Quasi-Experimental Design

researching

 

A quasi-experimental design is one that looks a bit like an experimental design but lacks the key ingredient — random assignment. My mentor, Don Campbell, often referred to them as “queasy” experiments because they give the experimental purists a queasy feeling. With respect to internal validity, they often appear to be inferior to randomized experiments. But there is something compelling about these designs; taken as a group, they are easily more frequently implemented than their randomized cousins.

I’m not going to try to cover the quasi-experimental designs comprehensively. Instead, I’ll present two of the classic quasi-experimental designs in some detail and show how we analyze them. Probably the most commonly used quasi-experimental design (and it may be the most commonly used of all designs) is the nonequivalent groups design. In its simplest form it requires a pretest and posttest for a treated and comparison group. It’s identical to the Analysis of Covariance design except that the groups are not created through random assignment. You will see that the lack of random assignment, and the potential nonequivalence between the groups, complicates the statistical analysis of the nonequivalent groups design.

The second design I’ll focus on is the regression-discontinuity design. I’m not including it just because I did my dissertation on it and wrote a book about it (although those were certainly factors weighing in its favor!). I include it because I believe it is an important and often misunderstood alternative to randomized experiments because its distinguishing characteristic — assignment to treatment using a cutoff score on a pretreatment variable — allows us to assign to the program those who need or deserve it most. At first glance, the regression discontinuity design strikes most people as biased because of regression to the mean. After all, we’re assigning low scorers to one group and high scorers to the other. In the discussion of the statistical analysis of the regression discontinuity design, I’ll show you why this isn’t the case.

Finally, I’ll briefly present an assortment of other quasi-experiments that have specific applicability or noteworthy features, including the Proxy Pretest Design, Double Pretest Design, Nonequivalent Dependent Variables Design, Pattern Matching Design, and the Regression Point Displacement design. I had the distinct honor of co-authoring a paper with Donald T. Campbell that first described the Regression Point Displacement Design. At the time of his death in Spring 1996, we had gone through about five drafts each over a five year period. The paper (click here for the entire paper) includes numerous examples of this newest of quasi-experiments, and provides a detailed description of the statistical analysis of the regression point displacement design.

There is one major class of quasi-experimental designs that are not included here — the interrupted time series designs. I plan to include them in later rewrites of this material.

Research Methods

Understanding the Johari Window model

A Johari window is a psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955. It’s a simple and useful tool for understanding and training:

  • self-awareness
  • personal development
  • improving communications
  • interpersonal relationships
  • group dynamics
  • team development; and
  • inter group relationships

It is one of the few tools out there that has an emphasis on “soft skills” such as behaviour, empathy, co-operation, inter group development and interpersonal development.  It’s a great model to use because of its simplicity and also because it can be applied in a variety of situations and environments.

The Johari Window:

Johari

In this example we are going to talk about how the Johari window works with an individual within a team. In this instance there are two factors at work within the Johari window. The first factor is what you know about yourself. The second factor relates to what other people know about you.

The model works using four area quadrants. Anything you know about yourself and are willing to share is part of your open area.  Individuals can build trust between themselves by disclosing information to others and learning about others from the information they in turn disclose about themselves.

Any aspect that you do not know about yourself, but others within the group have become aware of, is in your blind area. With the help of feedback from others you can become aware of some of your positive and negative traits as perceived by others and overcome some of the personal issues that may be inhibiting your personal or group dynamics within the team.

There are also aspects about yourself that you are aware of but might not want others to know, this quadrant is known as your hidden area. This leaves just one area and is the area that is unknown to you or anyone else – the unknown area.

The balance between the four quadrants can change. You might want to tell someone an aspect of your life that you had previously kept hidden. For example, maybe you are not comfortable contributing ideas in large groups. This would increase your open area and decrease your hidden area.

It is also possible to increase your open area by asking for feedback from people. When feedback is given honestly to you it can reduce the size of your blind area. Maybe you interrupt people before they have finished making their point which can cause frustration. Alternatively people may always want to talk to you because you are a good listener. Sometimes you don’t realise these aspects of your character until it is pointed out.

By working with others it is possible for you to discover aspects that neither of you may never have appreciated before.

Some examples of unknown factors can be as follows:

  • an ability that is under-estimated or un-tried through lack of opportunity, encouragement, confidence or training
  • a natural ability or aptitude that a person doesn’t realise they possess
  • a fear or aversion that a person does not know they have
  • an unknown illness
  • repressed or subconscious feeling
  • conditioned behaviour or attitudes from childhood

For example in an educational setting, a student’s contact with a tutor, may help them understand how their experiences both in and outside of school can have an impact on their learning. This discovery about themself would reduce the size of their unknown area.

From a practical point of view in implementing the Johari window you need to look at two steps.

Step one:

The place to start in the Johari window is in the open area. Make some notes about yourself.   What are your strengths and your weaknesses? What are you comfortable with and willing to share with others? Try and be honest and clear about what you know about yourself already.

Step two:

Involve other people and ask for feedback about yourself. Be prepared to seriously consider it. That doesn’t mean that you have to do everything that’s suggested, but you should at least listen and think about it. Then give the person who provided the feedback some acknowledgement or thanks for making the effort.  Depending on how confident you are you might prefer to do this as either a group exercise or on a one to one basis. Remember that giving effective feedback is a skill and some people may be better at it than others. When receiving feedback, be respectful, listen and reflect on what has been said. It may be on receiving feedback you may want to explore it further that can lead to discovery about yourself.

