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Colección: La Educación
Número: (129-131) I,III
Año: 1998

Hypotheses Tested by the Study

In an effort to contribute to the growing body of research that looks at the relationship between the young child’s language and cognitive development, this study considers these variables with the child at the pre-operational level in both day care and non day care settings. The first hypothesis holds that children who have had an average of two years in a day care setting will not differ significantly from those for whom kindergarten is the first formal school experience on knowledge of basic language concepts. It is further proposed that no differences will be found for age or sex.  Knowledge of basic language concepts measured on a pre-and post-test basis are used to provide information on the effect of the day care experience and on maturation over the three-month period of the study.

Using the pre-test scores on knowledge of basic language concepts, a stratified random sampling of 18 four-and five-year olds who scored high, medium, and low were selected and administered a series of ten Piagetian tasks as indicators of the level of their operational thinking. Comparisons were made between the children’s performance on these tasks and their scores on the language tests. In addition to the total score comparisons, several sub-components of both measures on the concepts of space, quantity, and classification/seriation were further analyzed. Since items on the basic language concepts tests, pre and post, and the selected Piagetian tasks included these three categories, comparisons of the child’s cognitive information about these concepts were evaluated with reference to the child’s linguistic information on the same concepts. Only children of four-or five-year-old groups in the day care setting participated in the Piagetian tasks. Thus, hypotheses that levels of performance on tests of basic language concepts would be unrelated to performance on cognitive operational tasks, and that this lack of relationship would persist for the concepts of space, quantity, and seriation/classification were posited.