Understanding and Accommodating Language Difficulties

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					Understanding and Supporting
    Language Difficulties
             Beverley Sher
             Speech and Language
             B.A. (Sp&H), C.P.S.P., A.T.C.L,
Incidence and Funding

   Incidence of language impairments and
    specific learning difficulties 10 – 15% of
    student population
   Funding in Victoria: 0.01% of the population
    is eligible for funding under the category of
    Severe Language Disorder
To keep the student’s head above
water whilst preserving their self-
Communication Disorders

   Include Speech, Hearing and/or language
   One in seven Australians have a
    communication difficulty
Aims of intervention

   To integrate communication goals with
    academic and social goals
   To help create a more successful and
    satisfying educational experience
   To facilitate improved peer relationships
   To help achieve pride and self esteem in the
Speech Disorders

   Speech Disorders include:
-   Articulation and phonological disorders
-   Fluency (e.g. stuttering)
-   Voice (pitch, loudness, quality – e.g. hoarse,
    breathy nasal)
-   Verbal dyspraxia
Bloom and Lahey’s Taxonomy of

   Form: Ordering of language:
    Syntax, morphology and
   Content: Semantic
    components (meanings –
    vocabulary and word
   Use: Pragmatics (social
    language in different
Receptive and expressive language
Glossary – Language – 1

   Receptive language: This refers to a child’s
    understanding of language. It includes the
    comprehension of meaning on different levels as
    well as understanding of language structures.
   Expressive Language: This refers to a child’s use of
    vocabulary and sentence structures, in a meaningful
    manner, when expressing himself. The ability to
    express thoughts, ideas and feelings.
              American Speech and Hearing Association
              Terminology of Communication Disorders (Nicolosi, Harryman,
                Kresheck 1989)
Glossary – Language - 2
   Auditory Processing Disorders: The impaired ability to attend,
    discriminate, recognize or comprehend auditory information,
    despite normal hearing. Include difficulty with STAM (short-tem
    auditory memory) and figure-ground discrimination.
   Phonological Awareness: The ability to reflect on and
    manipulate the sound components of spoken words (Snowling,
    2001). Includes skills such as syllabification, rhyme
    identification and production, identifying beginning, middle and
    end sounds, manipulating sounds to form new words, reading
    and spelling of ‘nonsense’ words. Awareness of sounds in
    words/the ability to play with sounds.
                 American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA)www.asha.org
                 Terminology of Communication Disorders (Nicolosi, Harryman,
                   Kresheck 1989)
Glossary – Language - 3

   Pragmatics: The social usage of language. Includes greeting,
    initiating conversation, keeping a conversation going, turn-
    taking, giving and accepting compliments, dealing with conflict
    situations, changing your language according to whom you are
    speaking to.
   Non-verbal communication: Involves the use of alternate and/or
    augmentative communication systems (AAC). E.g. PECS
    (Picture Exchange Communication System), Signing, Computer
    devices. Contact ComTec.
                 American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA)www.asha.org
                 Terminology of Communication Disorders (Nicolosi, Harryman,
                   Kresheck 1989)
Language Disorders include:

-   Receptive language difficulties
-   Expressive language difficulties
-   Difficulties with both expressive and receptive difficulties
-   Pragmatic difficulties
-   Difficulties with oral and/or written language
-   Difficulties with reading and spelling (as spoken language
    provides the foundation for reading and writing)
-   Difficulties with metalinguistics (thinking and talking about the
    actual structure of language e.g. sounds, words, sentences
Causes of language difficulties:

   Huge range of individuals affected
   Causes may be more obvious e.g. hearing loss,
    syndrome, intellectual disability, head injury.
   Others may not have a direct or obvious cause e.g.
    specific language disorder
   “ What causes language disorders? There are really
    two answers to this question: “a lot of things” and
    “we don’t know”. (Paul, 2001)
The population:

   Mental Retardation (including common
    syndromes e.g. Down’s Syndrome, Fragile X)
   Sensory deficits (Hearing loss, blindness,
    deaf and blind)
   Environmental components (maternal
    substance abuse, alcohol-related disorders,
    HIV, neglect, physical/sexual/emotional
Population (cont)

   Psychiatric disorders (Behavioural-Socioemotional
    Disorders, Conduct and Oppositional disorders,
    ADD, Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, anxiety
    and affective disorders, selective mutism, Pervasive
    Developmental Disorders and Autism
   Acquired disorders (Brain damage e.g. tumour,
    Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury)
   Culturally and linguistically different children
   Specific Language Disorders
Specific Language Disorders

