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Adult participation in children’s word searches: on the use of prompting, hinting, and supplying a model

By Julie Radford


Although word searching in children is very common, very little is known about how adults support children in the turns following the child’s search behaviours, an important topic because of the social, educational and clinical implications. This study characterises, in detail, teachers’ use of prompting, hinting and supplying a model. From a classroom dataset of 53 instances, several distinctive patterns emerged. A prompted completion sequence is initiated by a ‘word retrieval elicitor’ (‘fishing’) and is interpreted as a request to complete the phrase. Non-verbal prompting is accomplished through a combination of gaze and gesture and, also, as a series of prompts. Hinting supplies a verbal clue, typically via a wh-question, or by specifying the nature of the repairable. In contrast, the strategies that supply a linguistic model include both embedded and exposed corrections and offers of candidates. A sequential relationship was found between prompting, hinting and supplying a model which has implications for how clinicians and teachers can foster self-repair

Year: 2010
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