Conversation Analysis of Repair in Interaction with Adults who Have Acquired HI
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This chapter presents a summary of some recent re-search which has been undertaken to address the pat-terns of conversational behaviour in interaction involv-ing adults who have post-lingual hearing impairment (HI). The purpose behind this research is to develop a clinical assessment and intervention protocol for assist-ing HI adults and their conversation partners in reduc-ing the impact of conversation breakdown and its repair in everyday talk. Lind (this volume) lists various conversational be-haviours which arise in the conversation of HI adults and which have been identified by the authors as being mal-adaptive . Each of these behaviours may evolve to be a genuine target for intervention. However, at this point, the patterns of most of these behaviours as they are in-fluenced by one person’s HI are not yet well enough un-derstood nor are they yet clearly distinguished from the same behaviours as they occur in conversations not in-fluenced by HI. Until evidence of their patterns of occur-rence and their sequential consequences is established they cannot readily be translated into goals for assess-ment or intervention. Amongst these behaviours, conversation repair has been the most commonly identified therapy target, for two reasons. First, it is the only one of these behaviours that can be identified a priori as a problem for conversa-tional fluency. Repair is by its very nature the result of a breakdown in mutual understanding in the conversa-tion. Participants’ attempts to resolve the breakdown inhe immediate environment in which it occurred speaks to the importance to the talkers of re-instating mutual understanding. Second, there is now a growing body of research that identifies the patterns of repair as they may be influenced by post-lingual HI. The common se-quential behaviours in one particular type of repair were outlined briefly in Lind (this volume). Two additional ex-amples are provided here also. This series of projects from our recent research has been designed as the early stages in an attempt to ad-dress the foundation issues in conversation-based ther-apy; a model of therapy in which clinical tasks directly address conversation difficulties arising as a result of one participant having a post-lingual hearing impair-ment. The studies have been designed to address key questions about the clinical patterns of repair behaviour, including: • Can we reliably sample conversation repair? • Is repair behaviour consistent over time? • Is repair influenced by intervention? and • Does repair in conversationally-oriented clinical tasks mirror repair in conversation sampling?