‘Where does Granny live?’ The role of test questions in conversational remembering between mothers and their children with developmental language disorder
Keywords:Developmental Language Disorder, Intervention, Parent-child interaction, children conversation
Background: Parent–child conversations form the primary context for language acquisition. This article investigates the role of test questions (TQs) in shaping turn construction opportunities for children with language disorder during conversational remembering with their mothers.
Method: Video-recorded data from two mother–child dyads were evaluated using conversation analysis (CA). A recently proposed framework was used to examine TQ sequences initiated and developed from both a knowing and unknowing epistemic stance.
Results: Our findings suggest that turn-taking and turn construction opportunities for the child are shaped by: congruity of mother’s epistemic stance within and across turns; positioning of mother’s remembering as shared, joint, or collaborative; availability of language elements in mother’s turn for the child’s next turn construction; and mother’s expectation of competence display by the child in their following turn.
Discussion and conclusion: Our data reveal the potential of CA to inform understanding of TQ patterns and interventions which support parents in the refinement of conversation skills to help children with language disorder.
Aaltonen, T., and Laakso, M. (2011). Halting aphasic interaction. Creation of intersubjectivity and spousal relationship in situ. Communication and Medicine, 7(2), 95–106. https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.v7i2.95
Allen, J., and Marshall, C. R. (2011). Parent–child interaction therapy (PCIT) in school-aged children with specific language impairment. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 46(4), 397–410. https://doi.org/10.3109/13682822.2010.517600
Beeke, S., Beckley, F., Best, W., Johnson, F., Edwards, S., and Maxim, J. (2013). Extended turn construction and test question sequences in the conversations of three speakers with agrammatic aphasia. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 27(10–11), 784–804. https://doi.org/10.3109/02699206.2013.808267
Beeke, S., Johnson, F., Beckley, F., Heilemann, C., Edwards, S., …, and Best, W. (2014). Enabling better conversations between a man with aphasia and his conversation partner: Incorporating writing into turn taking. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 47(3), 292–305. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2014.925667
Best, W., Maxim, J., Heilemann, C., Beckley, F., Johnson, F., …, and Beeke, S. (2016). Conversation therapy with people with aphasia and conversation partners using video feedback: A group and case series investigation of changes in interaction. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00562
Bishop, D. V. M., Snowling, M. J., Thompson, P. A., Greenhalgh, T., Adams, C., …, and Whitehouse, A. (2016). CATALISE: A multinational and multidisciplinary Delphi consensus study. Identifying language impairments in children. PLoS ONE, 11(7), 1–26. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158753
Bohanek, J. G., Fivush, R., Zaman, W., Lepore, C. E., Merchant, S., and Duke, M. P. (2009). Narrative interaction in family dinnertime conversations. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 55(4), 488–515. https://doi.org/10.1353/mpq.0.0031
Bosanquet, P., Radford, J., and Webster, R. (2016). The teaching assistant’s guide to effective interaction: How to maximise your practice. Milton Park, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315719832
Bruce, B., and Hansson, K. (2019). An exploratory study of verbal interaction between children with different profiles of DLD and their classroom teachers in educational dialogues. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 35(3), 189–201. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265659019869780
Bruce, B., Nettelbladt, U., and Hansson, K. (2012). The relationship between language skills and interactional skills in children with language impairment. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 3(2), 195. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v3i2.195
Burch, K., Wilkinson, R., and Lock, S. (2002). A single case study of conversation-focused therapy for a couple where one partner has aphasia. British Aphasiology Society Therapy Symposium Proceedings, 1–9.
Burns, A., and Radford, J. (2008). Parent–child interaction in Nigerian families: Conversation analysis, context and culture. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 24(2), 193–209. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265659008090294
Cazden, C. B. (2001). Classroom discourse: The language of teaching and learning (2nd ed.). Portsmouth: Heinemann.
Clark, E. V. (2016) First Language Acquisition (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Clark, E. V. (2018). Conversation and language acquisition: A pragmatic approach. Language Learning and Development, 14(3), 170–185. https://doi.org/10.1080/15475441.2017.1340843
Cleveland, E. S., and Reese, E. (2005). Maternal structure and autonomy support in conversations about the past: Contributions to children’s autobiographical memory. Developmental Psychology, 41(2), 376–388. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-16220.127.116.116
Conti-Ramsden, G., Durkin, K., Mok, P. L. H., Toseeb, U., and Botting, N. (2016). Health, employment and relationships: Correlates of personal wellbeing in young adults with and without a history of childhood language impairment. Social Science & Medicine, 160, 20–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.05.014
Cross, T. G. (1984). Habilitating the language-impaired child: Ideas from studies of parent–child interaction. Topics in Language Disorders, 4(4), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1097/00011363-198409000-00004
Croteau, C., McMahon-Morin, P., Morin, C., Jutras, B., Trudeau, N., and Le Dorze, G. (2015). Life habits of school-aged children with specific language impairment as perceived by their parents and by school professionals. Journal of Communication Disorders, 58, 21–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2015.07.005
Engel, S. (1986). Learning to reminisce: A developmental study of how young children talk about the past. Dissertation, City University of New York. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
Falkus, G., Tilley, C., Thomas, C., Hockey, H., Kennedy, A., …, and Pring, T. (2016). Assessing the effectiveness of parent–child interaction therapy with language delayed children: A clinical investigation. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 32(1), 7–17. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265659015574918
Fivush, R., and Reese, E. (2002). Reminiscing and relating: The development of parent–child talk about the past. In J. D. Webster and B. K. Haight (Eds.), Critical advances in reminiscence work: From theory to application (pp. 109–122). New York: Springer.
