Carolyn Anderson is a speech and language therapist who is currently working as a senior lecturer at the University of Strathclyde. In this article she provides an early account of her ongoing research into communication between teachers and pupils with severe and complex learning disabilities. Video recordings were made of teacher-pupil interactions. The recordings were then analysed in terms of the numbers of turns taken by pupils and teachers; the strategies teachers and pupils used to initiate and respond in interactions; and the numbers of information carrying words teachers used with pupils with different levels of language comprehension. Carolyn Anderson's findings will help teachers who want to develop their own awareness of the role they play in communicating with pupils. This research will also support staff who are trying to encourage pupils with learning difficulties to become more actively involved in interactions and teaching and learning opportunities.
- severe learning disabilities