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ERIC Number: EJ792236
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Exposed and Embedded Corrections in Aphasia Therapy: Issues of Voice and Identity
Simmons-Mackie, Nina; Damico, Jack S.
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v43 suppl 1 p5-17 May 2008
Background: Because communication after the onset of aphasia can be fraught with errors, therapist corrections are pervasive in therapy for aphasia. Although corrections are designed to improve the accuracy of communication, some corrections can have social and emotional consequences during interactions. That is, exposure of errors can potentially silence the "voice" of a speaker by orienting to an utterance as unacceptable. Although corrections can marginalize speakers with aphasia, the practice has not been widely investigated. Aims: A qualitative study of corrections during aphasia therapy was undertaken to describe corrections in therapy, identify patterns of occurrence, and develop hypotheses regarding the potential effects of corrections. Methods & Procedures: Videotapes of six individual and five group aphasia therapy sessions were analysed. Sequences consistent with a definition of a therapist "correction" were identified. Corrections were defined as instances when the therapist offered a "fix" for a perceived error in the client's talk even though the intent was apparent. Outcomes & Results: Two categories of correction were identified and were consistent with Jefferson's (1987) descriptions of exposed and embedded corrections. Exposed corrections involved explicit correcting by the therapist, while embedded corrections occurred implicitly within the ongoing talk. Patterns of occurrence appeared consistent with philosophical orientations of therapy sessions. Exposed corrections were more prevalent in sessions focusing on repairing deficits, while embedded corrections were prevalent in sessions focusing on natural communication events (e.g. conversation). In addition, exposed corrections were sometimes used when client offerings were plausible or appropriate, but were inconsistent with therapist expectations. Conclusions: The observation that some instances of exposed corrections effectively silenced the voice or self-expression of the person with aphasia has significant implications for outcomes from aphasia therapy. By focusing on accurate productions versus communicative intents, therapy runs the risk of reducing self-esteem and communicative confidence, as well as reinforcing a sense of "helplessness" and disempowerment among people with aphasia. The results suggest that clinicians should carefully calibrate the use of exposed and embedded corrections to balance linguistic and psychosocial goals. (Contains 1 table and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A