An investigation into the nature of adult-child interactions in the early years polyadic context
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Purpose: This study investigated the language behaviours and management strategies of 10 child care providers within naturalistic polyadic contexts within the Early Years setting. Method: Structural and discourse features of both the adults and children’s language were investigated. Each adult interacted with groups of 3 children (between 2;0 and 4;0 years) and engaged in a language based game for 15 minutes. These interactions were transcribed and coded to yield structural indices and highlighted discourse patterns in participants language. Results: Adults displayed variation in the quantity of language input used, a limited number of language stimulation strategies were used and input was characteristically directive. A dyadic pattern of interaction was also noted alongside minimal peer interaction. Contextual comparisons indicated that children who participated in more than one interaction who displayed different characteristics in each interaction. Clinical Implications: Implications for Speech and Language Therapy services include the need for collaborative consultation with education services to facilitate the modification of adult-child interactions within polyadic contexts. Future research is required to investigate the efficacy of naturalistic language facilitation training for adults in this setting to utilise facilitative language input in polyadic contexts.
BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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