Sentential Characteristics in Oral Language of Preschool Children
This study aimed to examine sentential characteristics in the oral texts of children at the age of 5. In the study, a survey method in a quantitative research approach was adopted and a total of 110 children at the age of 5 who enrolled in four different preschools were included as participants. The data of the study were collected through the examination of the children’s verbal sentences These sentences were obtained through conversations with children. During these conversations, children are required to talk about some topics which were meaningful for them such as their favorite toy, animal or a cartoon they watched etc. The sentences collected from children were classified according to type of predicate (nominal or verbal), the order of sentences (inverted, natural or sentence with ellipsis) and structure of sentences (simple, compound or complex). In addition, children’s sentences were classified whether they were appropriate for the standard language in terms of syntax and grammar. Depending on these classifications, some descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages) were computed. The results of the study revealed that the children mostly used nominal sentence concerning the type of the predicate, simple sentence regarding the sentence structure and natural sentence respecting the sequence of the sentence elements in their oral texts. A majority of the sentences were syntactically and grammatically acceptable. In other words, they mostly had the typical characteristics of the standard language. In line with these results of the study, it was recommended that the focus of the language activities in preschool education institutions should be more on the problems in language acquisition.
Keywords - Sentence, Text, Language Acquisition, Oral Language, Early Childhood Education