The Johari window as a tool does have its drawbacks:

  • Some things are perhaps better not communicated with others.
  • People may pass on the information they received further than you desire or use it in a negative way.
  • Some people or cultures have a very open and accepting approach to feedback and some do not. People can take personal feedback offensively so it’s important when facilitating to exercise caution and start gradually.

There are many ways to use the Johari model in learning and development. It very much depends on what you want to achieve in your training or development activities? What are your intended outputs and how will you measure that they have been achieved? How can the Johari Window theory and principles are used to assist this.

Johari is a very elegant and potent model, and as with other powerful ideas, simply helping people to understand is the most effective way to optimise the value to people.  When people really understand it in their own terms, it empowers them to use the thinking in their own way, and to incorporate the underlying principles into their future thinking and behaviour.

The Self Awareness Diagnostic is a great accompaniment to the Johari window model. It helps people to explore the qualities that make them who they are. The simple online questionnaire provides instant feedback to the participant that they can positively use in understanding their personal strengths and weaknesses, what belongs in their open space. It can also objectively help the participant to start to process some of those attributes that reside in their blind spot and can encourage discussion amongst the group without being confrontational or causing contention.

What is unique about the Self Awareness Diagnostic is it explores not only an individual’s ‘soft skills’ and working style preferences but also how participants like to learn; their learning styles.  In an education or business environment this can be a great enabler for a teacher or trainer to ensure all the members of the group are motivated and able to achieve their full potential.

Source:  Johari Window

SPEAKING model (D. Hymes)

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Dear All,
Today, I would like to discuss with you famous anthropologist and linguist Dell Hymes’ SPEAKING model (1974). According to Hymes, a speech situation can only be understood if not only linguistic, but also other aspects are taken into consideration, such as: the setting of the communication, its goals, and the information about the participants. In order to reflect all these factors and help speech act analysts to make more in-depth analysis, Hymes coined the following acronym: SPEAKING [model/paradigm]. Below is the explanation of how to decode it:

S=SETTING/SCENE – i.e. where the speech situation is taking place (e.g. a University lecture hall) – this is the setting; the overall mood and context (is the conversation serious or funny; what is the cultural ambiance) – this is the scene [aka psychological setting].
P=PARTICIPANTS – i.e. the information about the participants (e.g. their cultural and sociolinguistic background).
E=ENDS (goals) – i.e. what are the goals and the actual outcomes of the speech act (e.g. John wanted to confess his love to Helen, but instead of saying “I love you”, he awkwardly murmured “It is good to see you”. As a result, his confession was put off).
A=ACT SEQUENCE – i.e. what happens first, second, etc.; also how exactly the events unfold (e.g. a FAQ section of a website: short questions first, brief answers follow; a TV host interviewing a university student-hero and the applause of the audience).
K=KEY – i.e. whether the situation is formal or not; whether the participants are happy or sad (e.g. an informal birthday party or a family reunion).
I=INSTRUMENTALITIES – i.e. the linguistic and non-linguistic tools used to make the speech act possible (e.g. a phone, English used by a Spaniard and a Ukrainian who meet in Canada).
N=NORMS – i.e. the conventions used by the speakers to arrive at their set communicative goals (e.g. in France, university students use “vous” (you-respectful) when they address their professor).
G=GENRE – i.e. the kind of the speech act (e.g. the final research paper; a small talk before a class).

Usefulness of S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G. analysis

Once all of these areas have been discovered, you will be more likely to be able to communicate appropriately in a cross-cultural situation. For instance, in a board meeting you might not fault individuals for being late if you knew they were operating on “Puerto Rican time.” Likewise, by knowing that the use of titles is expected, you would not fall into the trap of being disrespectful by calling everyone by first name.

Now that you have learned Hymes’ S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G. model, and have read one example, you should be able to apply it to a situation.

References
Hymes, D. (1974). Foundations of sociolinguistics: An ethnographic approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife

Leon main frame

 

She stepped down from the carretela of Ca Celin with a quick, delicate grace. She was lovely. SHe was tall. She looked up to my brother with a smile, and her forehead was on a level with his mouth.

“You are Baldo,” she said and placed her hand lightly on my shoulder. Her nails were long, but they were not painted. She was fragrant like a morning when papayas are in bloom. And a small dimple appeared momently high on her right cheek. “And this is Labang of whom I have heard so much.” She held the wrist of one hand with the other and looked at Labang, and Labang never stopped chewing his cud. He swallowed and brought up to his mouth more cud and the sound of his insides was like a drum.

I laid a hand on Labang’s massive neck and said to her: “You may scratch his forehead now.”

Leon 1

She hesitated and I saw that her eyes were on the long, curving horns. But she came and touched Labang’s forehead with her long fingers, and Labang never stopped chewing his cud except that his big eyes half closed. And by and by she was scratching his forehead very daintily.

My brother Leon put down the two trunks on the grassy side of the road. He paid Ca Celin twice the usual fare from the station to the edge of Nagrebcan. Then he was standing beside us, and she turned to him eagerly. I watched Ca Celin, where he stood in front of his horse, and he ran his fingers through its forelock and could not keep his eyes away from her.
“Maria—” my brother Leon said.

maria

He did not say Maring. He did not say Mayang. I knew then that he had always called her Maria and that to us all she would be Maria; and in my mind I said ‘Maria’ and it was a beautiful name.

“Yes, Noel.”

Now where did she get that name? I pondered the matter quietly to myself, thinking Father might not like it. But it was only the name of my brother Leon said backward and it sounded much better that way.

“There is Nagrebcan, Maria,” my brother Leon said, gesturing widely toward the west.

She moved close to him and slipped her arm through his. And after a while she said quietly.

