PrAACtical Thinking 10 Things to Do in Using Focused Language Stimulation in AAC Vocabulary Teaching

Published on November 8th, 2012 | by Carole Zangari

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10 Things to Do in Using Focused Language Stimulation in AAC Vocabulary Teaching

All this month we are talking about considerations in teaching new words to people who use AAC. We’ve talked about the role of focused aided language stimulation and wanted to follow that up with a few more ideas for implementing this strategy.

  1. Select the new (target) word to teach giving consideration to Tier 2 words that fit with their language or curriculum goals.
  2. Pronounce it.
  3. Provide a student-friendly definition
  4. Use aided language input: Model the word on the device if it is stored in there OR use the device to explain the new word in a student-friendly way.
  5. Find ways to use it throughout the day (and beyond). Hearing the word in various contexts is a great way to deepen the learner’s understanding.
  6. Have the AAC learners say it using their AAC (e.g., spelling it out on SGD) or natural speech.
  7. Segment it. (E.g., “One of our new words is productive. It is an adjective or describing word. I’ll help you spell it so you can say the word with me… Productive. Good, I’ll say it for you by syllables: pro ‘duc tive. Now let’s say it together: productive. Excellent!”)
  8. Encourage the AAC learners to say it to themselves so that they develop an ‘inner voice.’
  9. Provide synonyms.
  10. Relate it to the learner’s personal experiences (e.g., “You read a whole page already. It’s been a productive morning for you. You got a lot done!”)

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About the Author

Carole Zangari

Carole Zangari has been involved in the practice and teaching of AAC for over 20 years. She is a professor of speech-language pathology and has been fortunate to have been able to introduce many children and adults to the world of AAC. "Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Theodore Roosevelt

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