Tag Archive: vocabulary

PrAACtical Questions: “What Should I Program on the AAC Device?”

March 17, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Questions: “What Should I Program on the AAC Device?”

“My client has a new SGD and will begin bringing it to school. What words should I program on it?” We are so fortunate to be practicing at a time when the high tech SGDs and robust AAC apps come pre-loaded with lots of vocabulary. Still, when you sit down to prepare the device for an actual client, it can be hard to determine what needs to be there right away and what can wait. You’ll find lots of forms and checklists floating around, some for children and some for adults. There are lots of right ways to do this. In making these decisions, I typically run through a mental checklist of a few categories, thinking both about single words and longer messages. Single Words Core Vocabulary: In most cases, we’ve selected an AAC tool that has ample core words to choose from. Use what you know about normal language development... [Read More...]

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Vocabulary Instruction: When Definitions Don’t Work

March 9, 2015 by - 3 Comments

Vocabulary Instruction: When Definitions Don’t Work

Vocabulary instruction and definitions generally go hand-in-hand. We’re used to creating learner-friendly definitions for the new words we teach, then using those definitions to introduce the word with focused language stimulation. In some situations, though, working with definitions is not the way to go. Here are some examples. Limited receptive skills: When we’re working with learners whose receptive vocabularies are very small, it can be impossible to define a new vocabulary term using only words that the learner already understands. Simone is a beginning communicator who is just starting to get the hang of symbolic communication. On a good day, she can pick out symbols for things that she wants to do (like play and eat) without any help at all, but following single step directions, identifying symbols, and matching them is more of a challenge. Giving her a definition for our new words, (open and big), isn’t likely to... [Read More...]

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Strengthening the Core: Modeling January Words

January 6, 2015 by - 7 Comments

Strengthening the Core: Modeling January Words

Looking for some ways to help your AAC learners become more competent in using core words? Here’s an approach you may want to try: Keep it manageable by choosing only a dozen or two core words to focus on each month. In previous years, we shared lists of some core words to help you do just that. 2013: A Year of Core  (12 words/month) 2014: A(nother) Year of Core (16 words/month; Note: These are different than the core words covered in 2013) Those posts have links to downloadable grids with the core words for each month that can be used as a focal point for lesson planning. Rather than introducing new words at this point, let’s take some time to strengthen our core by modeling the words in everyday interactions. Here are some suggested phrases, sentences, and questions for each of the core words from our 2013 list. Click on the... [Read More...]

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Fun Friday: Successful Interactions

October 3, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Fun Friday: Successful Interactions

Friday is a great day to pause for a bit of fun. I had the opportunity to meet Janelle Sampson, of Two Way Street, this spring and learn a little bit about the work that she does. In this post, we share a video of one of her little friends using various modalities to communicate with his mother and brother. Enjoy this wonderfully prAACtical interaction! Big Words for Little Boys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWimeCvbIY    

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Wrapping Up at ISAAC 2014

July 24, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Wrapping Up at ISAAC 2014

Today we wrap up the ISAAC 2014 Biennial Conference, where people who use AAC and people who support them through research, teaching, and direct services came together for one purpose: sharing. Yesterday, I had the privilege of presenting a 2-hour session with Dr. Gloria Soto from San Francisco State University.  You can download our handout here or in the AAC e-Toolbox.      

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New Word Teaching: A Look Inside Some PrAACtical Therapy Sessions

November 23, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

New Word Teaching: A Look Inside Some PrAACtical Therapy Sessions

Since we’ve been talking about vocabulary instruction, we thought it might be fun to take a peek inside some therapy sessions where new words were being taught. In the examples below, we were teaching a core word and a Tier 2 vocabulary word over a few sessions. Here are some excerpts with their key intervention principles and practices. Target Words: do/did as an auxiliary (not main) verb Activities: Introduced a Visual Support (anchor chart): This explained the concept of ‘Helping Verbs,’ provided information on how they are used, listed them, and provided examples. These are effective tools for initial teaching, but are also invaluable for ongoing instruction. We use them extensively in language therapy, referring back to them often when we want to reinforce correct responses (look back at the visual together to further solidify the concept), help ‘fix’ incorrect responses (reteaching the pieces that didn’t stick), and facilitate self-correction... [Read More...]