Leon 3

“You love Nagrebcan, don’t you, Noel?”

Ca Celin drove away hi-yi-ing to his horse loudly. At the bend of the camino real where the big duhat tree grew, he rattled the handle of his braided rattan whip against the spokes of the wheel.

We stood alone on the roadside.

The sun was in our eyes, for it was dipping into the bright sea. The sky was wide and deep and very blue above us: but along the saw-tooth rim of the Katayaghan hills to the southwest flamed huge masses of clouds. Before us the fields swam in a golden haze through which floated big purple and red and yellow bubbles when I looked at the sinking sun. Labang’s white coat, which I had wshed and brushed that morning with coconut husk, glistened like beaten cotton under the lamplight and his horns appeared tipped with fire.

He faced the sun and from his mouth came a call so loud and vibrant that the earth seemed to tremble underfoot. And far away in the middle of the field a cow lowed softly in answer.

“Hitch him to the cart, Baldo,” my brother Leon said, laughing, and she laughed with him a big uncertainly, and I saw that he had put his arm around her shoulders.

“Why does he make that sound?” she asked. “I have never heard the like of it.”

“There is not another like it,” my brother Leon said. “I have yet to hear another bull call like Labang. In all the world there is no other bull like him.”

She was smiling at him, and I stopped in the act of tying the sinta across Labang’s neck to the opposite end of the yoke, because her teeth were very white, her eyes were so full of laughter, and there was the small dimple high up on her right cheek.

“If you continue to talk about him like that, either I shall fall in love with him or become greatly jealous.”

My brother Leon laughed and she laughed and they looked at each other and it seemed to me there was a world of laughter between them and in them.

I climbed into the cart over the wheel and Labang would have bolted, for he was always like that, but I kept a firm hold on his rope. He was restless and would not stand still, so that my brother Leon had to say “Labang” several times. When he was quiet again, my brother Leon lifted the trunks into the cart, placing the smaller on top.

She looked down once at her high-heeled shoes, then she gave her left hand to my brother Leon, placed a foot on the hub of the wheel, and in one breath she had swung up into the cart. Oh, the fragrance of her. But Labang was fairly dancing with impatience and it was all I could do to keep him from running away.

“Give me the rope, Baldo,” my brother Leon said. “Maria, sit down on the hay and hold on to anything.” Then he put a foot on the left shaft and that instand labang leaped forward. My brother Leon laughed as he drew himself up to the top of the side of the cart and made the slack of the rope hiss above the back of labang. The wind whistled against my cheeks and the rattling of the wheels on the pebbly road echoed in my ears.

She sat up straight on the bottom of the cart, legs bent togther to one side, her skirts spread over them so that only the toes and heels of her shoes were visible. her eyes were on my brother Leon’s back; I saw the wind on her hair. When Labang slowed down, my brother Leon handed to me the rope. I knelt on the straw inside the cart and pulled on the rope until Labang was merely shuffling along, then I made him turn around.

“What is it you have forgotten now, Baldo?” my brother Leon said.

I did not say anything but tickled with my fingers the rump of Labang; and away we went—back to where I had unhitched and waited for them. The sun had sunk and down from the wooded sides of the Katayaghan hills shadows were stealing into the fields. High up overhead the sky burned with many slow fires.

When I sent Labang down the deep cut that would take us to the dry bed of the Waig which could be used as a path to our place during the dry season, my brother Leon laid a hand on my shoulder and said sternly:

“Who told you to drive through the fields tonight?”

Labang

His hand was heavy on my shoulder, but I did not look at him or utter a word until we were on the rocky bottom of the Waig.

“Baldo, you fool, answer me before I lay the rope of Labang on you. Why do you follow the Wait instead of the camino real?”

His fingers bit into my shoulder.

“Father, he told me to follow the Waig tonight, Manong.”

Swiftly, his hand fell away from my shoulder and he reached for the rope of Labang. Then my brother Leon laughed, and he sat back, and laughing still, he said:

“And I suppose Father also told you to hitch Labang to the cart and meet us with him instead of with Castano and the calesa.”

Without waiting for me to answer, he turned to her and said, “Maria, why do you think Father should do that, now?” He laughed and added, “Have you ever seen so many stars before?”

I looked back and they were sitting side by side, leaning against the trunks, hands clasped across knees. Seemingly, but a man’s height above the tops of the steep banks of the Wait, hung the stars. But in the deep gorge the shadows had fallen heavily, and even the white of Labang’s coat was merely a dim, grayish blur. Crickets chirped from their homes in the cracks in the banks. The thick, unpleasant smell of dangla bushes and cooling sun-heated earth mingled with the clean, sharp scent of arrais roots exposed to the night air and of the hay inside the cart.

“Look, Noel, yonder is our star!” Deep surprise and gladness were in her voice. Very low in the west, almost touching the ragged edge of the bank, was the star, the biggest and brightest in the sky.

“I have been looking at it,” my brother Leon said. “Do you remember how I would tell you that when you want to see stars you must come to Nagrebcan?”

“Yes, Noel,” she said. “Look at it,” she murmured, half to herself. “It is so many times bigger and brighter than it was at Ermita beach.”

“The air here is clean, free of dust and smoke.”

“So it is, Noel,” she said, drawing a long breath.

“Making fun of me, Maria?”

She laughed then and they laughed together and she took my brother Leon’s hand and put it against her face.

I stopped Labang, climbed down, and lighted the lantern that hung from the cart between the wheels.

“Good boy, Baldo,” my brother Leon said as I climbed back into the cart, and my heart sant.

