The Use of Conversational Repairs by African American Preschoolers Purpose This study aimed to describe the types and frequency of conversational repairs used by African American (AA) children in relationship to their geographic locations and levels of performance on commonly used speech-language measures. Method The strategies used to initiate repairs and respond to repair requests were identified ... Research Article
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Research Article  |   October 01, 2008
The Use of Conversational Repairs by African American Preschoolers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ida J. Stockman
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Laura Karasinski
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Barbara Guillory
    University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Contact author: Ida J. Stockman, Michigan State University, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Oyer Speech and Hearing Clinic, East Lansing, MI 48824-1212. E-mail: stockma1@msu.edu.
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Normal Language Processing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2008
The Use of Conversational Repairs by African American Preschoolers
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2008, Vol. 39, 461-474. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/07-0095)
History: Received December 5, 2007 , Accepted February 27, 2008
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2008, Vol. 39, 461-474. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/07-0095)
History: Received December 5, 2007; Accepted February 27, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

Purpose This study aimed to describe the types and frequency of conversational repairs used by African American (AA) children in relationship to their geographic locations and levels of performance on commonly used speech-language measures.

Method The strategies used to initiate repairs and respond to repair requests were identified in audiovisual records of spontaneous speech sampled from 120 Head Start students in Michigan (n = 69) and Louisiana (n = 51) at 3 years of age. The 30–40-min samples were elicited with common stimuli and activities while the children interacted with an adult examiner.

Results All participants initiated repairs and responded to examiner requests for conversational repairs. Some repair strategies were observed more often than others. The frequency, but not the types, of some of the strategies used varied significantly with participant location and level of speech-language performance.

Conclusion AA children used the same types of conversational repair strategies that have been observed among young speakers of Standard English varieties.

Clinical Implication Use of conversational repairs should be included among the pragmatic behaviors expected for 3-year-old AA children.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The data for this study was from Grant R305T90023 supported by the U.S. Office of Education. The authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the Head Start administrative offices in Lansing, MI, particularly Lucy McClintic, Sheila Kelly, and Judy Towne, and in Baton Rouge, LA, particularly, Rosella Williams and her Head Start staff. We also gratefully acknowledge the Louisiana data collection efforts of Marilyn Seibert, the language transcription and earlier coding of the data by undergraduate and graduate students at Michigan State and Southern Universities, and the earlier pilot studies of conversational repairs by Lauren G. Lantis and Gina Iaquinto while they were undergraduates at Michigan State University.
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