Speech, langage and communication needs - Doctoral research on restorative approaches using conversation analysis

An interesting new doctoral thesis entitled An examination of restorative justice conferences in a primary school using conversation analysis by Sadie Westrup (2015) can be accessed from Cardiff University following this link:



This study examines four restorative justice (RJ) conferences which took place during one term in an urban primary school. Although there is much research on the effectiveness of RJ, there is apparently no research to date which looks at the workings of RJ in terms of how it is co-constructed in situ by the participants. This study uses conversation analysis (CA) to document and inspect how the conferences work. Findings demonstrate the potential of CA to generate rich information about the mechanics of RJ conferences in schools and are used to suggest that this type of analysis on a larger scale could contribute to greater understanding of why such a highly verbalised intervention works, despite the likelihood that pupil-participants may be at an elevated risk of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). It is also suggested that teacher talk has great potential to support children’s communication skills during RJ conferences, by using and shaping talk to encourage pupil reflection on psychological states. As such it may be one of the few interventions to address SLCN and behaviour simultaneously



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