for Adele Fasick

A = 6
C = 1
A+C = 7
T = 6
G = 1
W = 6
TD = 6
TA = 0
calculated 2008-06-30 20:32:03

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Students under Adele Fasick

- Alixe Hambleton - University of Toronto (1980)
- Richard Hopkins - University of Toronto (1988)
- Francoise Hebert - University of Toronto (1993)
- France Bouthillier - University of Toronto (1995)
- Christopher Lucian Brown-Syed - University of Toronto (1996)
- Cherrell Victoria Robinson - University of Toronto (1997)

- Claire England - University of Toronto (1974)