Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Irvin, Bruce E.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Speech


Teachers; Oral communication


The oral language of nine elementary school teachers, three from each grade one through three, was investigated to test for differences in the language utilized by teachers teaching different grade levels. The study was conducted to determine if the language of the teachers in the different grades was indicative of the linguistic maturity of their students. Three language measures were employed to assess differences: (1) types of words used utilizing Fries' classification as the criterion measure; (2) mean length of utterance utilizing mean length of response as the criterion measure; (3) purpose of utterance utilizing Warriner's classification as the criterion measure. The results of the investigation indicated that there were no significant differences, as analyzed by the three aforementioned measures, in the oral language of the teachers in each of the three grades. The findings did indicate that the distribution of types of words utilized by the teachers in each of the grades was similar to that found by Fries in his study of the oral language of American adults. This suggests that the teachers in the first three grades have a tendency to present an adult language model to their students.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [40]-41)


41 pages




Northern Illinois University

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