Valle Flores Lucas and Pastora Martínez Castilla, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; David Escudero Mancebo, Valentín Cardeñoso and César González, University of Valladolid.
The project’s main objective is to develop an educational intervention tool – a video game – focused on the relations between prosody (intonation, fluidity, etc.) and pragmatics (understanding of real communicative situations) which improves the communicative skills of Down Syndrome sufferers. The research to be undertaken, of an applied nature, will involve developing a graphic adventure (a sub-set of adventure games) allowing students with functional diversity to inadvertently attain certain learning objectives related to their communicative skills. This represents an innovative use of information technology to deal with issues in the humanities domain, in this case the application of linguistic contents in special education.
We start from the conviction that mastery of prosody will help students with functional diversity to interact better with their interlocutors, thereby furthering their social integration. We believe that the acquisition of good prosodic patterns (basically mastery of stress, intonation and fluidity) relative to the diverse systems of grammatical, sociolinguistic, discursive and strategic knowledge is essential for the development of intra and interpersonal skills.
Briefly, prosodic forms and functions perform a dual role in speech:
- Organizing and structuring the information conveyed to interlocutors, and
- Applying intonations and stress patterns to the sound chain in order to transmit the desired meaning (from differentiating between a question and a statement to emotional nuances).
The proposed intervention using a video game should enable the target collective to improve its elocution, making for more natural, fluid communication.