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Throwback Thursday- Say This, Not That to Reinforce Vocabulary Learning

November 14, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Throwback Thursday: Say This, Not That for Vocabulary Learning

Vocabulary Reinforcement- Worth Repeating (originally published 11/15/12) Part of TEACHING vocabulary to AAC users (or any learner) involves reinforcement. Reinforcement is more than just facilitating positive self esteem. It is also about providing feedback that will help increase the skill you are trying to teach. It’s more than learning specific new words but also about strategies to attack learning  new words outside of the therapy or classroom environment. Below are some examples of ways to make the most of your reinforcement and some ways to NOT.  (click for some great written reinforcement examples).   SAY THIS… General Principles of Reinforcement for Vocabulary:   Be specific to the goal. Use words that explain the skill you want to occur more often.  Use excited positive vocal inflection, Be impressed! We are continuing with the example of teaching the word consumed from Carole’s post on Monday, What Makes A Good Vocabulary Teaching Activity. ‘Wow you discovered a... [Read More...]

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Strategy of the Month: Thoughts on Teaching Core Vocabulary

November 2, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Thoughts on Teaching Core Vocabulary

Teaching new words is something SLPs plan for in almost every service delivery setting. This month, we’ll focus on vocabulary instruction for core and extended vocabulary. Thoughts on Teaching Core Vocabulary In Advance Plan ahead. Make a rough plan of the core words you will teach and when you will introduce them to the AAC learner. Make sure there is plenty of variety, especially pronouns, verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and determiners. Words for talking about time (e.g., now, later), asking questions (e.g., what, where), and negation (e.g., not) are important, too. Here’s a link to our post on A Year of Core and A Year of Core, Unity Style. Ensure that the AAC learner has access to communication aids with an adequate base of core vocabulary. What if the learner doesn’t have an SGD or AAC app that is core language based? If you can update that to something with good core... [Read More...]

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AAC & Dinosaur Apps for Literacy and Language

September 11, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC & Dinosaur Apps for Literacy & Language

We have students of all ages who love dinosaurs. From young children to the teenager or adult we can use the theme of dinosaurs when teaching AAC, language and literacy.  You can do a theme of fun dinosaurs  all the way to paleontology and archeology. Dinosaurs as a theme can support goals for core & fringe vocabulary, narratives, reading, and writing. Many  students will do more and work harder if there is a high interest theme. Here are some apps for those dinosaur loving students. Dinosaurs Books BooksHow to Hide A Dinosaur– children, iPad,  fun book Dinoboy Adventures– children, iPad & iPhone +, interactive book where you can make choices to modify the story Tiny Time Machine- Dinosaurs– children, iPad & iPhone +,  a travel adventure mystery Oh Can You Say Di -NO -Saur Dr. Seuss Cat In the Hat– children, iPad & iphone + , fun book Dinosaur Book HD: iDinobook–... [Read More...]

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5 Questions about Aphasia & Communication Books

June 19, 2013 by - 2 Comments

5 Questions about Aphasia & Communication Books

Today, we welcome back Dr. Kristy Weissling who shared some detailed thoughts on using AAC to support people with aphasia in this earlier post. In this post, she gets us thinking about what might be behind a situation familiar to many SLPs: Under-utilization of the AAC support/ :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Five questions to ask yourself when the person with aphasia you are working with isn’t carrying their communication book. 1)    How easy is it to take with them where they go?  Is it convenient  to use? 2)    Does it contain messages they WANT to use? 3)    Do they know how to find a message in the book when the time to use the book arises? 4)    Have you practiced using the book with them? 5)    Do they have another way to communicate the information in the book that they prefer to use? There are certainly many other possible questions to ask …..... [Read More...]

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