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Understanding, Implementing and Communicating with Core Vocabulary

Understanding, Implementing and Communicating with Core Vocabulary

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Understanding, Implementing and Communicating with Core Vocabulary

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  1. Understanding, Implementing and Communicating with Core Vocabulary Materials compiled & adapted by Dori Anderson Kendra Bittner Allegheny Intermediate Unit Assistive Technology Coordinators August 2013

  2. Resources • This compilation of information was gathered from the work of multiple researchers and professionals from the fields of assistive technology and speech & language. • Please read the notes sectionof each slide as resources are listed as well as, in some cases, additional information about the slide content. Resources are also listed within the reference section at the end of the power point. • If you are going to use any portion of this power point, please include the notes section with the slides as well as reference slides to ensure that the information is properly cited.

  3. “The ‘art’ of building communicative competence has to do with the faith, the hope, the belief, and the commitment to the right of every individual to seek his or her full potential.” ~Janice Light, 1996

  4. Communication & Vocabulary Selection

  5. Why Do We Communicate? Reject what we don’t want Ask for what we do want Comment on what we see Tell stories Complain Ask questions Answer questions More…

  6. Goals of Communication Supports • To meet the student’s basic needs • To teach the power of communication • To provide the student with access to the curriculum • To provide the student with life-long language

  7. Communication?

  8. Students in need of communication supports are often provided with insufficient vocabulary

  9. Limitations of Activity Based Displays • The opportunity to speak ends with the activity due to limited vocabulary • More activities where I can “say things” (label) is not the same as “I want to talk about/describe the things” (communication) • Activities change • Communication partners change

  10. Why is vocabulary sometimes insufficient? • Task is given to staff who have limited experience with language and vocabulary selection • Communication displays are activity based and comprised of noun or label based vocabulary • Creation of activity based displays for each activity is time consuming by constant customizing & programming • Lack of language organization

  11. First Steps: Vocabulary Selection • Plan for immediate needs • Plan for recurring activities • Provide novel events • Consider use of accessible vocabulary across activities and environments

  12. First Steps: Think again about… Why Do We Communicate? Reject what we don’t want Ask for what we do want Comment on what we see Tell stories Complain Ask questions Answer questions More…

  13. So--What is Core Vocabulary? • Small number of words • Planned set of high frequency, re-usable, and generativevocabulary • Applicable to all environments and all topics • Include a variety of parts of speech

  14. What is Core Vocabulary? • Research shows that 80% of what we say is communicated with only the 200 most basic words in our language • Tends to be pronouns, verbs, and demonstratives because they represent words that don’t change • Core words are widely used in writing textbooks and training manuals in order to be readable by a broader audience

  15. So--What is Fringe Vocabulary? In contrast to Core Vocabulary, Fringe vocabulary is: • Very large number of words • Low frequency of use • Applicable to limited environments and topics • Includes mostly proper names and other nouns

  16. The most frequently occurring words (core words) = 80% of the actual words spoken.

  17. Example: Core vs. Fringe 1st person: “What would you like to do?” 2nd person: “I don’t know.” 1st person: “Why don’t you come over and we can watch a movie.” Total number of words = 22 Total number of core words = 21 Total number of fringe words = 1(movie)

  18. Core Vocabulary is the Same Across Environments “Everyday speech is made up of core vocabulary and grammatical morphemes yet these are not the focus of vocabulary development in augmentative communication. Instead we focus on the "power words" in each environment. We think of fringe vocabulary as powerful words because simply by mentioning one, it is possible for a conversational partner to fill in the blanks. However, when we allow the conversational partner to fill in the blanks, what we are doing is allow him or her to guide the conversation, direct its contents, and many other things typically developed speakers would never allow.” ~ Bruce Baker

  19. Next with Core:Vocabulary Selection • Use a combination of core and fringe • Keep in mind that core vocabulary contains all parts of speech which serves as a great medium for teaching language • Don’t overload on the fringe words because the lack of the core words limits the user’s creation of spontaneous utterances which leads the communication partner to “fill in the blanks” and guide the conversation