Now the shadows took fright and did not crowd so near. Clumps of andadasi and arrais flashed into view and quickly disappeared as we passed by. Ahead, the elongated shadow of Labang bobbled up and down and swayed drunkenly from side to side, for the lantern rocked jerkily with the cart.

“Have we far to go yet, Noel?” she asked.

“Ask Baldo,” my brother Leon said, “we have been neglecting him.”

“I am asking you, Baldo,” she said.

Without looking back, I answered, picking my words slowly:

“Soon we will get out of the Wait and pass into the fields. After the fields is home—Manong.”

“So near already.”

I did not say anything more because I did not know what to make of the tone of her voice as she said her last words. All the laughter seemed to have gone out of her. I waited for my brother Leon to say something, but he was not saying anything. Suddenly he broke out into song and the song was ‘Sky Sown with Stars’—the same that he and Father sang when we cut hay in the fields at night before he went away to study. He must have taught her the song because she joined him, and her voice flowed into his like a gentle stream meeting a stronger one. And each time the wheels encountered a big rock, her voice would catch in her throat, but my brother Leon would sing on, until, laughing softly, she would join him again.

Then we were climbing out into the fields, and through the spokes of the wheels the light of the lantern mocked the shadows. Labang quickened his steps. The jolting became more frequent and painful as we crossed the low dikes.

“But it is so very wide here,” she said. The light of the stars broke and scattered the darkness so that one could see far on every side, though indistinctly.

Leon  n maria

“You miss the houses, and the cars, and the people and the noise, don’t you?” My brother Leon stopped singing.

“Yes, but in a different way. I am glad they are not here.”

With difficulty I turned Labang to the left, for he wanted to go straight on. He was breathing hard, but I knew he was more thirsty than tired. In a little while we drope up the grassy side onto the camino real.

“—you see,” my brother Leon was explaining, “the camino real curves around the foot of the Katayaghan hills and passes by our house. We drove through the fields because—but I’ll be asking Father as soon as we get home.”

“Noel,” she said.

“Yes, Maria.”

“I am afraid. He may not like me.”

“Does that worry you still, Maria?” my brother Leon said. “From the way you talk, he might be an ogre, for all the world. Except when his leg that was wounded in the Revolution is troubling him, Father is the mildest-tempered, gentlest man I know.”

We came to the house of Lacay Julian and I spoke to Labang loudly, but Moning did not come to the window, so I surmised she must be eating with the rest of her family. And I thought of the food being made ready at home and my mouth watered. We met the twins, Urong and Celin, and I said “Hoy!” calling them by name. And they shouted back and asked if my brother Leon and his wife were with me. And my brother Leon shouted to them and then told me to make Labang run; their answers were lost in the noise of the wheels.

I stopped labang on the road before our house and would have gotten down but my brother Leon took the rope and told me to stay in the cart. He turned Labang into the open gate and we dashed into our yard. I thought we would crash into the camachile tree, but my brother Leon reined in Labang in time. There was light downstairs in the kitchen, and Mother stood in the doorway, and I could see her smiling shyly. My brother Leon was helping Maria over the wheel. The first words that fell from his lips after he had kissed Mother’s hand were:

“Father… where is he?”

“He is in his room upstairs,” Mother said, her face becoming serious. “His leg is bothering him again.”

I did not hear anything more because I had to go back to the cart to unhitch Labang. But I hardly tied him under the barn when I heard Father calling me. I met my brother Leon going to bring up the trunks. As I passed through the kitchen, there were Mother and my sister Aurelia and Maria and it seemed to me they were crying, all of them.

Leon 2

There was no light in Father’s room. There was no movement. He sat in the big armchair by the western window, and a star shone directly through it. He was smoking, but he removed the roll of tobacco from his mouth when he saw me. He laid it carefully on the windowsill before speaking.

“Did you meet anybody on the way?” he asked.

“No, Father,” I said. “Nobody passes through the Waig at night.”

He reached for his roll of tobacco and hithced himself up in the chair.

“She is very beautiful, Father.”

“Was she afraid of Labang?” My father had not raised his voice, but the room seemed to resound with it. And again I saw her eyes on the long curving horns and the arm of my brother Leon around her shoulders.

“No, Father, she was not afraid.”

“On the way—”

“She looked at the stars, Father. And Manong Leon sang.”

“What did he sing?”

“—Sky Sown with Stars… She sang with him.”

He was silent again. I could hear the low voices of Mother and my sister Aurelia downstairs. There was also the voice of my brother Leon, and I thought that Father’s voice must have been like it when Father was young. He had laid the roll of tobacco on the windowsill once more. I watched the smoke waver faintly upward from the lighted end and vanish slowly into the night outside.

The door opened and my brother Leon and Maria came in.

“Have you watered Labang?” Father spoke to me.

I told him that Labang was resting yet under the barn.

“It is time you watered him, my son,” my father said.

