Quality of educator-infant conversational interactions among infants experiencing varying quantity of linguistic input

Sheila Degotardi*, Feifei Han

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Evidence suggests that the quantity of linguistic input experienced by infants in early childhood centres relates to the quality of educator-infant interactions. However, little is known about the linguistic properties of mutually responsive educator-infant interactions. This study uses sequence analyses to identify patterns of educator-infant three-turn conversations, and examine whether these patterns are related to the quantity of educator words (AWC) experienced by infants. We selected 15-minute video segments representing the peak quantity of AWC experienced by 14 infants across a three-hour period. Educator initiations were coded as knowledge-or non-knowledge-based, infant responses and educator follow-ups were coded as evaluative and elaborative. Each conversation was coded as terminate or continue. Four patterns of educator-infant conversations were identified, revealing significant differences in the conversations experienced by infants in the high and low AWC cohorts. Findings inform educators on how best to engage infants in mutually responsive, language-rich and sustained conversations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)743-757
    Number of pages15
    JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
    Issue number5
    Early online date9 Sep 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


    • infant
    • childcare
    • language development
    • educator-infant interactions
    • quality
    • early childhood education

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