Posted on

Aided Language Input, Part 3: Using Traditional Language Techniques

Aided Language Input and Traditional Language Facilitation Techniques

While aided language put is generally considering modeling of language in “real time,”  we can also consider using traditional language techniques as aided language modeling to augment receptive communication and communicative reciprocity.  The child’s job is to look and listen to the communicative partner.  The communicative partner’s job is to react to the child’s behaviors or communication attempt, assign a communicative meaning, and respond to the child using language from the CVES Core Vocabulary Foldout and/or Binder Inserts.   We should always keep in mind typical language development when we are modeling and can ask ourselves “What is the child’s current word level?” “What is a natural response to their current mean length of utterance?” “How can I add a a second/third/fourth word to extend their language?”

1.Parallel Talk: This is when you describe what the child is doing/experiencing during play (providing “self talk” for the child)

Example 3 word level: You have ball. Put ball in.

2. Self Talk: This is when you describe what you are doing during play.  This helps assign meaning between actions and words.

Example 3-4 word level: I am eating goldfish. Goldfish are good.

3. Expansion: Take what the child says and expand upon the words by adding appropriate grammatical markers

Example: If child says “Daddy home” communication partner expands this to 3 word level “Daddy is home!”

4. Build Up and Break Down:  When the child says a word or words, expand and reduce the child’s utterance

Example: Ball, Big ball, Big ball go, big ball go up, big ball go, big ball, ball.

When we are pairing our speech with symbols, we are providing receptive input using symbols to teach their meaning across various contexts and communicative functions.  This will maximize the chance that a child will use the model to facilitate their own utterance.   Ultimately we want these utterances to be spontaneous and novel (SNUG) with reciprocal exchanges on a topic area. 

Let’s look at some examples of how a communication partner can respond to a child’s communication exchanges by using icons on the CVES Core Vocabulary Foldout:

Should I Slow My Rate of Speech When Modeling?

With typically developing children, adults naturally produce fewer words per minute and take longer pauses between words and utterances than when speaking with adults (Sheng, McGregor, & Yu, 2005).  Reducing the rate of speech can modify input for children with auditory processing difficulties:

  • Reduce number of units that need to be processed per unit time
  • Provide stable auditory model for words
  • Encouraging increased clarity by the clinician

With CVES, rate of speech can be slowed down to a more natural rate when we take the time to remove icons from the Core Vocabulary Foldout and then present the icon or icons to the child.    The benefits of a slightly slower rate of speech (and less verbal prompting) can help both comprehension and production of new words for children with language impairments (Montgomery (2005), Weismer and Heskith (1993)). 

What About Prompting?

In part 4 of our series, we will look at different prompt hierarchies and how to use both with CVES!


Leave a Reply