A study of some of the features of the spoken language of teachers of children between the ages of three and seven years
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis puts forward a description, in terms of prosodic and paralinguistic features, of the type of English used by teachers of children between the ages of three and seven years. Time did not allow an investigation of grammar and lexis, unfortunately, but the study revealed many interesting features that seemed characteristic of this use of language. Most of these features reflected apparent problems faced by the teachers; contrast and variation attracted and held the child's attention, and emphasis of various sorts underlined the patterns of English, important information or instructions. It was hoped that enough material would be found to allow this type of English to be classified as a register. However, in spite of the large number of distinctive features recorded, too many individual characteristics appeared, obscuring some of the identifying features and weakening the picture of a clearly defined and recognisable variety of English. Perhaps a study of those areas not discussed here will reveal new information that will enable this aim to be realised.