Fivush, R., Haden, C. A., and Reese, E. (2006). Elaborating on elaborations: Role of maternal reminiscing style in cognitive and socioemotional development. Child Development, 77(6), 1568–1588. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00960.x
Gardner, H. (1989). An investigation of maternal interaction with phonologically disordered children as compared to two groups of normally developing children. British Journal of Disorders of Communication, 24(1), 41–59. https://doi.org/10.3109/13682828909011945
Goffman, E. (1972). Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to-face behaviour. London: Allen Lane.
Grosse, G., and Tomasello, M. (2012). Two-year-old children differentiate test questions from genuine questions. Journal of Child Language, 39(1), 192–204. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000910000760
Head Zauche, L., Darcy Mahoney, A. E., Thul, T. A., Zauche, M. S., Weldon, A. B., and Stapel-Wax, J. L. (2017). The power of language nutrition for children’s brain development, health, and future academic achievement. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 31(4), 493–503. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedhc.2017.01.007
Heritage, J. (1985). A change-of-state token and aspects of its sequential placement. In J. M. Atkinson and J. Heritage (Eds.), Structures of social action (pp. 299–345). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511665868.020
Heritage, J. (2012a). Epistemics in action: Action formation and territories of knowledge. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 45(1), 1–29. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.646684
Heritage, J. (2012b). The epistemic engine: Sequence organization and territories of knowledge. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 45(1), 30–52. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.646685
Heritage, J., and Raymond, G. (2005). The terms of agreement: Indexing epistemic authority and subordination in talk-in-interaction. Social Psychology Quarterly, 68(1), 15–38. https://doi.org/10.1177/019027250506800103
Hoff, E. (2010). Context effects on young children’s language use: The influence of conversational setting and partner. First Language, 30(3–4), 461–472. https://doi.org/10.1177/0142723710370525
Hutchby, I., and Wooffitt, R. (2008). Conversation analysis (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Polity Press.
Kendrick, K. H., and Drew, P. (2016). Recruitment: Offers, requests, and the organization of assistance in interaction. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 49(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2016.1126436
Laasonen, M., Smolander, S., Lahti-Nuuttila, P., Leminen, M., Lajunen, H. R., …, and Arkkila, E. (2018). Understanding developmental language disorder – The Helsinki longitudinal SLI study (HelSLI): A study protocol. BMC Psychology, 6(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-018-0222-7
Landry, S. H., Smith, K. E., and Swank, P. R. (2006). Responsive parenting. Developmental Psychology, 42(4), 627–642. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1618.104.22.1687
Liiva, C. A., and Cleave, P. L. (2005). Roles of initiation and responsiveness in access and participation for children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 48(4), 868–883. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2005/060)
Lock, S., Wilkinson, R., Bryan, K., Maxim, J., Edmundson, A., …, and Moir, D. (2001). Supporting partners of people with aphasia in relationships and conversation (SPPARC). International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 36(suppl. 1), 25–30. https://doi.org/10.3109/13682820109177853
Mahon, M. (2009). Interactions between a deaf child for whom English is an additional language and his specialist teacher in the first year at school: Combining words and gestures. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 23(8), 611–629. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699200802491140
Mchoul, A. (1978). The organization of turns at formal talk in the classroom. Language in Society, 7(2), 183–213. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500005522
Murray, A. D., and Hornbaker, A. V. (1997). Maternal directive and facilitative interaction styles: Associations with language and cognitive development of low risk and high risk toddlers. Development and Psychopathology, 9(3), 507–516. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579497001272
Myhill, D. (2006). Talk, talk, talk: Teaching and learning in whole class discourse. Research Papers in Education, 21(1), 19–41. https://doi.org/10.1080/02671520500445425
Nelson, K. E., Camarata, S. M., Welsh, J., Butkovsky, L., and Camarata, M. (1996). Effects of imitative and conversational recasting treatment on the acquisition of grammar in children with specific language impairment and younger language-normal children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 39(4), 850–859. https://doi.org/10.1044/jshr.3904.850
Nettelbladt, U., Hansson, K., and Nilholm, C. (2001). Why ask questions? Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 17(2), 89. https://doi.org/10.1177/026565900101700201
Norbury, C. F., Gooch, D., Wray, C., Baird, G., Charman, T., …, and Pickles, A. (2016). The impact of nonverbal ability on prevalence and clinical presentation of language disorder: Evidence from a population study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 57(11), 1247–1257. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12573
Olsen-Fulero, L., and Conforti, J. (1983). Child responsiveness to mother questions of varying type and presentation. Journal of Child Language, 10(3), 495–520. https://doi.org/10.1017/S030500090000533X
Perkins, M. R. (2007). Pragmatic impairment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486555
Peterson, C., and McCabe, A. (1992). Parental styles of narrative elicitation: Effect on children’s narrative structure and content. First Language, 12(3), 299. https://doi.org/10.1177/014272379201203606
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. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500780608668723
Radford, J., Ireson, J., and Mahon, M. (2012). The organization of repair in SSLD classroom discourse: How to expose the trouble-source. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 3(2), 171–193. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v3i2.171
Raymond, G. (2010). Grammar and social relations. In A. F. Freed and S. Ehrlich (Eds.), ‘Why do you ask?’ The function of questions in institutional discourse (pp. 1–31). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306897.003.0005
Redmond, M. V. (2015). Face and politeness theories. Iowa State University Digital Repository.