I looked at Maria and she was lovely. She was tall. Beside my brother Leon, she was tall and very still. Then I went out, and in the darkened hall the fragrance of her was like a morning when papayas are in bloom.
END

Life of Lam-Ang : Philippine Epic

Lam-ang

Summary  : Life of Lam-Ang

Don Juan and his wife Namongan lived in Nalbuan, now part of La Union in the northern part of the Philippines. They had a son named Lam-ang. Before Lam-ang was born, Don Juan went to the mountains in order to punish a group of their Igorot enemies. While he was away, his son Lam-ang was born. It took four people to help Namongan give birth. As soon as the baby boy popped out, he spoke and asked that he be given the name Lam-ang. He also chose his godparents and asked where his father was.
After nine months of waiting for his father to return, Lam-ang decided he would go look for him. Namongan thought Lam-ang was up to the challenge but she was sad to let him go. During his exhausting journey, he decided to rest for awhile. He fell asleep and had a dream about his father’s head being stuck on a pole by the Igorot. Lam-ang was furious when he learned what had happened to his father. He rushed to their village and killed them all, except for one whom he let go so that he could tell other people about Lam-ang’s greatness.
Upon returning to Nalbuan in triumph, he was bathed by women in the Amburayan river. All the fish died because of the dirt and odor from Lam-ang’s body.
There was a young woman named Ines Kannoyan whom Lam-ang wanted to woo. She lived in Calanutian and he brought along his white rooster and gray dog to visit her. On the way, Lam-ang met his enemy Sumarang, another suitor of Ines whom he fought and readily defeated.
Lam-ang found the house of Ines surrounded by many suitors all of whom were trying to catch her attention. He had his rooster crow, which caused a nearby house to fall. This made Ines look out. He had his dog bark and in an instant the fallen house rose up again. The girl’s parents witnessed this and called for him. The rooster expressed the love of Lam-ang. The parents agreed to a marriage with their daughter if Lam-ang would give them a dowry valued at double their wealth. Lam-ang had no problem fulfilling this condition and he and Ines were married.
It was a tradition to have a newly married man swim in the river for the rarang fish. Unfortunately, Lam-ang dove straight into the mouth of the water monster Berkakan. Ines had Marcos get his bones, which she covered with a piece of cloth. His rooster crowed and his dog barked and slowly the bones started to move. Back alive, Lam-ang and his wife lived happily ever after with his white rooster and gray dog.

END

Morning in Nagrebcan by: Manuel A. Arguilla

Philippine Literature

frame for Morning in Nagrebcan

It was sunrise at Nagrebcan. The fine, bluish mist, low over the tobacco fields, was lifting and thinning moment by moment. A ragged strip of mist, pulled away by the morning breeze, had caught on the clumps of bamboo along the banks of the stream that flowed to one side of the barrio. Before long the sun would top the Katayaghan hills, but as yet no people were around. In the grey shadow of the hills, the barrio was gradually awaking. Roosters crowed and strutted on the ground while hens hesitated on their perches among the branches of the camanchile trees. Stray goats nibbled the weeds on the sides of the road, and the bull ( Carabaos)  tugged restively against their stakes.

In the early morning the puppies lay curled up together between their mother’s paws under the ladder of the house. Four puppies were all white like the mother. They had pink noses and pink eyelids and pink mouths. The skin between their toes and on the inside of their large, limp ears was pink. They had short sleek hair, for the mother licked them often. The fifth puppy lay across the mother’s neck. On the puppy’s back was a big black spot like a saddle. The tips of its ears were black and so was a patch of hair on its chest.

dog family

The opening of the sawali door, its uneven bottom dragging noisily against the bamboo flooring, aroused the mother dog and she got up and stretched and shook herself, scattering dust and loose white hair. A rank doggy smell rose in the cool morning air. She took a quick leap forward, clearing the puppies which had begun to whine about her, wanting to suckle. She trotted away and disappeared beyond the house of a neighbor.

The puppies sat back on their rumps, whining. After a little while they lay down and went back to sleep, the black-spotted puppy on top.
Baldo stood at the threshold and rubbed his sleep-heavy eyes with his fists. He must have been about ten years old, small for his age, but compactly built, and he stood straight on his bony legs. He wore one of his father’s discarded cotton undershirts.

The boy descended the ladder, leaning heavily on the single bamboo railing that served as a banister. He sat on the lowest step of the ladder, yawning and rubbing his eyes one after the other. Bending down, he reached between his legs for the black-spotted puppy. He held it to him, stroking its soft, warm body. He blew on its nose. The puppy stuck out a small red tongue, lapping the air. It whined eagerly. Baldo laughed – a low gurgle.

two boys

He rubbed his face against that of the dog. He said softly, “My puppy. My puppy.” He said it many times. The puppy licked his ears, his cheeks. When it licked his mouth, Baldo straightened up, raised the puppy on a level with his eyes. “You are a foolish puppy,” he said, laughing. “Foolish, foolish, foolish,” he said, rolling the puppy on his lap so that it howled.

The four other puppies awoke and came scrambling about Baldo’s legs. He put down the black-spotted puppy and ran to the narrow foot bridge of woven split-bamboo spanning the roadside ditch. When it rained, water from the roadway flowed under the makeshift bridge, but it had not rained for a long time and the ground was dry and sandy. Baldo sat on the bridge, digging his bare feet into the sand, feeling the cool particles escaping between his toes. He whistled, a toneless whistle with a curious trilling to it produced by placing the tongue against the lower teeth and then curving it up and down.

The whistle excited the puppies; they ran to the boy as fast as their unsteady legs could carry them, barking choppy little barks.

Nana Elang, the mother of Baldo, now appeared in the doorway with handful of rice straw. She called Baldo and told him to get some live coals from their neighbor.

“Get two or three burning coals and bring them home on the rice straw,” she said. “Do not wave the straw in the wind. If you do, it will catch fire before you get home.” She watched him run toward Ka Ikao’s house where already smoke was rising through the nipa roofing into the misty air. One or two empty carromatas drawn by sleepy little ponies rattled along the pebbly street, bound for the railroad station.

