A conversation analytic view of continuous discourse tracking as a rehabilitative tool

Elise Okell, Christopher Lind

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: With increasing focus on the consequences of aural rehabilitation for the everyday conversational difficulties arising from adult acquired hearing impairment, this study aimed to compare patterns of repair behaviour arising in conversation and a widely used aural rehabilitation tool, continuous discourse tracking (de Filippo & Scott, 1978), in order to better understand the procedure's role in the assessment and training of repair behaviour. Design: A parallel case study design was adopted. Communication dyads undertook a 20-minute conversation followed by a 20-minute session of tracking. The interactions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analysed for patterns of repair according to current conversation analytic conventions (Schegloff et al, 1977). The research questions were addressed via both qualitative and quantitative methods. Study sample: Three communication pairs (dyads), each comprising an adult with acquired hearing impairment and their chosen familiar communication partner, participated in this study. Results: Analysis revealed that patterns of repair were constrained by the task requirement in tracking for the receiver/hearing-impaired adult to repeat text segments spoken by the sender/familiar communication partner with 100% accuracy. Conclusions: Whilst tracking has a number of useful conversational qualities, it may have only limited ecological validity when applied to the evaluation and training of repair behaviour.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-53
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • aural rehabilitation
    • Conversation Analysis
    • conversation repair
    • ecological validity
    • generalization
    • Hearing impairment
    • tracking


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