Reflexive Expressions as Discourse Strategies in Teachers' Talk to Children with Developmental Language Disorders in Language-based Kindergartens

Authors

  • Rachel Yifat University of Haifa
  • Sara Zadunaisky-Ehrlich Beit Berl Academic College
  • Sigal Uziel-Karl University of Haifa
  • Karen Banai University of Haifa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v3i1.91

Keywords:

classroom discourse, developmental language disorders

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine teachers’ reflexive expressions (REs) referring to what has been said or about to be said by the child, and directed at Typically Developing (TD) preschool and kindergarten children and at children with Developmental Language Disorders (DLD) who attend language-based kindergartens. Specific aims included (a) identifying the use of REs in teachers’ talk during circle-time meetings (in language-based kindergartens, and regular preschool or kindergarten); (b) characterizing the REs based on their form and function; and (c) identifying the similarities and differences between REs directed toward TD children and those directed toward children with DLD. Thirty-one circle-time sessions were recorded: ten at preschools for TD children, ten at kindergartens for TD children, and 11 at language-based kindergartens. Verbal interactions were transcribed and analyzed, using the Child Language Data Exchange System (CHILDES), and coded for categories of REs. Six major categories of REs were identified, with some categories emerging more frequently than others. Two categories differentiated teachers’ talk to TD children from those directed to children with DLD – metalinguistic expressions and requests for reported speech. These findings highlight the idea that in order to meet children’s needs, teachers should be aware of the important role that interactional strategies play in scaffolding language development. Analyzing REs provides an opportunity to reflect on teachers’ instructive assumptions about how to support linguistic and conversational skills of children with DLD.

Author Biographies

Rachel Yifat, University of Haifa

Senior Lecturer at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Social Welfare Sciences, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel.

Sara Zadunaisky-Ehrlich, Beit Berl Academic College

Dr Sara Zadunaisky-Ehrlich is attached to the School of Education – Beit Berl Academic College, Israel.

Sigal Uziel-Karl, University of Haifa

Dr Sigal Uziel-Karl is attached to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Social Welfare Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel.

Karen Banai, University of Haifa

Dr Karen Banai is attached to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Social Welfare Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel.

References

Aukrust, V. G. (2001). Talk-focused talk in preschools-culturally formed socialization for talk? First Language 21 (61): 57–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/014272370102106103

Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind. New York: Chandler.

Baynham, M. (1996). Direct speech: What’s it doing in non-narrative discourse? Journal of Pragmatics 25 (1): 61-81. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(94)00074-3

Berlin, L. J., Blank, M., and Rose, S. A. (1980). The language of instruction: The hidden complexities. Topics in Language Disorders 1 (1): 47–58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00011363-198012000-00006

Berman, R. and Lustigman, L. (2012). H A R S P: A developmental language profile for Hebrew. Chapter prepared for inclusion in: M. J. Ball, D. Crystal and P. Fletcher (eds), Assessing Grammar: The Languages of LARSP – to appear in the series ‘Communication Disorders across Languages’, Multilingual Matters.

Bloome, D., Carter, S. P., Christian, B. M., Otto, S. and Shuart-Faris, N. (2004). Discourse Analysis and the Study of Classroom Language and Literacy Events: A Microethnographic Perspective. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Blum-Kulka, S. (1997). Dinner Talk: Cultural Patterns of Sociability and Socialization in Family Discourse. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Botting, N., Crutchley, A. and Conti-Ramsden, G. (1998). Clinical forum educational transitions of 7-year-old children with SLI in language units: A longitudinal study. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 33 (2): 177–197. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/136828298247820

Carlson, J., Gruenewald, L. J. and Nyberg, B. (1980). Everyday math is a story problem: The language of the curriculum. Topics in Language Disorders 1 (1): 59–69. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00011363-198012000-00007

Cazden, C. (1988). Classroom Discourse: The Language of Teaching and Learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Cazden, C. B. and Beck, S. W. (2003). Classroom discourse. In A. C. Graesser, M. A. Gernsbacher and S. R. Goldman (eds), Handbook of Discourse Processes, 165–197. Hillsdale. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Christie, F. (2002). Classroom Discourse Analysis: A Functional Perspective. New York: Continuum.

