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Enhancing listening and imitation skills in children with cochlear implants - the use of multimodal resources in speech therapy

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2011)

Journal: Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders

Subject Areas: Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v2i2.245


This paper examines interactions between three congenitally deaf children with cochlear implants and their speech and language therapist. Speech therapy interaction was examined in doll house play sessions, where the therapist applies the auditory-verbal method. Play sessions were video recorded, and examined using ethnomethodological conversation analysis. The focus of the analysis was the practises that the therapist used to enhance the children's listening and imitation skills. Two types of sequence; mutual orientation and attention seeking were analysed. A detailed examination of data extracts shows that besides speech, the speech therapist’s turns consist of multimodal elements, vivid prosody and non-verbal actions. The adjacency pairs in focus consist mostly of the therapist’s multimodal turns and the children’s non-verbal or vocal turns. In conclusion, the techniques of the auditory-verbal method and the speech therapist’s multimodal communication style work well in enhancing the listening skills and vocal communication of children with cochlear implants.

Author: Riitta Johanna Ronkainen

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