Children's communication repair strategies: Online versus face-to-face interaction

Haeun Chung, Kyungrang Baik, Jihye Cheon, Young Tae Kim, Dongsun Yim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: One's ability to repair communication breakdowns is an important and pragmatic language skill. The present study examined children's communication repair strategies between online and face-to-face interactions using a reading comprehension task designed to probe for persistent clarification requests. Methods: 4–6-year-old typically developing children (Age: M = 5.5years) completed a communication repair task. Online group (n = 17) completed the task online, face-to-face group(n = 22) met researchers in person. Children's responses were then categorized into verbal strategies, supplementary strategies, and nonresponses. Results: Our results showed that children can effectively employ repair strategies when a communication breakdown occurs, regardless of the communication setting in response to a series of clarification requests. However, types and patterns of communication repair strategies varied between online and face-to-face interactions. Children in online interaction showed higher use of repetition and suprasegmental strategies than did their face-to-face peers. In contrast, children in face-to-face interaction demonstrated more frequent use of revision and addition. Also, we examined the relationship between repair strategy and children's language skills. The results showed that children with better language skills used more addition, which is a more complex strategy than suprasegmental and nonresponse, and tried to use repair strategies effectively in an attempt to repair their statements as clarification requests proceeded. Conclusion: It is important to understand different trends of pragmatic skills of children across online and face-to-face interaction. Guidance on the effective strategy to repair communication breakdowns depending on the different contexts needs to be considered for the successful use of online learning and telepractice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106406
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • Communication breakdown
  • Online assessment
  • Pragmatics
  • Repair strategy


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