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Author: Dr. Harold Johnson Kent State University

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1 Author: Dr. Harold Johnson Kent State University
Date submitted to – February 7, 2006 To contact the author for permission to use this PowerPoint, please To use this PowerPoint presentation in its entirety, please give credit to the author.

2 Language Assessment: Conversational Model
SPED 4/53310 Language Assessment & Intervention with Students who are d/hh Harold Johnson/Kent State University Fall ’05 Undergraduate/Graduate course For more information, please call me at

3 The Johnson Conversational Model
Occurrence Segments Tasks Behaviors Channels Reference: Easterbrooks S., Baker S. (2002). Language learning in children who are deaf and hard of hearing: Multiple pathways. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Multimedia segments added by Courtney Sajben, with assistance from: David Sajben, Leslie Baird, Laurie Suthern, Britt Andrews, John Kruger and Christina Todd.

4 ...Conversational Occurrence
Conversations day During the course of a day, an individual will have numerous conversations.

5 ...Conversational Segments
middle beginning end Each conversational exchange, can be divided into three basic parts....

6 ...Conversational Tasks middle 3 9 5 4 8 beginning end 6 10 2 7 1 1
1. Prior to the conversation 4. Exchange pleasantries 2. Gain the individual’s attention 5. Establish the topic 3. Note the onset of the conversation 6. Exchange information During each segment of the conversation specific tasks must be accomplished

7 ...Conversational Tasks (cont.)
middle 3 9 5 4 8 beginning end 6 10 2 7 1 1 7. Recognize & repair communication breakdowns 8. Bring the conversation to a close 9. Mark the end of the conversation 10. Leave the conversation

8 Prior to the Conversation

9 Prior to the Conversation

10 Gaining the Individual’s Attention

11 Gaining the Individual’s Attention

12 Onset of the Conversation

13 Onset of the Conversation

14 Exchange Pleasantries

15 Exchange Pleasantries

16 Establish The Topic

17 Establish Topic

18 Exchange Information

19 Exchange Information

20 Recognize and Repair Communication Breakdowns

21 Recognize and Repair Communication Breakdowns

22 Bring Conversation to a Close

23 Bring Conversation to a Close

24 End of Conversation

25 End of Conversation

26 Leave the Conversation

27 Leave Conversation

28 ...Conversational Behaviors
3 9 5 4 8 6 10 2 7 1 1 Reflexive Behaviors Signal Behaviors Symbolic Behaviors Conversational tasks are accomplished via the use of three types of behaviors

29 ...Conversational Behaviors (cont.)
Reflexive Behaviors: Occur all the time Represent external manifestations of internal states, e.g., an itch causes you to scratch or a bit of grit in your eye causes you to blink Not intended to convey communicative intent (Note: cultural differences can cause miss communications)

30 ...Conversational Behaviors (cont.)
Signal Behaviors: Occur from conversational tasks #2 through # 10 Represent a purposeful pattern of behavior that is designed to convey communicative intent, e.g., a “wave of the hand,” a “shrug of the shoulder,” or a “head nod.” Require a supportive physical context to be correctly interpreted, i.e., the intended meaning of the behavior can not be correctly interpreted outside a narrow range of settings.

31 ...Conversational Behaviors (cont.)
Symbolic Behaviors: occur from conversational tasks # 4 through #8 Represent a purposeful pattern of either spoken or signed behavior that is designed to convey communicative intent, e.g., a word, phrase or sentence. Represent symbolic vs. concrete communicative behaviors, as such, the intended meaning can be correctly interpreted in a wide range of settings.

32 ...Conversational Channels
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reflexive Behaviors Signal Behaviors Symbolic Behaviors Visual Motorical Verbal Conversational behaviors are carried out through use of three channels of behaviors

33 will YOU use all of this information?
1st you will use the information to carry out an informal analysis of your own language use and problems. as you carry out this analysis, you will learn how to observe, record and chart data, analyze problems, hypothesize solutions and then, through a trial-and-error process, you will see if your hypothesis were correct, finally ending with a summary written synthesis of what you found and what you learned.

34 will you (cont.) Once you have learned the information as it applies to you, then you apply the same process in your study of a student who is d/hh within your practicum placement Basic concept....first understand something as it relates to you, then to others...ergo, if you can’t figure out how the information fits for you, you will not be able to figure out how it fits for others

35 What are the steps you will use to implement this conversational model of language assessment and intervention? In essence, the steps are as follows: identify the best context (i.e., person, place & time) to observe What makes for a good context?

36 ...What are the steps... (cont.)
...context identification Topic identification What do you talk about & How often do you talk about ‘x’ vs. ‘y’ Identification of communication breakdowns What does a breakdown look like? Which Topics have the most breakdowns? What happens following a breakdown?

37 ...What are the steps... (cont.)
...context iden. ...topic iden. breakdown iden. Intervention Effort Target the topic with the most com. breakdowns. Analyze what occurs just before the breakdown and why the breakdown occurs. Refine description of the com. breakdown indicators Hypothesize why breakdowns occur on that topic (e.g., topic establishment patterns or conflicting conversational tasks) Identify an ‘alternative behavior, i.e., one that might reduce the frequency or severity of topical com. breakdowns. Try out...several times...the alternative behavior...use data to decide if you are successful or not.

38 ...What are the steps... (cont.)
...context iden. ...topic iden. breakdown iden. ...intervention effort Resulting Insights re. Language use Occurrence and Causes of Communication Breakdowns Assessment of Communication Problems Intervention of Communication Problems Gathering and Tracking Assessment and Intervention Data Note: this is where YOU reflect about what you have learned via the obs. study – this is where an ‘A’ is earned

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