Tag Archive: vocabulary

Ideas about Vocabulary Instruction for the Beginning Communicator

November 10, 2012 by - 1 Comment

Ideas About Vocabulary Instruction for the Beginning Communicator

Vocabulary instruction is a topic not often discussed for beginning communicators.  As we work with beginning communicators the primary focus is often vocabulary selection for communication displays.  This is understandable as the beginning communicator has many needs, but that is no excuse for leaving out vocabulary instruction.  Direct vocabulary instruction helps expand broader vocabulary selection options, literacy skills, and world knowledge.  With that in mind, see below for vocabulary instruction philosophies, notes, and activities for the beginning communicator. Please let us know about your favorite vocabulary instruction activities. Vocabulary Instruction for the Beginning Communicator: 5 Philosophies Vocabulary instruction involves a systematic TEACHING process.  Add vocabulary as an activity on the daily schedule and then have a mini-schedule for the specific vocabulary instruction activities for that day. Carole introduced general steps for vocabulary instruction last week.  For the beginning communicator, also apply an errorless learning paradigm. Gradually, add comprehension checks, but... [Read More...]

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10 Things to Do in Using Focused Language Stimulation in AAC Vocabulary Teaching

November 8, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

10 Things to Do in Using Focused Language Stimulation in AAC Vocabulary Teaching

All this month we are talking about considerations in teaching new words to people who use AAC. We’ve talked about the role of focused aided language stimulation and wanted to follow that up with a few more ideas for implementing this strategy. Select the new (target) word to teach giving consideration to Tier 2 words that fit with their language or curriculum goals. Pronounce it. Provide a student-friendly definition Use aided language input: Model the word on the device if it is stored in there OR use the device to explain the new word in a student-friendly way. Find ways to use it throughout the day (and beyond). Hearing the word in various contexts is a great way to deepen the learner’s understanding. Have the AAC learners say it using their AAC (e.g., spelling it out on SGD) or natural speech. Segment it. (E.g., “One of our new words is... [Read More...]

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Tell Me About It: Focused Language Stimulation In AAC Vocabulary Teaching

November 7, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Tell Me About It: Focused Language Stimulation In AAC Vocabulary Teaching

Earlier this month, we introduced a general sequence of how we conceptualize semantic instruction. We promised to elaborate on that. There are two things that I really love about this approach to to vocabulary teaching. The first is that is honors a principle that we know to be true: providing repetition with variety not only helps us reach learners with different strengths, but also gives our AAC learners much-needed practice. The other thing that makes this really work for us is that assessment has an active role but not a central one. Testing takes a backseat to teaching. As we all know, getting accurate assessment information from people who are learning their AAC systems is a huge challenge. Often, our AAC friends don’t have decent test-taking skills so we’re not really testing what we think we’re testing. Just last week I got to see Kristofer, an adorable little fellow who... [Read More...]

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Avaz AAC App & Vocabulary Learning

November 5, 2012 by - 1 Comment

PrAACtical Thinking Avaz AAC App and Vocabulary Learning

We originally talked about Avaz, the first commercially available AAC app developed in India, back when we introduced PrAACtical AAC in January of 2012.  At that time, one of the primary developers, Ajit Narayanan, was recognized by the MIT Technology Review through the prestigious TR35 List, which applauds 35 innovators under 35 years of age. We were congratulating the team at Invention Labs and thinking that they would continue to improve communication for individuals with disabilities throughout 2012. They have succeeded.  The Avaz team has worked this year seeking feedback from AAC professionals throughout the world. They have listened and have made many updates to improve the communication and language options of the Avaz App. We thought this was a great time for some follow-up information because many of the modifications and added options relate to vocabulary, which just happens to be our strategy of the month. Pre-loaded vocabulary has... [Read More...]

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Vocabulary Instruction In AAC

November 3, 2012 by - 9 Comments

Vocabulary Instruction in AAC

For all of us, the process of how we learn to use words begins with the expression of our own intents. Initially, we use words, pictures, or signs to make our wants/needs known but that soon develops into social exchanges, true conversations, stories, and more. For some of our AAC friends, the path to a rich lexicon can be convoluted and bumpy. Our November Strategy of the Month posts will focus on vocabulary instruction giving both general principles that should guide our teaching and specific considerations for communicators at different levels. As SLPs, we should be champions for a comprehensive approach to semantic instruction in AAC. Much of what we already know for teaching semantics to people who speak can be applied quite nicely to individuals with AAC needs. Certainly some things will need to be adapted, but that’s not the real issue. We’ve noticed that SLPs sometimes forget to... [Read More...]

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Magic Moments with Sentence Builder

November 2, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Magic Moments with Sentence Builder

We were lucky enough to snag copies of Sentence Builder by AbiTalk when it was offered for free earlier this year and have had a great time with it. It comes with prepared lessons at two levels and the flexibility to create your own lessons. Here are some ideas for using the ready-made lessons to build language skills in AAC learners. Core Vocabulary: We’re always looking for ways to practice an initial lexicon of basic core words, like I, is, have, and can. These words appear with frequency in Sentence Builder, which makes it a great fit for learners working on that skill. Those of you using this app in a group may find that this offers a great opportunity for differentiating instruction in multi-level groups. Parts of Speech: In AAC therapy, we often focus on the part of speech since that it how many SGDs organize vocabulary. We like... [Read More...]

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5 PrAACtical Uses for Flashcard Apps

October 30, 2012 by - 2 Comments

5 PrAACtical Uses for Flashcard Apps

We love AAC intervention that begins and ends with a context that is meaningful to the learner. Not only is contextually relevant therapy more engaging and fun for the learner (thus, easier on the clinician!) but it promotes generalization to real-world contexts. So we’ve never been terribly fond of therapy that uses flash cards, or, more recently, the digital versions on iOS or Android devices. It’s a shame, really. There are a lot of those kinds of apps, and many of them have great graphics. That got us to starting thinking: What could we use them for that improves real communication and AAC learning? PrAACtical Uses for Flashcard Apps Make a Mini Schedule: Lots of people with AAC needs use paper-based picture schedules that depict the activities they do throughout the day. A flashcard app could be used in conjunction with those to show the steps or parts of an... [Read More...]

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How It Is: Images for Sensitive Subjects

September 17, 2012 by - 2 Comments

How It Is: Images for Sensitive Subjects

There are things no one likes to talk about. Serious things. Sensitive things. Nonetheless, everyone deserves the tools to be able to talk about whatever they want to share.  The How It Is Project, by the UK-based Triangle organization, offers a set of free pictures developed so that everyone has access to images they can use to talk about their feelings, their rights, personal safety, personal care, and sexuality. We love how they developed the vocabulary list and symbols on the site with the help of children and youth with and without disabilities. You can download the document with images here.

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