Ciliberti, A. and Anderson, L. (2007). Metapragmatic comments in institutional talk: A comparative analysis across settings. In W. Bublitz and A. Hübler (eds), Metapragmatics in Use, 143–166. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Clark, H. H. (1996). Using Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Coll, C. and Edwards, D. (eds) (1997). Teaching, Learning and Classroom Discourse: Approaches to the Study of Educational Discourse. Madrid: Fundación Infancia y Aprendizaje.

Conti-Ramsden, G. and Friel-Patti, S. (1984). Mother-child dialogues: A comparison of normal and language impaired children. Journal of Communication Disorders 17 (1): 19–55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0021-9924(84)90023-6

Cowie, H. and Van der Aalsvoort, G. (eds) (2000). Social Interaction in Learning and Instruction: The Meaning of Discourse for the Construction of Knowledge. Amsterdam: Pergamon.

Edwards, A. (1997). Guests bearing gifts: The position of student teachers in primary school classrooms. British Educational Research Journal 23 (1): 27–37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0141192970230103

Ely, R., Gleason, J. B., MacGibbon, A. and Zaretsky, E. (2001). Attention to language: Lessons learned at the dinner table. Social Development 10 (3): 355–373. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9507.00170

Erickson, F. (1996). Going for the zone: The social and cognitive ecology of teacher-student interaction in. In D. Hicks (ed.), Discourse, Learning, and Schooling, 29–62. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Girolametto, L., Weitzman, E. and Greenberg, J. (2003). Training day care staff to facilitate children’s language. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 12 (3): 299–311. http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/1058-0360(2003/076)

Girolametto, L., Weitzman, E., Lieshout, R. and Duff, D. (2000). Directiveness in teachers’ language input to toddlers and preschoolers in day care. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 43 (5): 1101–1114.

Grice, H. P. (1996). Logic and conversation. In H. Geirsson and M. Losonsky (eds), Readings in Language and Mind, 121–133. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Gumperz, J. J. (2003). Contextualization conventions. In C. B. Paulston and G. R. Tucker (eds), Sociolinguistics: The Essential Readings, 139–155. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gustavsson, L., Linell, P. and Saeljoe, R. (1993). Discourse in language and discourse on language. International Journal of Educational Research 19: 265–276.

Hickmann, M. (1993). The boundaries of reported speech in narrative discourse: Some developmental aspects. In J. A. Lucy (ed.) Reflexive Language, Reported Speech and Metapragmatics, 63–90. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Koole, T. (2003). The interactive construction of heterogeneity in the classroom. Linguistics and Education 14 (1): 3–26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0898-5898(03)00010-X

Leahy, M. M. and Walsh, I. P. (2008). Talk in interaction in the speech-language pathology clinic: Bringing theory to practice through discourse. Topics in Language Disorders 28 (3): 229–241. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.TLD.0000333598.53339.5a

Lucy, J. A. (1993). Reflexive Language: Reported Speech and Metapragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511621031

Lyster, R. (2002). Negotiation in immersion teacher–student interaction. International Journal of Educational Research 37 (3-4): 237–253. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0883-0355(03)00003-X

MacWhinney, B. (2000). The Childes Project: Tools for Analyzing Talk. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Mercer, N. (2004). Sociocultural discourse analysis: Analysing classroom talk as a social mode of thinking. Journal of Applied Linguistics 1 (2): 137–168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/japl.2004.1.2.137

Myers, G. (1999). Unspoken speech: Hypothetical reported discourse and the rhetoric of everyday talk. Text-Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse 19 (4): 571–590. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/text.1.1999.19.4.571