Nana Elang must have been thirty, but she looked at least fifty. She was a thin, wispy woman, with bony hands and arms. She had scanty, straight, graying hair which she gathered behind her head in a small, tight knot. It made her look thinner than ever. Her cheekbones seemed on the point of bursting through the dry, yellowish-brown skin. Above a gray-checkered skirt, she wore a single wide-sleeved cotton blouse that ended below her flat breasts. Sometimes when she stooped or reached up for anything, a glimpse of the flesh at her waist showed in a dark, purplish band where the skirt had been tied so often.

She turned from the doorway into the small, untidy kitchen. She washed the rice and put it in a pot which she placed on the cold stove. She made ready the other pot for the mess of vegetables and dried fish. When Baldo came back with the rice straw and burning coals, she told him to start a fire in the stove, while she cut the ampalaya tendrils and sliced the eggplants. When the fire finally flamed inside the clay stove, Baldo’s eyes were smarting from the smoke of the rice straw.

“There is the fire, mother,” he said. “Is father awake already?”

Nana Elang shook her head. Baldo went out slowly on tiptoe.

There were already many people going out. Several fishermen wearing coffee-colored shirts and trousers and hats made from the shell of white pumpkins passed by. The smoke of their home-made cigars floated behind them like shreds of the morning mist. Women carrying big empty baskets were going to the tobacco fields. They walked fast, talking among themselves. Each woman had gathered the loose folds of her skirt in front and, twisting the end two or three times, passed it between her legs, pulling it up at the back, and slipping it inside her waist. The women seemed to be wearing trousers that reached only to their knees and flared at the thighs.

Day was quickly growing older. The east flamed redly and Baldo called to his mother, “Look, mother, God also cooks his breakfast.”

He went to play with the puppies. He sat on the bridge and took them on his lap one by one. He searched for fleas which he crushed between his thumbnails. “You, puppy. You, puppy,” he murmured softly. When he held the black-spotted puppy, he said, “My puppy. My puppy.”

Ambo, his seven-year old brother, awoke crying. Nana Elang could be heard patiently calling him to the kitchen. Later he came down with a ripe banana in his hand. Ambo was almost as tall as his older brother and he had stout husky legs. Baldo often called him the son of an Igorot. The home-made cotton shirt he wore was variously stained. The pocket was torn, and it flipped down. He ate the banana without peeling it.

“You foolish boy, remove the skin,” Baldo said.
“I will not,” Ambo said. “It is not your banana.” He took a big bite and swallowed it with exaggerated relish.
“But the skin is tart. It tastes bad.”
“You are not eating it,” Ambo said. The rest of the banana vanished in his mouth.
He sat beside Baldo and both played with the puppies. The mother dog had not yet returned and the puppies were becoming hungry and restless. They sniffed the hands of Ambo, licked his fingers. They tried to scramble up his breast to lick his mouth, but he brushed them down. Baldo laughed. He held the black-spotted puppy closely, fondled it lovingly. “My puppy,” he said. “My puppy.”
Ambo played with the other puppies, but he soon grew tired of them. He wanted the black-spotted one. He sidled close to Baldo and put out a hand to caress the puppy nestling contentedly in the crook of his brother’s arm. But Baldo struck the hand away. “Don’t touch my puppy,” he said. “My puppy.”
Ambo begged to be allowed to hold the black-spotted puppy. But Baldo said he would not let him hold the black-spotted puppy because he would not peel the banana. Ambo then said that he would obey his older brother next time, for all time. Baldo would not believe him; he refused to let him touch the puppy.

Ambo rose to his feet. He looked longingly at the black-spotted puppy in Baldo’s arms. Suddenly he bent down and tried to snatch the puppy away. But Baldo sent him sprawling in the dust with a deft push. Ambo did not cry. He came up with a fistful of sand which he flung in his brother’s face. But as he started to run away, Baldo thrust out his leg and tripped him. In complete silence, Ambo slowly got up from the dust, getting to his feet with both hands full of sand which again he cast at his older brother. Baldo put down the puppy and leaped upon Ambo.

Seeing the black-spotted puppy waddling away, Ambo turned around and made a dive for it. Baldo saw his intention in time and both fell on the puppy which began to howl loudly, struggling to get away. Baldo cursed Ambo and screamed at him as they grappled and rolled in the sand. Ambo kicked and bit and scratched without a sound. He got hold of Baldo’s hair and ear and tugged with all his might. They rolled over and over and then Baldo was sitting on Ambo’s back, pummeling him with his fists. He accompanied every blow with a curse. “I hope you die, you little demon,” he said between sobs, for he was crying and he could hardly see. Ambo wriggled and struggled and tried to bite Baldo’s legs. Failing, he buried his face in the sand and howled lustily.

Baldo now left him and ran to the black-spotted puppy which he caught up in his arms, holding it against his throat. Ambo followed, crying out threats and curses. He grabbed the tail of the puppy and jerked hard. The puppy howled shrilly and Baldo let it go, but Ambo kept hold of the tail as the dog fell to the ground. It turned around and snapped at the hand holding its tail. Its sharp little teeth sank into the fleshy edge of Ambo’s palm.

With a cry, Ambo snatched away his hand from the mouth of the enraged puppy. At that moment the window of the house facing the street was pushed violently open and the boys’ father, Tang Ciaco, looked out. He saw the blood from the toothmarks on Ambo’s hand. He called out inarticulately and the two brothers looked up in surprise and fear. Ambo hid his bitten hand behind him. Baldo stopped to pick up the black-spotted puppy, but Tang Ciaco shouted hoarsely to him not to touch the dog. At Tang Ciaco’s angry voice, the puppy had crouched back snarling, its pink lips drawn back, the hair on its back rising. “The dog has gone mad,” the man cried, coming down hurriedly. By the stove in the kitchen, he stopped to get a sizeable piece of firewood, throwing an angry look and a curse at Nana Elang for letting her sons play with the dogs. He removed a splinter or two, then hurried down the ladder, cursing in a loud angry voice. Nana Elang ran to the doorway and stood there silently fingering her skirt.

