The children: the initial interview
The four boys are all 9 years old. They are right-handed. Jonathan has not experienced difficulty in learning to read. The other three boys have.
… … Well, I like to play sports… …. I like to play
[Jane Holmes Bernstein (JHB): You're a sportsman – OK]
lots of different sports, like… …. I play baseball … and soccer…. I want to play–LAUGHS–hockey and football but I can't–LAUGHS–
[JHB LAUGHS. Why can't you play hockey and football?]
'cos I'll break too many teeth… … . disingenuous expression +
Bright, animated, mischievous.
Within normal limits: varies appropriately with content.
Arms on table, in “conversational space” with JHB.
Gazes up when thinking/formulating remarks; focuses appropriately on JHB when making point.
Comfortable with himself, enjoying the attention. Fluent use of conversational language: turn-taking is smooth with appropriate “cross-cutting” of his and JHB's remarks. Socially aware, even sophisticated: knows that his last remark will not be expected – waits for its effect on JHB!
… … I'm really good at geography… …. and … hummm!… I'm really good at
[Maryanne Wolf (MW): yeah]
singing… …. I'm pretty good at lots of things actually.
[MW: Yes, I know that … that's what I hear] [Yeah! That's great …]
Appropriately varied; matched to content of remarks.
Arms on table; in conversational space with MW.
Looks up and to the side when thinking/formulating; focuses on MW appropriately when offering specific information.
Mildly anxious but very familiar with MW, whom he likes and who enjoys him. Elicits encouraging, soothing tone of voice from MW. Conversation moves smoothly between W and MW with appropriate cross-cutting of utterances.