Conversational Skills

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  • Conversational skills are essential and necessary to become a competent speaker of a language. The underlying rules of conversation require that participants share a joint focus of attention, alternate their turns in a pattern of talking and listening, and offer relevant contributions that are also informative, sincere, and clear (H. P. Grice's maxims). In the course of development, children acquire conversational skills that allow them to participate in conversations and to communicate effectively with others. These skills include abilities such as: mastering the implicit rules of taking turns in conversation, directing the interlocutor's attention, initiating and maintaining conversational topics, knowing how to make requests and refusals, asking for clarification and responding with repairs, taking into account the knowledge interlocutors have of the verbal and nonverbal ...

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