Home-school connections for international adoptees: Repetition in parent-child interactions

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Studies have found that second language-learning children can benefit academically from a variety of interactions outside of traditional teacher-fronted classroom activities. However, little is known about the actual linguistic processes involved in the acquisition of academic language competence. The current study investigates the role of repetition, and more specifically the functions of self- vs. other-repetition, in productions of school-related discourse genres by international adoptees during mealtime interactions with their parents in English. Two families with four adopted children (ages 4–10) from Russian-speaking regions participated in the study. Findings suggest that parents’ interactional strategies play a role in children’s productions and that children use both self- and otherrepetition for a variety of discourse functions related to their efforts to be competent interlocutors in family interaction. Self-repetition that leads to reformulation of utterances is seen to be a sign of discourse competence and linguistic creativity.


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