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The Interaction Tool


“Do you need police, fire-brigade, or ambulance?”, this question opens the calls to the emergency number 112. This question resulted from research that Tom Koole did for the Dutch emergency call-centres. The formulation of this question assist the caller by inviting him to choose between the three options. This normative guidance is typical of the tool of social interaction that we use to talk with each other and to collaborate.

In the research area of Language and Social Interaction we study this tool because it interests us and because we want to improve communication processes such as emergency calls. We do research to improve communication between teachers and pupils. We collaborate with hospitals to investigate doctor-patient communication and communication between surgeons during operations. This lecture will tell you about the tool and the societal benefits of investigating it.


Prof Tom Koole Prof Tom Koole is professor of Language and Social Interaction in the programme of Communication and Information Studies. He did research on mathematics lessons, emergency calls and health communication. He collaborates with the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), and is an advisor to an educational publisher, a test-developing company and the Education Inspectorate.
Last modified:22 July 2019 10.41 a.m.
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