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Nine Fat Frogs - What can you tell about the three boys from this transcript?

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Jonathan Hawkings

Nine Fat Frogs

1) What can you tell about the three boys from this transcript?

From this transcript, it is evident that there is a structured status in the group. One of the ways you can find this out is buy seeing which character has the most to say. Robin says the most in this passage, and this shows us that his dominance makes him the strongest in the group. There are other ways in which we can see this. Robin tends to interrupt quite often and carries on speaking following what the person before said or to change the point quickly. "Dale: there was all these slimy" "Robin: no no-yeah-and then we-and then we had some lollipops". Being able to change the point shows that Robin is in control of the conversation because he decides what the boys will talk about. The other members, Dale and Mark try to speak and add to the conversation their bits of detail to the story, but the dominance of Robin always cuts in and he carries on.


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There is a point in the story where Mark says "and my frog went up-rode round-round into this lady's knickers (laughter) and then this lady was going "aagh! aagh! Help me! Help me!"" The reference to the lady's knickers causes the children to laugh because they think that it is something naughty to say which would enhance the story. Use of taboo words in childrens speech often is used to create humour and also in this case, where Mark says it, it could be used to try and gain status in the conversation. The interjections used by the children such as "ugh!" and "aagh!" create an audible sense of disgust, fear, excitement and shock which builds up the attention of what’s happening in the story.

The simple language and lexical choice are mainly small words that are often polysyllabic, which shows the age of the children and their stage of development in learning vocabulary. Also purposely choosing small words helps the boys to get to the point of the story out more quickly.

2) In what ways would the language of the story be different if the boys had to write it down?

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The non-verbal signals such as laughter or hand movements and gestures would have to be replaced by more detail to show what was going on. This would mean controlled use of verbs and connectives to show clearly a movement. There would be no non-fluency features such as pauses or hesitations because when someone writes, they don't tend to write as they speak, although an increase of connectives could show hesitations in thinking what to say next.

As the piece of writing is being recorded down, then there would be less repetition of phrases and words as the child would tend to only record facts once but may and try to describe them in more detail. If the child knew that the piece of writing was to be read by a teacher or an older person, then they would concentrate more on how they would be constructing sentences and might even be constructing more complicated sentences.  

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