Language Therapy




Welcome to the language therapy page.


This site page provides links to a series of web pages that feature a range of language intervention techniques that you can use in your school or at home with school-age students.


The names and details of all students have been changed for confidentiality reasons. The therapy details are compiled from notes from dozens of therapy sessions with many different children, that I've completed over the years. But the techniques and strategies on the linked pages are authentic and realistic depictions of real life, school-based language intervention, which I undertake on a daily basis.


Many of you reading this page may have already visited the free language activities page, and may have already downloaded some of the adobe files - in the form of graphic organizers - that can be found there.


Well, the language intervention pages demonstrate, in some detail, how I actually use the graphic organizers. The information is presented in the form of a typical therapy session, with all the myriad twists and turns that can occur when working with children.

The graphic organizers I created are used to support my work in text based intervention, and I find them highly useful and important tools.





Text-Based Language Intervention


Just to recap, text-based language intervention uses fiction and non-fiction children's books as a basis for therapy. The books provide an excellent context for students to learn new words and difficult language concepts.


If you haven't yet read the information about shared reading as a language teaching tool I recommend you leave this page, access the information there, and then return here.


Much of the language intervention I do is based on CRS,(communicative reading strategies) developed in the early 1990's by Janet Norris.


CRS has been shown to significantly improve language disordered students' oral and written language abilities. (Badon, 1993; DeKemel, 2003; Ezell, 1995;)


Janet Norris' early work has been adapted, used and expanded by several prominent school-based speech pathologist/researchers since then, such as Geraldine Wallach, Teresa Ukrainetz, Carol Westby and Kathryn DeKemel, among others.




Authentic, Real Life Conversations


Each page features me (the clinician) engaging with a student. The conversational exchanges are authentic in that they have been compiled from audio recordings and notes I've taken over the years.


In a real life language intervention session not everything goes to plan, and I have to sometimes think quickly to avoid going down a conversational dead end.


Often, students with language impairment give single word responses or just sit, say nothing, and appear confused. I often have to paraphrase and reword instructions to suit the individual child. The transcripts, I think, accurately reflect some of that real life difficulty.





Graphic Organizers


I have shaped and modified much of what I have learned from reading the above authors' material, and fashioned graphic organizers to help students better understand written language, and how it is constructed.


Please scroll down to access the links to the language therapy pages.






Language Therapy Pages


Ages 5-7


Phonological Awareness: Identifying and producing rhyme.





Ages 8-10


Semantics Intervention: Word and World Knowledge.

Syntax: The sentence and its structural importance to reading comprehension.


Story Grammar Narrative activities that provide meaning and structure to text.


Inference: To fully grasp the deeper meaning of written text, readers must use inference.




Ages 11-14


Figurative Language: Identifying simile and metaphor in text.


Non-Fiction Text: Identifying text structures in science and social studies.


References

Collins Essential Dictionary and Thesaurus (2007) Harper Collin Publishers

DeKemel, K.P. (2003) Intervention in Language Arts: A Practical Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Kaderavek, J & Justice, L.M. (2002) Shared Storybook Reading as an Intervention Context: Practices and Potential Pitfalls. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Vol 11. 395-406.

Norris, J.A. (1991) From Frog to Prince: Using Written Language as a Context for Language Learning, Topics in Language Disorders. Vol 12, 66-81

Wallach, G.P. (2008) Language Intervention for School-Age Students: Setting Goals for Academic Success. Mosby Elsevier

Wagner, R.K. Muse, A.E. & Tannenbaum, K.R. (2007) Vocabulary Acquisition: Implications for Reading Comprehension. The Guilford Press

Content Last Modified 8/11

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