DFF Research Network:
Transition and Sustainability of Communicative Competencies in Interactions Involving Young People with Communication Disabilities (TransComm)
Practitioners often report frustrations not only of young people living with communicative disabilities, but also of practitioners and family members that repeatedly observe and experience the loss of the young people's communication competences when they transfer between institutional contexts (e.g. kindergarten -> school). Therefore, the TransComm research network brings together international experts in Linguistics, Psychology, Sociology, Education Science, and Speech and Language Science, to capture and explore scattered knowledge on the practices that sustain, develop or hamper communicative competence in interactions involving young people living with communicative disabilities. This work has a particular focus on the ways in which practices of communicative competence change as young people move between different institutional and everyday contexts, especially in interactions that involve the use of communication technologies (e.g. speech generating devices).
The TransComm network began its work in January 2019, and will continue until December 2021. During this period, we will organise four workshops to which we will invite scientific experts from different fields. The workshops will take place at the Universities of the organising group (Aalborg University in Denmark, Bielefeld University in Germany, Uppsala University in Sweden, and University College London in the United Kingdom).
The workshop series is built around the following topics:
- Construction of Competence in Joint Activities
In the opening workshop we aim to address a range of questions concerning the construction of communicative competence in joint activities. For example, how can we understand competence as mutually negotiated within joint activities? How are competencies sustained to achieve intersubjectivity in interaction? How are bodies, objects, and language organised as resources to display and conduct a change of activity?
- Tensions, Troubles, and Displays of Affect
In the second workshop we address the ways in which young people and their interlocutors display and deal with conflicting situations and communication troubles; how displays of affect are organised in relation to loss of competence, and tensions between child agency and others’ objectives. The analysis of troubles in terms of the participants’ own orientation towards conversational problems enables us to see their unspoken expectations concerning agency and/or types of competence. Analyses of such cases will shed light on the conditions that sustain communicative competencies across situations and institutions.
- Construction of Competences across Activities and Contexts
The theme of this workshop will further explore how young people's competencies can be sustained across contexts. What are the practices with which communicative competence is made visible in similar activities across different communicative contexts, places and spaces (home/school/clinic/elsewhere)? How do institutional or other contexts frame activities differently, and how are these different contexts made visible in communicative practices.
- Facilitating intervention
Finally, we bring together and discuss existing knowledge on intervention processes based on the empirical study of communication practices within institutional settings for people with communication disabilities. We will further explore the potential of interventions based on an interactional approach to communication competence.
The TransComm network not only aims at scientific knowledge transfer but also at enhancing collaborations with practitioners from various fields (e.g. kindergardens, schools and other institutions).
The organising committee
From left to right on the picture: