Tag Archive: core vocabulary

Core Samples

April 29, 2013 by - 13 Comments

Whether we’re working on a project, cooking with new ingredients, or doing something crafty, one of the things we find most helpful is examples. Seeing how other people have approached a situation can be informative and inspiring. Making communication displays for people who use AAC is no different. Most of us appreciate the opportunity to see what our colleagues have done. We provided a number of examples of communication boards and books that are rich in core language in some of our earlier posts. Here are some of them, just in case you missed those posts. Kate Ahern’s Core Vocabulary in 3 Symbol Types (and Core Word Learning Book) via SlideShare Core language board with 20 PCS and 12 PCS by Yvonne Green via SET-BC PCS communication book (core and fringe) from the AT4All Wiki/Barbara Cannon PCS communication book pages in Boardmaker and PDF format by Polk County Public Schools... [Read More...]

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More on Core Words…

April 27, 2013 by - 3 Comments

More on Core Words: 36

This month we have talked about core words and teaching strategies & considerations for facilitating USING core language. We have talked about aided language input,  creating frequent opportunities, making connections b/w symbols and their referents, and  motor planning/automaticity.  As April ‘goes out’,  we add graduated prompting/prompt hierarchies, and wait & signal/time delay prompts. The key to teaching AAC core word language is strategies…. Aided language input (ALI) is fairly simple to do but sometimes overlooked.  However, once it becomes habit, it is hard not to do even when you are ‘just’  talking about AAC displays. There are many clinical rationales or reasons why ALI is so important.  It provides a model of the language we expect from the child (or adult), and how would anyone speak a language if they never ‘heard’ it.   ALI also helps by  introducing new words and symbols in meaningful contexts. If we are speaking AAC throughout the day then... [Read More...]

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A Year of AAC Core Vocabulary, Unity Style

April 26, 2013 by - 5 Comments

A Year of AAC Core Words, Unity Style

One of the things we most appreciate about the AAC community is the generosity of spirit and sense of collaboration. When we first posted our Year of AAC Core Vocabulary, Gail Van Tatenhove, Russell Cross, and others in the Minspeak community generously shared it with professionals and families. More importantly, they adapted it with Minspeak symbols so that the resource could be more useful to people learning to communicate with that symbol system. We’re excited to be able to share the Year Of AAC Core adapted by Russell Cross. There are two versions: one for people learning 84-location Unity programs and another for people working with the 144-location version. There is one set of cards for each month with  about 12 core words each so that professionals can provide extra practice of a selected set of core words.  Many, many thanks to Gail and Russell for adapting our work and... [Read More...]

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More on Teaching Core Vocabulary

April 20, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

More on Teaching Core Vocabulary

Last week, we talked about two key strategies for teaching core language: using aided language input and creating frequent opportunities to teach and elicit core words. In today’s post, we’ll expand the number of words and discuss two additional considerations for teaching core words. Aided language input is always important in working with beginning users of AAC. It exposes them to their new means of communication, provides them with a competent model of their AAC system, and introduces them to words and symbols they don’t yet know within a meaningful context. It also forces us to slow down when talking, something that can be very beneficial when you consider that many beginning users of AAC also have difficulty processing oral language. (It may take them longer to decode what they’re hearing and they may have to concentrate more than the average kid.) If you’ve actually tried pointing to symbols as... [Read More...]

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Core Vocabulary: Making Sense of Symbols

April 12, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Core Vocabulary: Making Sense of Symbols

Take a look at these pictures and try to guess their meanings. Now do it again with these symbols.   One more time with the symbols below.   We’re not gamblers by nature, but if we had to bet we’d say that you had a pretty easy time guessing the first two rows (backpack, banana, bathroom; sleep, wash, eat) and struggled with the last row (know, she, was/were). That presents a bit of a problem, actually, because it’s that last hard-to-guess row that contains important core vocabulary. And these kinds of core words are the ones we need to use frequently during the day. Looks like we have a bit of a dilemma: The symbols that are least transparent are important ones to teach. We often hear SLPs say that they want concrete symbols for some of their clients with AAC needs. We can certainly make that happen for some... [Read More...]

