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Issues in Applied Linguistics

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What Linguists Need to Know About Child Care: Access, Service, and Ethics in Community-Based Research


The purpose of this paper is to draw the attention of language researchers to the potential value of conducting research from a position within a child care program in a community of interest and to the ways in which this degree of subordination might mitigate inequalities of power between researcher and researched. Child care centers are community hubs of rich and complex interactions of interest to field linguists, and linguists have skills which can benefit child care programs. Characteristics of child care programs are described in relation to linguistic interests, program and community interests, and potential roles for researchers within a center or program. The suggestion is made that linguistics graduate programs might encourage students to take courses in child development and early childhood education to enhance logistical resources for new community-based field researchers.

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