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Receptive and Expressive Language Disability. Lindsey Padlo Sarah Laurens. Definition of terms:.

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Receptive and Expressive Language Disability

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definition of terms
Definition of terms:
  • Language: a socially shared code or conventional system for representing concepts through the use of arbitrary symbols and rule-governed combinations of those symbols. (Shames, Wiig, & Secord, 1994)
  • Language disorder: impaired comprehension or use of spoken, written, or other symbol systems.
the disorder may involve
The disorder may involve:
  • The form of language (structure) [phonology, morphology, syntax]
  • The content of language (semantics) [meaning, vocabulary]
  • The function of language (pragmatics) [social communication, discourse]

--American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 1993

  • People with learning disabilities who can't use proper grammar are not very bright.
how common are language based learning disabilities
How Common Are Language-Based Learning Disabilities?
  • 15-20% of the population have a language-based learning disability. 
  • Of the students with specific learning disabilities receiving special education services, 70-80% have deficits in reading.
What are some of the characteristics of a student with a mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disability?

The student may have difficulty in some or all of the following areas:

  • Expressing ideas clearly, as if the words needed are on the tip of the tongue but won't come out. 
  • Learning new vocabulary that the child hears (e.g., taught in lectures/lessons) and/or sees (e.g., in books)
  • Understanding questions and following directions that are heard and/or read
  • Recalling numbers in sequence (e.g., telephone numbers and addresses)
  • Understanding and retaining the details of a story's plot or a classroom lecture
  • Reading and comprehending material 
characteristics continued
Characteristics (continued)
  • Learning words to songs and rhymes
  • Telling left from right, making it hard to read and write since both skills require this directionality
  • Letters and numbers
  • Learning the alphabet
  • Identifying the sounds that correspond to letters, making learning to read difficult
  • Mixing up the order of letters in words while writing
  • Mixing up the order of numbers that are a part of math calculations
  • Spelling
  • Memorizing the times tables
  • Telling time
how is a language based learning disability diagnosed
How is a language-based learning disability diagnosed? 
  • The Speech & Language Pathologist will evaluate spoken (speaking and listening) and written (reading and writing) language for children who have been identified by their teachers and parents as a candidate for having a language-based learning disability. 
  • Observe whether the child can read and understand information on handouts and in textbooks. 
  • Assess the student's ability to hear and "play with" sounds in words (phonological awareness skills).
  • Have the child put together syllables and sounds to make a word.
  • See if the child can break up a word into its syllables and/or sounds (e.g., "cat" has one syllable but three sounds c-a-t).
  • Assess the older child's phonological memory by having him or her repeat strings of words, numbers, letters, and sounds of increasing length.
what treatments are available for people with a language based learning disability
What treatments are available for people with a language-based learning disability ?
  • The goals of speech and language treatment for the child with a reading problem target the specific aspects of reading and writing that the student is missing.
  • Individualized programs always relate to the school work. Therefore, materials for treatment are taken from or are directly related to content from classes
  • Intervention with spoken language (speaking and listening) can also be designed to support the development of written language.
  • The SLP consults and collaborates with teachers to develop the use of strategies and techniques in the classroom.
importance of intervention
Importance of Intervention:
  • Children with oral language disabilities require direct intervention since the consequences have a major impact on their academic experience.
  • If a child has difficulty comprehending and utilizing the underlying structure of language, it affects their ability to accurately process or share information, whether listening, reading, or participating in discussion.
what teachers can do in the classroom
What teachers can do in the classroom:
  • Speak slowly and clearly at all times!

Some instructional strategies for students’ processing/production errors:

Instructor’s request: Use lunge in a sentence.

Student’s response: The students lunged around all day.