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5 Things to Do If You’re Not Confident Teaching Core Vocabulary

April 8, 2013 by - 2 Comments

5 Things to Do If You’re Not Confident Teaching Core Vocabulary

New to teaching core vocabulary in AAC? On board with the concept? Know that it’s important but find it a little intimidating to teach? Welcome to the club! Actually, it’s quite a big club but you wouldn’t know it because lots of members are still closeted. That’s okay – no one here is going to ‘out’ you. But if you want to move forward in your AAC teaching journey, here are some things to try. Breathe and forgive yourself: It’s easy to feel like everyone else knows this but you. Not true. We tend to beat ourselves up for not being out ahead of the curve, but you know what? It’s not worth it. We’re all a work in progress, so let it go and just start where you are. As one of our favorite eminent scholars** has repeatedly said, “When you know better, you do better.” Get your own... [Read More...]

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Teaching Core Vocabulary

April 6, 2013 by - 21 Comments

Teaching Core Vocabulary

Among the many changes that the AAC field has experienced in the last decade is the notion that core vocabulary is (or should be) an integral part of any AAC system. We grew to understand the limitations of AAC supports that consist primarily of nouns and descriptors, realizing that those kinds of communication displays restricted our clients to requesting and labeling. Our field realized the inadequacy of providing only prestored messages (e.g., limited the client’s ability to communicate anything novel, not flexible enough to meet most communication needs, etc.). In essence, we realized that without core vocabulary, we were imposing a ceiling on language development. We’re thrilled to see so many communication boards, books, SGDs, and AAC apps reflect this knowledge. Having tools with the appropriate vocabulary is a big step in the right direction. But to really shatter the ceiling of language development, we have to be good at... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Encouraging AAC Implementation

January 17, 2013 by - 26 Comments

How I Do It: Encouraging AAC Implementation

Nothing makes us happier than hearing AAC success stories. It’s thrilling to hear of folks who are using AAC tools and strategies to communicate effectively. We love hearing how their language develops and the positive changes that makes in their lives. It also makes us curious as to what made ‘this’ story a success story. One of our goals for the new year was to give PrAACtical AAC followers a look into the experiences of professionals outside their own communities. Last week, we introduced AACtual Therapy, a series of guest posts by SLPs who are willing to give us a peek into their AAC therapy sessions. Today, we introduce How I Do It, a series in which we invite SLPs to share how they tackle common issues, tasks, or problems. We’re excited to launch the series with a post from Lauren Enders, a clinician who supports the AAC community beyond... [Read More...]

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Choices in Choicemaking

January 12, 2013 by - 3 Comments

Choices About Choicemaking

Choicemaking and requesting may be the most frequently targeted areas for beginning communicators who are starting out with their AAC systems. That makes sense for some learners because making choices is a very concrete focus for interaction and is loaded with motivational power. It seems pretty straightforward but, like anything else we do clinically, there are lots of decisions and choices to be made as we delve deeper into the process. How can we craft an AAC system that targets requesting for now, but also supports core language learning? For communicators who are at the earliest stages of making requests with AAC symbols, the strategy we discussed earlier this month or simple choice boards are a good starting point. But unless we quickly address where this is all going, the client will be strictly limited in their language learning. There are many ways to do this. Here is one approach.... [Read More...]

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A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

January 8, 2013 by - 10 Comments

A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

As clinicians, we frequently ask ourselves how we can help AAC learners become fluent with their core vocabulary words. A big part of the answer can be summed up in a word: Focus. The more we focus on those words, the more we can impact learning. There are lots of things competing for our attention, though, and sometimes we get distracted. Then it came to us: Visual supports work for SLP’s, too! When we saw another blogger post visual supports for sight word reading, we knew the idea had prAACtical application. So, we created 12 grids of core vocabulary words – one for each month of the year. Each grid has 12 cells labeled with core words. Plug in the AAC symbols that your client uses (e.g., PCS, SymbolStix, Unity, Pixons, etc), print, laminate, and keep them handy. Feel free to adapt the grids with other core words, if you... [Read More...]

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