A small-scale, in-depth study of teachers’ talk in interaction with learners with severe and complex learning disabilities and very limited communication abilities is reported. The teachers had all participated in training on Intensive Interaction, a method based on the model of caregiver–infant interaction and focused on the quality of interpersonal interactions. Sequential systematic observation was used to analyse video samples of interaction, focusing on teachers’ talk styles compared with the ‘motherese’ linguistic style used with infants, and addressing whether engagement in the communication process was achieved.
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