Tag Archive: vocabulary

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 - 1 Comment

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

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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5 Ways to Use PowerPoint in AAC Intervention

April 30, 2013 by - 2 Comments

5 Ways to Use PowerPoint in AAC Intervention

We know that there are lots of PowerPoint haters out there, but we’re not among them. While we have certainly suffered through a presentation or two in which it was used poorly, we’ve also been inspired by those who use it well. It has lots of uses beyond teaching and presentation. Here are some ideas for using it to enhance your AAC intervention. 1. Personal Dictionary: Create a dictionary with slides for the new words the individual is learning. You can record the pronunciation of the word, provide the definitions, give examples, illustrate with images, and link to external sites. 2. Switch-accessible Books: These are fun to make and positively addictive once you get started! In the AAC Literacy Camp we did a few years ago, we made lots of little books like the one shown here and printed hard copies for the kids to take home. Reading online is... [Read More...]

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A Year of AAC Core Vocabulary, Unity Style

April 26, 2013 by - 6 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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5 Reasons for Using Pre-Stored Messages in AAC Systems

April 16, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Reasons for Using Pre-Stored Messages in AAC Systems

Although we are deeply invested in AAC systems that have a robust set of core language, that doesn’t mean we insist that our clients generate sentences word-by-word all the time. There are lots of good reasons for pre-storing longer messages. Here are some of them. Emergency messages: When we’re communicating about things like spasms, seizures, pain, medication, fear, and danger, time is of the essence. The quicker, the better. Examples: “My asthma is kicking up. Get my puffer, please.” “I’m having a back spasm. Take me out of my chair.” “I think my sugar is off. Can you do a finger prick to check my levels?” “I’m scared. Can you help me?” Partner instructions and communication transaction messages: Sometimes we communicate about communicating. In AAC, it’s not uncommon for someone to set the stage for how the interaction will proceed or provide their partner with specific directions. When communicating to... [Read More...]

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In the Treasure Bag: Using Sharing Time To Focus on Vocabulary

December 30, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Over the past few months, we’ve been advocating for a multi-stage process for vocabulary teaching that begins with focused (aided) language stimulation and explicit instruction. The approach we described then moves into engaging practice activities while we continue to provide exposure and opportunities for retrieval, with periodic comprehension checks. This cycle allows SLPs to make use of research-based strategies in their semantic intervention and get the best outcomes for their AAC learners. So, when we came across this video about how to use ‘Sharing Time’ to build vocabulary, we knew we wanted to share it. It describes a classroom activity that could also be adapted for therapy groups in which students take turns bringing in an time from home to share with the class. We love the visual support that helps the students know what to talk about. It is a great reminder that visual supports are part of good... [Read More...]

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