Increasing language adequacy in the disadvantaged preschool child



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The problem of increasing the language adequacy of the disadvantaged preschool child is examined within the theoretical framework proposed by Bernstein. It is Bernstein's thesis that the early linguistic environment of the disadvantaged child typically limits him to a restricted language code adequate for maintaining immediate physical and social needs but inadequate for dealing with the language tasks of the early primary grades. The goal of intervention models is thus defined as providing for the disadvantaged preschool child the structural and functional elements of an elaborated language system to facilitate future academic performance. Four approaches to early language training are described and evaluated: the 'inventory' model which seeks to match specific verbal deficits with appropriate remedial training; the 'computer' model which programs the child with information processing skills essential to academic success; the 'operant' model which systematically reinforces desired verbal behaviors; and the 'recapitulation' model which identifies developmental stages and provides remedial training at levels the child has missed. It was concluded that well designed longitudinal studies with appropriate controls must be conducted before the effectiveness of the intervention models can be determined.



Children with social disabilities--Education (Preschool), Children with social disabilities--Education--Language arts., Children--Language.