Provide some validation (that’s very close. I may not have said it clearly…)
  • Examine further: put the word into context and repeat the question
  • Introduce phonemic training: Put lunge & lounge on the board. Ask Where do these two words differ?‘u’ (short u) vs. ‘ou’ Present other similar sounding/appearing words : lunch / luge.
  • Clarify the miscue: What’s that room where the kids hang out ?
  • Use gestural cues (act out the words)
  • Use semantic cues (from context – sentences)
  • Present word families and word associations for meanings of each word.
  • Ask for synonyms and antonyms of each (where applicable)
receptive processing morphological errors
Receptive (processing) Morphological Errors :
  • Plural markers
  • Past-tense markers
  • Possessive markers
  • Prepositions denoting time : Is January before or after April?  Student replies after
  • Comparatives giving greater value to first noun in the sentence: Are rooms smaller or larger than buildings? (Student replies larger)
expressive morphological errors
Expressive Morphological Errors :

Student said:Meant to say:Type of error:

point him to the office appoint dropped prefix

containment container added incorrect derivational ending

unfilm develop attempted to work with negative prefix

I broken I broke confused present perfect/past tense

Doesn’t supposed to be isn’t… confused linking verbs

Mouses mice overgeneralized rule for plurals

I brang I brought overgeneralized an irregular verb form

skills are divided into 5 linguistic areas
Skills are divided into 5 linguistic areas:
  • phonology (speech sounds),
  • morphology (meaningful word parts),
  • syntax (sentence structure),
  • semantics (meaning, vocabulary), and
  • pragmatics (social communication, discourse).

--Elisabeth Wiig and Eleanor Semel (1984) Language Assessment & Intervention for the Learning Disabled, 2nd Edition. Pragmatics goals from Barbara Weinrich, et al. Pragmatics for Adolescents in the Classroom and Charlann Simon’s Evaluating Communicative Competence (1994).

curricular modifications
Curricular Modifications:
  • Modifying the curriculum to meet the needs of all learners is very important. Modifications will vary based on the students and the grade level. Curricular modifications that have been successful for a kindergarten student with receptive-expressive language disability and have been helpful to all the students include the following:
  • Repeating oral directions and having the student follow what the other students are doing.
  • When introducing a new word, we point it out in the text and have the student point to it and read it (focusing on only one new word at a time).
  • We noticed that the student was particularly good at memorizing what he saw visually, so while teaching the alphabet, we had him memorize the letters.
curricular modifications cont
Curricular Modifications (cont.)
  • We have our student point to the words as he is reading.
  • To assist him in phonological awareness, we play a sound game where he places a coin in a slot for every syllable/sound that he hears in the word, and we limit it to words with 2-3 syllables.
  • While learning the color words, we sent home flashcards for the student to practice memorizing the words. We also went over the words with him during reading groups. His strength is memorization, so he knows the words by memorizing them.
  • Repeating what the student says in a complete sentence, and having him repeat after us.
instructional materials
Instructional Materials :

Language Circle Enterprises: Project Read/Language Circle 800-450-0343

McCarthy, T. 1997. Teaching literary elements. NY : Scholastic Professional Books.

Bush, C. 1979. Language remediation and expansiion – 100 skill-building reference lists. Tucson, AZ : Communication Skill Builders.

Gajewski, Nancy, et al. 1989. Social skills strategies, books A & B. Tucson, AZ : Thinking Publications.

Johnston, Elizabeth, et al. 1984. A sourcebook of pragmatic activities. Tucson, AZ : Communication Skill Builders.

Kisner, Rita, et al. Warm-Up Exercises – Calisthenics for the brain, Books 1,2, 3. Eau Claire, WI : Thinking Publications.

Mayo, Patty, et al. Scripting : social communication for adolescents. 1986. Eau Claire, WI : Thinking Publications.

Zachman, L. et al. 1982. Manual of exercises for expressive reasoning. Moline, IL : Lingui Systems.

Wiig, E. and Semel, E. 1984. Language assessment & intervention for the learning disabled (2nd ed.). Columbus, OH : Merrill.

Wiig, E. and Secord, W. 1989. Test of Language Competence—Expanded. San Antonio : The Psychological Corporation.

 Cullinan, Bernice. 1993. Children’s voices : talk in the classroom. Newark, DE : Intl. Reading Association.

 Semel, E., Wiig, E., and Secord, W. 1995. Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals

 Palmer, Michelle O’Brian. 1997. Great Graphic Organizers to Use with Any Book ! NY : Scholastic, Inc.

additional internet resources for language based learning disabilities
Additional Internet Resources for Language-based Learning Disabilities:
  • Learning Disabilities Association
  • British Dyslexia Association
  • Dyslexia Research Institute
  • Dyslexia Awareness and Resource Center
  • International Dyslexia Organization