Teaching Children to Repair Communication Breakdowns

Age Group: /
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Teach them How to Recognize a Communication Breakdown

  • Recognize looks of confusion: start with photos of people either looking or not looking confused and then move toward noticing looks of confusion in real time
  • Recognize when what someone says doesn’t match what you said: start with scenarios, like “She said ___ and he said ___, did that make sense?” and then move toward noticing when the SLP responds inappropriately in real time

Teach them How to Repair the Communication Breakdown

Teach the students several strategies that they can use to repair:

  • Try to figure out what was mis-heard or mis-understood and repeat that part with better pronunciation and a slower rate
  • If you can’t figure out what they mis-understood, try repeating the last part slower and more clearly
  • Or, tell the person you’re confused and ask them what they thought you said
  • Or, ask them a question about what they said
  • Or, tell them you got confused and start over from the beginning