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Relationships Between Adults' Recasts and Children's Language Use in AAC Mediated Interactions

Research Stream
  • Michael Clarke (University College London)
  • Gloria Soto (San Francisco State University)

This paper will present findings from a qualitative analysis of clinicians' use of recasts in structured conversation with children using AAC. In particular, we will examine the types of recasts used by clinicians, links between the child's contribution and the design of the recast, and how the child treats the adult recast.


The study involved a secondary analysis of a corpus of existing data. The data were collected as part of project investigating the effects of conversation-based intervention on the expressive vocabulary and grammatical skills of children who use AAC. This qualitative analysis drew on the princples of conversaton analysis to analyse sequences of turns that incorporated an adult turn designed as a possible recast.


Clinicans' recasts took recognisable and recurring forms that typically involved the use of strong vocal contrast to emphasize a specific part of the child's prior contribution that was deemed missing or inaccurate. Children responded variously to the recast, sometimes redesigning their prior turn, and sometimes treating them as a request for confirmation of the content of their prior turn.


A complex relationship exists between the design of recasts, demands of AAC use, pervasive characteristics of AAC interactions, and language learning opportunities for children using AAC.

Level of Session 
Age Group 
Primary school
Secondary school
Special school
Further/Higher Ed.