Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

ERIC Document


ED 352 678




A study examined the linguistic forms in the discourse of speakers during a language test to indicate why they use certain specific forms over others. Ten children were given the Grammatical Analysis of Elicited Language--Simple Sentence Level Test (GAEL), a language proficiency test for hearing-impaired children in the age group of 4 to 8 years. Three students were videotaped during administration of the test, and the other students' final responses (omitting the intermediate discourse) were recorded. Some of the test items on which the maximum number of children deviated from the target response were analyzed for common traits and classified in different linguistic categories, including redundancy, ellipsis, negation, conjunction, and nominalization. Results indicated that as many as 10 and as few as 1 of the children deviated from the target response on many test items. However, analysis of the children's previous discourse indicated that many of the deviations were still pragmatically appropriate responses even though they did not match the target response exactly. Pedagogical implications are that teachers can use language tests as a "kidwatcher's" guide by observing language usage of children during test administration without having to feel "guilty" and by using dialog to go beyond test language to obtain more information on a child. (One table of data is included; 18 references are attached.)

Original Publication Citation

Gupta, A. (1992). Kidwatching Going beyond the Language of the Test. (ED 352 678)