Balancing institutional authority and children’s agency
The Hebrew verb lircot (to want) in speech-language therapy sessions
Keywords:speech-language therapy, Hebrew, children’s agency, institutional, authority
Background: The study investigates how clinicians achieve balance between the needs of the institution and the promotion of the child’s agency and volition.
Method: Our data are taken from the opening segments of 16 sessions recorded by 8 speech clinicians during their meetings with 11 children with some form of speech and language disorder. We focus on four segments, and our analysis is based on the combined insights of three approaches to the analysis of talk: conversation analysis (CA), dialogic syntax (DS), and discourse pragmatics (DP).
Results: The extended and integrated analyses of the segments illustrate different ways in which the clinicians and the children negotiate intersubjectivity in the speech-language therapy (SLT) session, focusing on the use of the verb for ‘to want’ in Hebrew.
Discussion and conclusion: The study demonstrates that while clinicians may perceive their action of employing question constructions with the verb for ‘to want’ as addressing the interlocutor’s will, their interactional practices may in fact achieve the opposite.
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