Discourse is essential for interaction and for the expression of ideas, feelings and opinions. Telling personal stories, such as talking about your day or recounting what happened in the playground, is essential for communication and establishing relationships. However, due to their language impairments, people with aphasia (PWA) and children with developmental language disorder (DLD) often have problems with everyday discourse which impact on their lives more widely. While improvement in language skills is supported by speech-language pathology (therapy), it tends to focus on smaller linguistic components, such as single words and sentences. This chapter outlines how speakers construct discourse in everyday situations and focuses on the meanings that people use discourse to convey, as well as the lexical and grammatical resources they use to convey these meanings. Current methods for discourse analysis will be outlined and key developments in narrative discourse production therapy will be reviewed.
Part of the book: Advances in Speech-language Pathology