  20. Next with Core:Vocabulary Selection • Vocabulary lists are a “starting point” based on AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication)vocabulary research and clinical practice • There are many lists that provide an array of words across development • Choosing words that span many environments and meet many functions of language include the use of core words

  21. Core Vocabulary Lists • Clinical Application of Core Vocabulary • Toddlers’ Vocabulary - Arranged by Frequency • Natural Language Board-300+ Words

  22. Natural Language Board-300+ Words

  23. Core Vocabulary Lists • Comparison of Core Vocabulary Hybrid List to Dolch List • Core Word Comparison for Language Building with AAC

  24. Communication & Language:Vocabulary Selection • AAC users and/or students in need of communication supports hear core words daily • Teachers use the core words and may not realize it as they know them as: • Dolch words • Sight words • Word wall words • Make learning these words fun as well as functional by helping to build the user’s power and control to become an independent communicator

  25. Communication & Language:Vocabulary Selection • Use typical language development as a guide in building phrases and sentences with core words to create novel, spontaneous utterances • In order for all students – AAC users, students in need of communication supports, and typically developing – to reach their potential with language proficiency, provide the same language learning opportunities

  26. Select Vocabulary Based on…

  27. Normal Language Development • Words used to express a full range of these pragmatic functions or “reasons to talk” • “Early” words that children use: “My vs. Mine” • Word endings or morphological markers: “+ing”, “+s”

  28. Core Vocabulary & Language Development • Normal language development is the foundation of building generative language with students who are AAC users and/or are in need of communication supports for: • Pragmatics - The reasons for communicating • Discourse - Conversations • Semantics - Meanings of words • Morphology - Building words • Syntax - Building sentences

  29. Frequency of Use • Better investment in “real estate” on AAC system • Keep the words in a centralized location and order • This makes modeling the language more natural when you use words repeatedly • Generic and understandable based on context of situation “Let me do it” vs. “Let me stir the brownie mix” • “Binder” words that hold together the substantive words “some of that”, “do for me”, “go with you”

  30. Frequency of Use • Children use words that they hear repeatedly • Opportunities to play with language allows children to learn how words go together to make novel messages • “By learning which words can precipitate action, children begin to understand and group like words together.” (Shah, 2008)

  31. “Descriptive Talking” Needs • Descriptive talking uses core vocabulary to stand for the referents or objects used in the activity, e.g. Activity: flower, vase, stem Core: this, that, it • Core Vocabulary emphasizes multiple language forms and provides a means to generative vocabulary • Usually means there are more adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, generic nouns and verbs

  32. Organizing Core Vocabulary

  33. Organizing Core: Layout • A robust core vocabulary will NEVER fit on a single overlay or display on a device •Core vocabulary is always organized into grammatical and/or semantic groups (verbs, adjectives, nouns –food –fruits) •Users need to be given the BIG PICTURE for how words are organized in their systems

  34. Organizing Core: Layout • Keeping the organization of vocabulary static helps to make the modeling of language more natural as you use the words repeatedly • AAC users learn to retrieve words via motor planning along with understanding the architecture of an AAC system (or communication support)

  35. Organizing Core:Color Coding Fitzgerald Key: Goossens’, Crain, Elder People-Yellow Verbs-Green Descriptions-Blue Nouns-Orange Social-Pink Misc.-White Places-Purple Verbs-Pink Descriptors-Blue Prepositions-Green Nouns-Yellow Misc.-Orange

  36. Why use color coding? • Color-coding black and white line drawings (e.g., Mayer Johnson picture communication symbols) allows the user and facilitator to locate symbols more easily. • If color-coding is organized according to grammatical categories, the user has an added feature to assist in learning how to sequence symbols, and in turn, to support the development of sentence-building or syntax skills. • Because shape is a salient clue, color-code the background, not the figure, so that the shape of the symbol will be more visible to the student. (AAC Intervention, 2004)