Baldo and Ambo awaited the coming of their father with fear written on their faces. Baldo hated his father as much as he feared him. He watched him now with half a mind to flee as Tang Ciaco approached with the piece of firewood held firmly in one hand. He is a big, gaunt man with thick bony wrists and stoop shoulders. A short-sleeved cotton shirt revealed his sinewy arms on which the blood-vessels stood out like roots. His short pants showed his bony-kneed, hard-muscled legs covered with black hair. He was a carpenter. He had come home drunk the night before. He was not a habitual drunkard, but now and then he drank great quantities of basi and came home and beat his wife and children. He would blame them for their hard life and poverty. “You are a prostitute,” he would roar at his wife, and as he beat his children, he would shout, “I will kill you both, you bastards.” If Nana Elang ventured to remonstrate, he would beat them harder and curse her for being an interfering whore. “I am king in my house,” he would say.

Now as he approached the two, Ambo cowered behind his elder brother. He held onto Baldo’s undershirt, keeping his wounded hand at his back, unable to remove his gaze from his father’s close-set, red-specked eyes. The puppy with a yelp slunk between Baldo’s legs. Baldo looked at the dog, avoiding his father’s eyes.

Tang Ciaco roared at them to get away from the dog: “Fools! Don’t you see it is mad?” Baldo laid a hand on Ambo as they moved back hastily. He wanted to tell his father it was not true, the dog was not mad, it was all Ambo’s fault, but his tongue refused to move. The puppy attempted to follow them, but Tang Ciaco caught it with a sweeping blow of the piece of firewood. The puppy was flung into the air. It rolled over once before it fell, howling weakly. Again the chunk of firewood descended, Tang Ciaco grunting with the effort he put into the blow, and the puppy ceased to howl. It lay on its side, feebly moving its jaws from which dark blood oozed. Once more Tang Ciaco raised his arm, but Baldo suddenly clung to it with both hands and begged him to stop. “Enough, father, enough. Don’t beat it anymore,” he entreated. Tears flowed down his upraised face.

Tang Ciaco shook him off with an oath. Baldo fell on his face in the dust. He did not rise, but cried and sobbed and tore his hair. The rays of the rising sun fell brightly upon him, turned to gold the dust that he raised with his kicking feet.

stick beating

Tang Ciaco dealt the battered puppy another blow and at last it lay limpy still. He kicked it over and watched for a sign of life. The puppy did not move where it lay twisted on its side.
He turned his attention to Baldo.

“Get up,” he said, hoarsely, pushing the boy with his foot.
Baldo was deaf. He went on crying and kicking in the dust. Tang Ciaco struck him with the piece of wood in his hand and again told him to get up. Baldo writhed and cried harder, clasping his hands over the back of his head. Tang Ciaco took hold of one of the boy’s arms and jerked him to his feet. Then he began to beat him, regardless of where the blows fell.

Baldo encircled his head with his loose arm and strove to free himself, running around his father, plunging backward, ducking and twisting. “Shameless son of a whore,” Tang Ciaco roared. “Stand still, I’ll teach you to obey me.” He shortened his grip on the arm of Baldo and laid on his blows. Baldo fell to his knees, screaming for mercy. He called on his mother to help him.

Nana Elang came down, but she hesitated at the foot of the ladder. Ambo ran to her. “You too,” Tang Ciaco cried, and struck at the fleeing Ambo. The piece of firewood caught him behind the knees and he fell on his face. Nana Elang ran to the fallen boy and picked him up, brushing his clothes with her hands to shake off the dust.
Tang Ciaco pushed Baldo toward her. The boy tottered forward weakly, dazed and trembling. He had ceased to cry aloud, but he shook with hard, spasmodic sobs which he tried vainly to stop.
“Here take your child,” Tang Ciaco said, thickly.
He faced the curious students and neighbors who had gathered by the side of the road. He yelled at them to go away. He said it was none of their business if he killed his children.
“They are mine,” he shouted. “I feed them and I can do anything I like with them.”
The students ran hastily to school. The neighbors returned to their work.
Tang Ciaco went to the house, cursing in a loud voice. Passing the dead puppy, he picked it up by its hind legs and flung it away. The black and white body soared through the sunlit air; fell among the tall corn behind the house. Tang Ciaco, still cursing and grumbling, strode upstairs. He threw the chunk of firewood beside the stove. He squatted by the low table and began eating the breakfast his wife had prepared for him.
Nana Elang knelt by her children and dusted their clothes. She passed her hand over the red welts on Baldo, but Baldo shook himself away. He was still trying to stop sobbing, wiping his tears away with his forearm. Nana Elang put one arm around Ambo. She sucked the wound in his hand. She was crying silently.
When the mother of the puppies returned, she licked the remaining four by the small bridge of woven split bamboo. She lay down in the dust and suckled her young. She did not seem to miss the black-spotted puppy.
Afterward Baldo and Ambo searched among the tall corn for the body of the dead puppy. Tang Ciaco had gone to work and would not be back till nightfall. In the house, Nana Elang was busy washing the breakfast dishes. Later she came down and fed the mother dog. The two brothers were entirely hidden by the tall corn plants. As they moved about among the slender stalks, the corn-flowers shook agitatedly. Pollen scattered like gold dust in the sun, falling on the fuzzy• green leaves.
When they found the dead dog, they buried it in one corner of the field. Baldo dug the grove with a sharp-pointed stake. Ambo stood silently by, holding the dead puppy.
When Baldo finished his work, he and his brother gently placed the puppy in the hole. Then they covered the dog with soft earth and stamped on the grave until the disturbed ground was flat and hard again. With difficulty they rolled a big stone on top of the grave. Then Baldo wound an arm around the shoulders of Ambo and without a word they hurried up to the house.
The sun had risen high above the Katayaghan hills, and warm, golden sunlight filled Nagrebcan. The mist on the tobacco fields had completely dissolved.    END

