Tag Archive: vocabulary

5 Great Sites for AAC Vocabulary Practice

November 26, 2012 by - 2 Comments

5 Great Sites for AAC Vocabulary Practice

We’re always happy to find sites that can be used to solidify new word learning. Once we completed a variety of activities for explicit instruction on new vocabulary, we start thinking about adding in some practice activities. Repetition with variety keeps the learners engaged and helps them cement their understanding of the target words. No more ‘learning to pass the quiz, then forgetting it all.’ With some extra effort, we can help our AAC friends hang onto the new knowledge that they’ve gained. Here are are some sites that you can use to create fun practice activities. Make acrostic poems with the target words Find related words with Word Hippo See how the target word relates to other concepts with Wordsift: Type the vocabulary word into the box to see a semantic web unfold. Explore a bunch of vocabulary games at Wordia Make a digital bulletin board around the new... [Read More...]

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Explicitly Speaking: Vocabulary Teaching in AAC

November 20, 2012 by - 1 Comment

Explicitly Speaking: Vocabulary Teaching in AAC

An essential part of the model we shared for AAC semantic intervention is Step 2, teaching the new words with explicit instruction activities. In our posts, explicit instruction refers to the process of designing and using carefully planned sequence of empirically-supported teaching activities. Though focused on reading, not vocabulary, development, this PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Anita Archer gives an excellent overview of the characteristics of explicit instruction. In our initial teaching of new words, we to be sure that the learners have frequent opportunities to respond: Active participation is critical at this point. We have to give the learner a lot of opportunities to say the word (e.g.,“resume”) and tell about it (e.g., “keep going,” “start again and not stop,” “verb”, etc.). We want to elicit a lot of responses so that we can monitor their performance. That allows us to provide feedback that is affirmative when the learners respond... [Read More...]

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Choosing a Focus for Vocabulary Instruction

November 19, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Choosing a Focus for Vocabulary Instruction

In writing our posts on vocabulary teaching, we came across a host of vocabulary materials, games, apps, activities, lesson plans, worksheets, and websites. Some were by SLPs, but the majority were by general education teachers, teachers of English as a second language, and special education teachers. No matter what the age, grade level, or instructional setting, they all shared the same focus: teaching the meaning of new words. At first glance, that makes sense. But learning the meaning of new words is just the beginning. There are other, equally important things to focus on in vocabulary instruction that go beyond learning the meaning of new vocabulary words. Beyond learning the meaning of brand new words (“I understand it when I hear it.”), we can help learners to: • Develop a deeper understanding of known words (“I understand different aspects of this word.” “I know many different ways to use this... [Read More...]

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Words Matter

November 18, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Words Matter

For anyone who doesn’t see how vocabulary instruction can possibly be a priority for kids who have intellectual disabilities or multiple disabilities, A short video with a gentle reminder… Words matter. For everyone.   Click image for video.

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Building Word Consciousness: Vocabulary Instruction in AAC

November 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Building Word Consciousness: Vocabulary Instruction in AAC

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. Plutarch Last week, Robin discussed some strategies and activities for teaching new words to individuals who are at the earlier stages of language learning. This week, we move ahead and address semantic instruction for individuals who regularly create sentences to express themselves. One of my favorite things about working with AAC learners at this level is the opportunity for having metalinguistic conversations. Getting them to think and talk about language can accelerate their learning. Here are some prAACtical thoughts on how this relates to semantics with a focus on building word consciousness. We’re all familiar with music appreciation and art appreciation. I always think of word consciousness as a sort of like word appreciation. It refers to an awareness that words are the building blocks of language and that they can be examined and manipulated... [Read More...]

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Vocabulary Learning Using Infographics

November 16, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Vocabulary Instruction Using INfographics

Infographics are a great way to explore vocabulary.  Learners can make choices, view and comment, and even create their own infographics about words and topics. Check out these great infographics that can be used for vocabulary instruction. The key though is to use language facilitation and vocabulary instructions strategies to facilitate learning.  5  Words Visualized for Fun Direct Vocabulary Instruction Vacation Trucks Firefighters Photosynthesis Accolade (downloadable poster) &  3 Tools to Create Your Own Vocabulary Infographics With Your Students

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Say THIS, NOT THAT to Reinforce Vocabulary Learning!

November 15, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Save This Not That to reinforce Vocabulary Learning

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 even 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.  🙂 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 NEW WAY of saying  take in, you used consumed’! ‘Awesome... [Read More...]

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How to Use Magnets to Promote Language Development

November 14, 2012 by - 3 Comments

How to Use Magnets to Promote Language Development

Want to help AAC learners accelerate their receptive vocabularies? Here’s one quick and easy step in the right direction: Talk to them. We’re not trying to be snarky here. The truth is that we speak less to people who are minimally verbal than we do to people who talk. In general, kids with AAC needs hear far less language than speaking children do. Fewer words heard means fewer opportunities to learn language. That’s a cycle worth breaking. When we’re around typically developing children, they’re always asking questions. “What’s in the bag, Mom?” “Why is she doing that?” “How come Billy gets to have one and I don’t?” “Where are we going?” “Are we there yet?” Kids ask lots of questions, particularly in the early years. Annoying? Sometimes. Valuable? Always. From a language learning perspective, those pesky questions serve a very useful purpose: they invite (or demand) a linguistic response. They... [Read More...]

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Vocabulary Activities: 5 Sites for Learning with Avatars

November 13, 2012 by - 1 Comment

Vocabulary Activities: 5 Sites for Learning with Avatars

We’re always looking for engaging activities to use to practice words that our AAC friends are learning. For some learners, making avatars can be a great way to do have an authentic reason to use words for body parts and accessories as well as modifiers for size, shape, color, and other things. Plus…Who wouldn’t want an excuse to make a younger, thinner, cuter, or funnier version of themselves?! Here are some sites to check out. Pop Art Pixies: Basic avatar site oriented for girls. Good for using core language, making requests, color & size words. DoppelMe: Easy to use site  for making cartoon-like avatars with several opportunities to choose elements, like clothes, hairstyles, and backgrounds. Use words for feelings to select facial expressions. WeeWorld: Another user-friendly site that can be a fun way to use descriptors in making selections to create, dress, and style your avatar. This site’s graphics would... [Read More...]

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What Makes a Good Vocabulary Teaching Activity? 4 Things to Look For

November 12, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

What Makes a Good Vocabulary Teaching Activity? 4 Things to Look For

This post is a follow-up to some others in which we introduced a general sequence of how we conceptualize semantic instruction and then went on to discuss the initial step in more detail. Today, we’ll be talking more about Step 2, Teaching the new word(s) with explicit instruction activities. There are so many creative ways to teach new word meanings, but for this step in the process we stick with those that meet a few basic criteria. Guidelines for Creating or Selecting Activities to Teach New Words Rich context: As we’ve said before, context reigns supreme. The cognitive, social, and linguistic cues that children use to learn new word meanings change over time, but at every stage they derive meaning from the surrounding context. Using contextual cues makes us more efficient learners and so it is something we want to encourage in our AAC learners. For a beginning communicator, a... [Read More...]

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