Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 4, No 2 (2013)

Embodied emotional communication in learning activities involving children with intellectual disabilities

Thomas Wiben Jensen
Issued Date: 17 Sep 2013


This article investigates and discusses the role of emotional communication in learning activities between children with intellectual disabilities and the pedagogical staff. Through detailed analyses combining Communication Studies with Conversation Analyses (CA) it is shown how embodied emotional actions play a vital role when playing games in learning activities. In some of the examples the embodied actions are treated as conflicting with the rule following behaviour inherent in playing games, or even treated as a nuisance that is corrected. Still, another example shows how embodied emotional actions can be used as an important vehicle in achieving active learning and practicing verbal skills. The article proposes an inter-disciplinary approach to emotions as both embodied and social phenomena that need to be taken seriously especially in learning activities involving children with intellectual disabilities since they only rarely communicate their emotions verbally.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v4i2.185


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