Language Development

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While the news seems to highlight the mounting external and internal pressures that are driving language endangerment, not all languages are endangered. Many languages have well-established oral and literary traditions and are being used for a wide variety of functions in society. Many other communities, which have not achieved that status for their languages, are nevertheless taking steps to preserve the vitality of their languages by finding new ways of using them. Ethnologue records and reports data about these aspects of language use under the rubric of language development.

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Defining language development
The term language development can be used in both an individual and a societal sense. It is commonly used among psychologists and educators with reference to individuals to refer to the phenomenon of child language acquisition (that is, how infants acquire language). Ethnologue uses the term in the sense given to it by Charles Ferguson (1968) who defined language development at the societal level as primarily dealing with three areas of concern:

  • graphization—the development of a system of writing,
  • standardization—the development of a norm that overrides regional and social dialects, and
  • modernization—the development of the ability to translate and carry on discourse about a broad range of topics in ways characteristic of “industrialized, secularized, structurally differentiated, ‘modernized’ societies”.
    These development activities are now generally known as language planning activities, subsumed specifically within what is called “corpus planning” (Cooper 1989). More broadly, Ethnologue defines language development as follows:

Language development is the result of the series of on-going planned actions that language communities take to ensure that they can effectively use their languages to achieve their social, cultural, political, economic, and spiritual goals.
As Ferguson proposed, those planned actions most often consist of the development of writing systems, the standardization of norms, and the elaboration of terminology designed to expand the functions of a language in a society. Language development activities may also go well beyond corpus planning and cover a broad range of activities including advocacy on behalf of minority languages and other actions outside of the realm of linguistics proper. This broader definition of language development encompasses not only the acquisition of the means of reading and writing the language, but also the uses of the language in a variety of media and for as many functions as the speech community finds useful.

Evaluating language development
Ethnologue provides data not only on the factors which are indicators of endangerment but also on numerous indicators of development. Notable among the data that we report are:

  • Identification of the writing systems in use both currently and historically
  • Literacy rates in the language as well as in the dominant languages in the region
    The existence of various kinds of literature including poetry, stories, translated materials (including health and development literature and the Bible), and other print media such as newspapers and magazines
  • The use of the language in the broadcast media (radio, television, recorded materials on compact disc, tape, digital video discs, etc.), or in films and videos
  • The use of the language in so-called “new media” such as on web pages, in chat rooms, podcasts and MP3 downloads, and for SMS texting on mobile phones or other electronic devices
  • The use of the language for governance
  • The use of the language by others as their second language
  • These indicators of the state of development of a language are presented within the language entries according to their nature and focus; In those cases where most of these development types are amply present, rather than listing them all separately, we simply categorize a language as “fully developed”.

Language development and the EGIDS
We report a summary evaluation of the vitality of the languages of the world by using the Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale or EGIDS (Lewis and Simons 2010), an adaptation and expansion of Fishman’s (1991) Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (GIDS). In each language entry (under the label Status) an estimate of the development versus endangerment of every identified language in each country where that language is spoken is reported; see Language Status for the definitions of the levels.

These languages are represented by the green bars in the summary graphs; these are not developing, but neither are they endangered since they enjoy vigorous face-to-face use in daily life by all generations. We report this to be the condition of 2,479 (or 35%) of the 7,102 known living languages in the world.

The first step up the development side of the EGIDS scale is level 5 (Developing). These languages are represented by the blue bars in the summary graphs; they are in the initial stages of development (graphization, standardization, modernization). Literature in a standardized form is being used by some though this is not yet widespread or sustainable. We report this to be the condition of 1,598 (or 23%) of the 7,102 known living languages in the world.

All of the remaining levels on the development side of the EGIDS scale (4 and higher) have in common that the language has been developed to the point that it is used and sustained by institutions beyond the home and community. These languages are represented by the violet bars in the summary graphs; as a class they are referred to as “Institutional” languages. We report this to be the condition of 578 (or 8%) of the 7,102 known living languages in the world. EGIDS levels 4 and higher are referred to individually as Educational, Wider Communication, Provincial, National, and International. These successively stronger levels on the scale take into account the growing number of both uses and users of the language, including its native community as well as those who have learned it as a second language.

Language development and language endangerment are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, many languages that had once risen above level 6a (due to language development efforts when they were in vigorous use by all generations) are now losing users. The endangerment indicators are given precedence in EGIDS; therefore, such languages are classed at 6b or lower. There are also many communities whose languages are endangered (at EGIDS levels weaker than 6a) who are engaging in planned actions designed to improve the vitality of their languages. Even if such activities result in widely adopted standardization and literature, the EGIDS level will not rise above level 6a until the community also achieves sustainable face-to-face use by all generations. The threshold of stable face-to-face use identified by EGIDS 6a serves as a categorical boundary line for overall classification as developed versus endangered, though each specific case may be characterized by a complex configuration of indicators of both endangerment and development.

Credit: Ethnologue