Roberts, M., and Kaiser, A. (2011). The effectiveness of parent-implemented language interventions: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20, 180–199. https://doi.org/10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0055)
Roberts, M. Y., Curtis, P. R., Sone, B. J., and Hampton, L. H. (2019). Association of parent training with child language development: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 173(7), 671–680. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1197
Sacks, H., and Schegloff, E. A. (2007). Two preferences in the organization of reference to persons in conversation and their interaction. In N. J. Enfield and T. Stivers (Eds.), Person reference in interaction (pp. 23–28). Cambriedge and New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486746.003
Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., and Jefferson, G. (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Linguistic Society of America, 50(4), 696–735. https://doi.org/10.2307/412243
Schegloff, E. A. (2000). When ‘others’ initiate repair. Applied Linguistics, 21(2), 205–243. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/21.2.205
Schegloff, E. A. (2007). Sequence organization in interaction: A primer in conversation analysis. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511791208
Searle, J. R. (1969). Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. London: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173438
Sert, O., and Walsh, S. (2013). The interactional management of claims of insufficient knowledge in English language classrooms. Language and Education, 27(6), 542–565. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2012.739174
Shatz, M. (1979). How to do things by asking: Form-function pairings in mothers’ questions and their relation to children’s responses. Child Development, 50(4), 1093–1099. https://doi.org/10.2307/1129336
Sidnell, J., and Stivers, T. (Eds.) (2013). The handbook of conversation analysis. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118325001
Siraj-Blatchford, I., and Manni, L. (2008). ‘Would you like to tidy up now?’ An analysis of adult questioning in the English Foundation Stage. Early Years, 28, 5–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/09575140701842213
Snow, C. E. (1972). Mothers’ speech to children learning language. Child Development, 43(2), 549. https://doi.org/10.2307/1127555
Stivers, T., and Rossano, F. (2010). Mobilizing response. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 43(1), 3–31. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351810903471258
Tao, H. (2001). Discovering the usual with corpora: The case of remember. In R. J. Simpson and J. M. Swales (Eds.), Corpus Linguistics in North America (pp. 116–144.). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Tarplee, C. (2010). Next turn and intersubjectivity in children’s language acquisition. In H. Gardner and M. Forrester (Eds.), Analysing interactions in childhood: Insights from conversation analysis (pp. 3–23). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
van Balkom, H., Verhoeven, L. & van Weerdenburg, M. (2010) Conversational behaviour of children with Developmental Language Delay and their caretakers. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 45(3), 295–319. https://doi.org/10.3109/13682820902994226
Volkmer, A., Spector, A., Warren, J. D., and Beeke, S. (2018). The ‘Better Conversations with Primary Progressive Aphasia (BCPPA)’ program for people with PPA (Primary Progressive Aphasia): Protocol for a randomised controlled pilot study. Pilot And Feasibility Studies, 4, 158. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-018-0349-6
Wiig, E. H., Semel, E. M., and Secord, W. (Eds.) (2017). CELF 5: Clinical evaluation of language fundamentals (5th UK ed.). London: PsychCorp.
Wiltshire, G.-E., and Ehrlich, C. (2014). Is conversation partner training effective in assisting individuals with a traumatic brain injury to display improved communication outcomes. Journal of Social Inclusion, 5(2), 9–26. https://doi.org/10.36251/josi.73
Yoder, P., and Warren, S. (2001). Intentional communication elicits language-facilitating maternal responses in dyads with children who have developmental disabilities. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 106(4), 327–385. https://doi.org/10.1352/0895-8017(2001)106<0327:ICELFM>2.0.CO;2
Yoder, P., Camarata, S., and Gardner, E. (2005). Treatment effects on speech intelligibility and length of utterance in children with specific language and intelligibility impairments. Journal of Early Intervention, 28(1), 34–49. https://doi.org/10.1177/105381510502800105
You, H. J. (2015). Reference to shared past events and memories. Journal of Pragmatics, 87, 238–250. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2015.02.003
Yu, Y., Bonawitz, E., and Shafto, P. (2019). Pedagogical questions in parent–child conversations. Child Development, 90(1), 147–161. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12850
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.