Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Language samples and nonverbal behavior of 50 children attending bilingual Kindergarten programs were recorded from children's conversations with a puppet on three separate occasions. In order to determine the influence of the listener's language on children's code selection, the puppet spoke a different language on each occasion. Of particular interest was the extent to which children would make pragmatic adjustments in their verbal and nonverbal language codes in response to different listener needs. Differences in code selection which could be attributed to variation in second language proficiency were explored by contrasting the behavior of children classified as monolingual, limited second language speakers, or bilingual. Distinctive behavioral variations in both verbal and nonverbal communication were found to be associated with the listener's language and the children's proficiency in a second language. The implications of this research for increasing children's pragmatic communicative effectiveness were discussed.