3 Things to Consider in Implementing Core Vocabulary
- The power of core vocabulary is only realized when AAC is being utilized throughout the day. A key benefit of having core words on an AAC system is that they apply to any situation, in any location, with any communication partners. But unless we’re actually teaching and using the AAC under those conditions, we haven’t really tapped into the power that they offer. It would be like upgrading to a powerful ‘gamer’ laptop, then just using it to check email. Core vocabulary is a powerful concept, but it only becomes a powerful tool when it gets used throughout the day by anyone who speaks to the learner. It may take some time to get there, but it’s critical that we keep striving for this. Otherwise, we’re checking email on a super-charged computer.
- While powerful, core words can’t do everything. AAC learners also need words that reflect their own lives and interests, such as characters from their favorite TV shows or names of beloved toys. We all use highly specific words to get our points across (e.g., “Venti decaf, please.” “Let’s watch Game of Thrones.” “Elaine is in the hospital.”). These words aren’t used as often as core words, but that doesn’t make them less important. A fully functional AAC system also has prestored messages and specific vocabulary.
- They have to be modeled frequently, using the AAC tools that the communicator is learning. Core words tend to be abstract, at least compared to object nouns, and that makes them more challenging to learn. AAC learners aren’t going to look at a graphic symbol for it and immediately know the meaning. That means we have to use good intervention strategies to teach these words. The foundation for that instruction is putting the learner in an environment where these words are being used and modeled with AAC.
Filed under: PrAACtical Thinking
Tagged With: implementation ideas
This post was written by Carole Zangari