A Comparison of a Mother and a Therapist Working on Child Speech
Research into speech/language therapy with children has primarily focused on theories of speech development and disorder as a rationale for therapy. Therapy is an interactional process yet research has tended to overlook this aspect. In part this chapter documents how speech therapy is recognizable as a distinct form of institutional talk but has patterns redolent of both instructional and mundane adult/child interaction. Peräkylä (in press) in his work on ‘Stocks of Interactional Professional Knowledge’ uses Conversation Analysis (CA) to challenge therapeutic predictions and intuitions. Likewise in this chapter a combination of careful interactional analysis and linguistic (in this case ‘phonetic’) detail makes a very powerful clinical research tool. Quantification in the form of ‘turn counts’ form part of this work, an approach that Wootton (1989) and Schegloff (1993) support as long as ‘coding’ of turn types have been identified through detailed analysis. However, sequential placement within the interaction, the type of preceding try and what is projected in next turn, will be shown to be vital adjuncts to the numerical information.
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