‘Planning’ talk and traumatic brain injury

An exploratory application of conversation analysis


  • Scott Edward Barnes University of Sydney




conversation analysis, task-based interaction, traumatic brain injury


Task-based activities of daily living are often a target of assessment and intervention for people with acquired communication disorders, but their interactional organization has not undergone detailed investigation. This study explores a task-based interaction focused on ‘planning’ involving a man with TBI and his friend. It analyses a half hour recording in which they planned errands that would need to be completed before the man with TBI departed for an overseas holiday. Conversation analytic single episode analysis is used. Discussion focuses on the phases and actions that were used during planning talk. Some speculation about the utility of these practices for planning with a person with TBI is also put forward. Finally, it is suggested that, pending further investigation, a clinical focus on the actions described in the present study might prove useful for structuring and facilitating the participation of people with TBI in routine task-based activities.

Author Biography

Scott Edward Barnes, University of Sydney

Scott Barnes is a speech-language pathologist, and post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Aphasia Rehabilitation (CCRE Aphasia), The University of Sydney. He is currently using Conversation Analysis to investigate everyday interactions involving people with acquired communication disorders. He has conducted research on conversational activities including topic talk, recipiency, agreement, person reference, and other-repair, and on the use of conversation rating scales.


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How to Cite

Barnes, S. E. (2012). ‘Planning’ talk and traumatic brain injury: An exploratory application of conversation analysis. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 3(2), 115–140. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v3i2.115