Communication & Medicine, Vol 5, No 2 (2008)

Recycling in clinical interaction involving children with and without language impairment

Charlotta Plejert, Christina Samuelsson
Issued Date: 14 Mar 2009


The aim of the present study is to investigate the form,
function and frequency of repetitious talk in clinical
interaction between children and speech language
pathologists (SLP) as a test is carried out. The study comprises 45 Swedish children with and without language impairment (LI), aged between 4 years 4 months and 10 years, and six different SLPs. The repetitious behaviour investigated is the SLP’s recycling of parts or the whole of the child’s previous utterance. The results show that this type of recycling is more frequent in interaction involving children with LI than in interaction with children without LI. Recycling in SLPs’ responses to children without LI seems to occur where the children find the questions difficult, whereas recycling in responses to children with LI may occur in relation to any questions in the test. The finding that recycling is more common in talk involving children with LI highlights how understanding is negotiated when a participant has a communicative disability.

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DOI: 10.1558/cam.v5i2.159


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