Inviting small children to dialogue, scaffolding conversational skills

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Inviting small children to dialogue, scaffolding conversational skills

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Publication Conference Paper, peer reviewed
Title Inviting small children to dialogue, scaffolding conversational skills
Author(s) Bruce, Barbro
Date 2013
English abstract
Research aims: Joint attention and social interaction are important prerequisites for language development. Reciprocal turn-taking in dialogues fosters and challenges language development. The aim of this study was to highlight the process of inviting young children to participate in dialogues. Relationship to previous research works In an earlier study we focussed on interactional style in conversation. In this study we explore professional elicitation strategies and scaffolding in early communication. Theoretical and conceptual framework The theoretical framework relies on the assumption that children develop language by participating in social interaction as active conversationalists (Holquist, 1990; Vygotsky, 1978). Paradigm, methodology and methods Dialogues between 7 speech therapists and 11 children representing an early stage of language development were recorded and transcribed. The elicitation strategies of the speech therapists that preceded the most elaborated utterances from the children (mean length of utterance plus 2) were analyzed with respect to interactional style. Ethical Considerations All the participants had approved to participate in this study. Main finding or discussion The main findings reflect three succeeding types of elicitation strategies. During the first phase the speech therapist is eager to follow the child’s focus of interest in order to co-construct a common ground. The second phase is characterized by emerging mutuality, in which turn-takings and sharing of experiences are expected and encouraged. During the third phase the child is given less active scaffolding but positive feedback and challenge in order to grow as an independent conversationalist. Implications, practice or policy In order to be able to support, scaffold and challenge children’s language development it is important to know about how to invite, support and challenge children to participate actively in conversations.
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Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) conversational skill
elicitation strategies
language development
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note 23rd European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Conference: VALUES, CULTURES and CONTEXTS. 28-31/8 2013, Tallinn, Estonia.
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