Nassaji, H. and Wells, G. (2000). What’s the use of ‘triadic dialogue’?: An investigation of teacher-student interaction. Applied Linguistics 21 (3): 376–406. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/21.3.376

Ninio, A. and Snow, C. E. (1996). Pragmatic Development: Essays in Developmental Science. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

O’Connor, C. and Michaels, S. (2007). When is dialogue ‘dialogic’? Human Development 50 (5): 275–285. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aeq.1993.24.4.04x0063k

O’Connor, M. C. and Michaels, S. (1993). Aligning academic task and participation status through revoicing: Analysis of a classroom discourse strategy. Anthropology & Education Quarterly 24 (4): 318–335.

Orsolini, M. and Pontecorvo, C. (1992). Children’s talk in classroom discussions. Cognition and Instruction 9 (2): 113–136. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0902_2

Peled-Elhanan, N. and Blum-Kulka, S. (2006). Dialogue in the Israeli classroom: Types of Teacher–Student talk. Language and Education 20 (2): 110–127. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500780608668716

Pence, K. L., Justice, L. M. and Wiggins, A. K. (2008). Preschool teachers’ fidelity in implementing a comprehensive language-rich curriculum. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 39 (3): 329–341. http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461(2008/031)

Poveda, D. (2003). Paths to participation in classroom conversations. Linguistics and Education 14 (1): 69–98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0898-5898(03)00007-X

Radford, J., Ireson, J. and Mahon, M. (2006). Triadic dialogue in oral communication tasks: What are the implications for language learning? Language and Education 20 (3): 191–210. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500780608668723

Richards, K. (2006). ‘Being the teacher’: Identity and classroom conversation. Applied Linguistics 27 (1): 51–77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/ami041

Selting, M. and Couper-Kuhlen, E. (1996). Introduction. In E. Couper-Kuhlen and M. Selting (eds), Prosody in Conversation, 1–10. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Trevarthen, C. (1988). Universal co-operative motives: How infants begin to know the language and culture of their parents. In G. Jahoda and I. Lewis (eds), Acquiring Culture, 37–90. Beckenham: Croom Helm.

van Kleeck, A., Vander Woude, J. and Hammett, L. (2006). Fostering literal and inferential language skills in head start preschoolers with language impairment using scripted book-sharing discussions. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 15 (1): 85–95. http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/1058-0360(2006/009)

Vasilopoulou, A. (2006). The Teacher’s Agenda as an Analyzable Phenomenon in Classroom Interaction. http://www.daneprairie.com

Verschueren, J. (1995). Metapragmatics. In J. Verschueren, J. O. Östman and J. Blommaert (eds), Handbook of Pragmatics, 367–371. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Wasik, B. A., Bond, M. A. and Hindman, A. (2006). The effects of a language and literacy intervention on head start children and teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology 98 (1): 63–74. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.98.1.63

Wells, C. G. (1999). Dialogic Inquiry: Towards a Socio-cultural Practice and Theory of Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605895

Wells, G. (1995). Reevaluating the IRF sequence: A proposal for the articulation of theories of activity and discourse for the analysis of teaching and learning in the classroom. Linguistics and Education 5 (1): 1–37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0898-5898(05)80001-4

Wells, G. (2007). Semiotic mediation, dialogue and the construction of knowledge. Human Development 50 (5): 244–274. http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000106414

Wertsch, J. V. (1991). Voices of the Mind: A Sociocultural Approach to Mediated Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Yifat, R. and Zadunaisky-Ehrlich, S. (2008). Metapragmatic comments indexing conversational practices of preschool children in institutional discourse. First Language 3 (28): 329–347. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0142723708091049

Published

2012-04-03

How to Cite

Yifat, R., Zadunaisky-Ehrlich, S., Uziel-Karl, S., & Banai, K. (2012). Reflexive Expressions as Discourse Strategies in Teachers’ Talk to Children with Developmental Language Disorders in Language-based Kindergartens. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 3(1), 91–113. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v3i1.91

Issue

Section

Articles