Children’s Responses to Educators’ Questions in Day Care Play Groups An exploratory study examined adults’ questions to small groups of children to determine how questions influenced their response rate and complexity of response. Thirteen educators of toddlers and 13 educators of preschoolers were videotaped during free-play. Both groups of educators used an equivalent frequency of open-ended and closed questions, but ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2005
Children’s Responses to Educators’ Questions in Day Care Play Groups
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christina de Rivera
    University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Luigi Girolametto
    University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Janice Greenberg
    The Hanen Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Elaine Weitzman
    The Hanen Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Contact author: Luigi Girolametto, Graduate Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, Room 160, 500 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1V7, Canada. E-mail: l.girolametto@utoronto.ca
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2005
Children’s Responses to Educators’ Questions in Day Care Play Groups
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2005, Vol. 14, 14-26. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2005/004)
History: Received September 8, 2003 , Revised March 24, 2004 , Accepted October 7, 2004
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2005, Vol. 14, 14-26. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2005/004)
History: Received September 8, 2003; Revised March 24, 2004; Accepted October 7, 2004

An exploratory study examined adults’ questions to small groups of children to determine how questions influenced their response rate and complexity of response. Thirteen educators of toddlers and 13 educators of preschoolers were videotaped during free-play. Both groups of educators used an equivalent frequency of open-ended and closed questions, but the preschool educators used more topic-continuing questions. Consistent with their developmental level, preschoolers responded more frequently than toddlers. Toddlers demonstrated few effects of question type. In contrast, preschoolers used more multiword utterances following open-ended questions and topic-continuing questions. Implications for in-service education for staff of early childhood settings include increasing the use of both open-ended and topic-continuing questions.

Acknowledgments
This study was sponsored by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Language and Literacy Network. We thank Maureen O’Keefe, research officer, for her guidance, patience, and help in every step of this project, from recruitment to data collection and data transcription. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Heather Flowers and Nadia Abisaleh. Above all, we are deeply appreciative of the participation of the day care supervisors, the child care providers, the children, and their families.
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