  37. …and what about the symbol system? Consider the following: • Visual abilities of the user* • Number and range of symbols within the system • Access to grammatical elements and abstract words • Symbols/system already known by the user

  38. Choosing a Symbol System Consider if the user is able to: • Determine the function of objects • Match objects to their pictures • Understand and utilize more iconic symbol representations—language and words Therefore, need to consider: • Literacy status • Degree of communicative or interactive behavior • Understanding of symbol/concept relationship

  39. Choosing a Symbol System Consider: • Will the initial symbol system change as the student demonstrates more complex symbolic abilities? • Will the symbol system effectively promote the student’s skills and abilities to combine symbols for unique messages? • What is the most appropriate size for the symbols? • How many symbols can be displayed at once? • How many symbols will be introduced at first? • Can the student access multiple categories of symbols?

  40. Implementing Core Vocabulary Strategies

  41. Implementing Core Vocabulary • Interestis the most powerful tool when fostering meaningful communication. Students need context for communication to spark interest and message selection process Having something to say- interest Having words to talk about it – core vocabulary

  42. Implementing Core Vocabulary:The Baker* Equation • “If the motivation to communicate a message is greaterthan the physical effort, cognitive effort, and time required to produce it, then communication will occur. If not, no message will be generated.”~Bruce Baker • Motivation: How much the individual wants to communicate messages with available words to do so • Physical: Amount of effort required to produce the message • Cognitive effort: remembering where a message is located or how it is coded • Time: How long it takes to produce the message

  43. Implementation Strategies • Make communication opportunities throughout the day and across activities • Model communication strategies—”Aided Language Stimulation” • Scaffold and Prompt • Incorporate “Wait time” during interactions

  44. Implementation Strategies • Use Visual Supports • Develop IEP Goals for which core vocabulary can assist achievement • Utilize core words within daily lessons to support language development

  45. Implementation Strategies:Aided Language Stimulation • Aided language stimulation (ALS) is a communication strategy, where a communication partner teaches symbol meaning and models language by combining his or her own verbal input with selection of vocabulary on the communication system • This is done by simultaneously selecting vocabulary on the AAC system and speaking.

  46. Aided Language Stimulation • Assumes that all children learn language the same way through natural interaction in a language immersion environment • Assumes that communication systems will have enough generative language to be able to say what you want to say, when you want to say it • Language is modeled in natural contexts—ALL THE TIME • Language is NOT an activity • Language is NOT just performing a script

  47. Aided Language Stimulation • Model pointing to symbols according to the individual’s pace. Provide enough time for the user to understand the word, word order and sentence structure Modeling: • is more than “this symbol means this” • shows how symbols can be used to say real things in real situations • provides ideas of what to say • uses a variety of parts of speech

  48. Implementation Strategies:Communication Prompt Hierarchy • STATE: Make a very general statement about the situation • “I have a big bag of stuff. You don’t know WHAT it is” (model WHAT on communication system) Keep eye contact & wait up to 10 secs • SUGGEST: Be a little more direct, but still general • “You can ask me WHAT I have (again model WHAT) Watch & wait • SAY: Tell the person specifically what to say • “Say the word WHAT to find out WHAT I brought” (again model WHAT) Watch & wait • ASSIST: Physically assist the person • “Let me help you say WHAT so you can see WHAT is in the bag”

  49. Implementation Strategies • Understand the communication requirements of everyday activities • Examine various social contexts in which interaction might occur: • Structure of social interactions • How interactions are initiated, maintained, terminated; and what vocabulary is needed to do this • What communication functions are used within interactions and what vocabulary is needed to meet those functions (beyond requesting)

  50. Implementation Strategies • Use static, core displays to stop “endless” programming • Target the first 50 words with the thought that the AAC system should grow keeping with normal language development principles • Begin with similar displays within a classroom and shift to personal, customized core displays • Bring core vocabulary into activity-based instruction by teaching the student by “doing” the activity, not through direct instruction on a specific skill