Tag Archive: vocabulary

Word Count: Looking at AAC Language Samples

April 22, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts

Word Count: Looking at AAC Language Samples

Have you worked with students like these? 19-year-old Jaclyn has used a number of SGDs over the years with a moderate degree of success. Her language is very predictable and the team is concerned that Jaclyn’s progress has stalled. Judging by his progress on IEP goals, 9-year-old Mason has made wonderful strides in learning to use his AAC app. Of the hundreds of words that are available to him, Mason has only ever used about 50 and uses far fewer than that in day-to-day life. Sloan is fairly proficient with her AAC device and can easily answer questions, relay information, and share her thoughts and ideas. Her language is much less sophisticated than her middle school peers, though. While they often integrate some of the academic vocabulary words that they learn in science, language arts, math, and other classes into their conversation and writing, Sloan tends to stick to the... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: AAC (Re)Boot Camp-It’s Not About the Technology

March 20, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC (Re)Boot Camp

Our video for today helps us think about some of the linguistic underpinnings of AAC systems. Hosted by Liberator Australia, AAC (Re)Boot Camp: It’s Not About the Technology, is presented by Russell Cross, who always seems to find a way clear and engaging way to discuss complex language concepts as they relate to AAC.   Many thanks to Russell and Liberator Australia for making this presentation available. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKTP9w69zXs

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Using Metaphors to Support Vocabulary Teaching

March 20, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

Using Metaphors to Support Vocabulary Teaching

One of the really fun things about writing posts about vocabulary is that it gives us a great excuse to browse some teacher and SLP blogs. Sometimes their creativity blows me away, not to mention how incredibly engaging and cute they are! I especially love the creative themes that they use to go way beyond the ‘Vivid Verbs’ concept. Metaphors and visual imagery are both research-backed strategies for retaining new information. That’s important, especially as we move beyond core vocabulary and expose our AAC learners to a richer lexicon. Both can be used in a variety of games and activities and go a long way toward build engagement about new word learning. In the hands of an enthusiastic instructor, a metaphor can be developed into a theme that boosts the ‘fun factor,’ which is important when we’re trying to build the buzz around new word learning.  Here are some of... [Read More...]

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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

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

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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