   Defined by exclusion of :
-   Mental retardation
-   Sensory Disorder
-   Neurological damage
-   Emotional problems
-   Environmental deprivation
-   Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Language difficulties and the brain

   No structural differences
   Learning language requires the brain to process the
    many rapidly changing sounds that make up
    individual words and the strings of words that form
   These students may have brains that process
    language in a different way, as they have difficulties
    in processing signals rapidly and proficiently,
    resulting in negative effects on both oral and written
Some common difficulties experienced
by children with language difficulties:1

   N.B. There are a variety of teacher checklists available e.g. Oz
    Child, Celf-4.
   Generally perform at poor or insufficient academic difficulties
   Struggle with reading, expression and understanding of
   Understanding basic concepts including time words (before,
    after, during), location (next to, between), attributes (long, thin)
   Following instructions
   Difficulty with auditory memory
   Behaviourally, inattentive, distractible, short attention span,
    impulsive, disruptive. May tend to draw little attention to
    themselves and go unnoticed.
Some common difficulties of children
with language difficulties:2

   Difficulty sounding out words for reading and spelling
   Limited expressive and receptive vocabulary
   Word-finding difficulties (searching for the correct word)
   Grammatical errors (e.g. incorrect verb tenses)
   Sentences are incomplete and/or disorganised (syntax)
   Lack of specific detail i.e. empty speech
   Lack of participation in class discussions
   Difficulty with non-literal meanings (e.g. jokes)
   Reading and/or listening comprehension difficulties including
    recall of details, sequence, extracting the main idea, prediction,
    inference (i.e. reading between the lines)
Common difficulties - 3
   Limited usage of sentence structure, meaning and pictures as
    cues to assist with reading.
   Limited ideas in oral and written work
   Difficulty with telling a coherent story (e.g. may leave out details
    such as who the story is about, may assume the listener knows
    more information than is included, poor time sequence, short
   Unable to get to the point
   Difficulties with figurative language (e.g. similes, metaphors,
    idioms and sarcasm
   Needs extra time to process the questions and extra time to
    formulate a response
Common difficulties - 4

   Difficulty using social language e.g. turn-taking, initiating
    conversation, staying on topic, ‘reading’ a social situation i.e.
    they may misunderstand social cues
   Poor organisational skills
   Inability to think laterally, reason or consider a topic from
    different angles
   Confusion between letter names and sounds, breaking words
    into syllables and individual sounds, difficulty with rhyme
   Confusion of what has been read due to an inability to integrate
    understanding of parts into a whole
Common difficulties - 5

   Egocentric knowledge (i.e. only use own
    experiences) limits ability to predict and infer
   Difficulty with problem-solving
   Lack of self-monitoring
   Possible school avoidance
   Difficulties with tests
Specific areas of difficulty:
(Charlotte Forwood – ISV)

   Vocabulary
   Word relationships
   Word finding
   Grammar
   Sequencing
   Organisation
   High level comprehension
   Auditory Processing
   Short term auditory memory
   Processing Speed
Emotional effects

   Failure
   Frustration
   Reduced self-esteem
   Panic/anxiety

   Goals: To keep the student’s head above
    water whilst preserving their self-esteem
Adolescent Language…
“Teenage Language”

   Reading between the lines
   Figurative language
   Humour and slang
   How to talk to whom
   Need more sophisticated forms of oral and
    written language
Problems areas in adolescents with
language-learning difficulties - 1

  Vocabulary
(e.g. language of learning – different subjects have
   different terminology)
(e.g. language of tests and assignments e.g. analyze,
   compare, list)
(e.g. confuse words with more than one meaning, can’t
   use context to help deduce meaning, confuse words
   that sound alike e.g. conscience/conscious)
Problem areas in adolescents with
language-learning diffiuclties-2

   Organization
-   Disorganized in time (can’t get started, can’t finish in
    time, turn up late, need reminders to consult
-   Disorganized with possessions (e.g. lose things,
    have the wrong equipment)
-   Disorganized with regards to thoughts and ideas
    (can’t structure work, need step by step instructions,
    can’t break a task into steps)
-   Disorganize din place (can’t cope with changes in
Problem areas in adolescents with
language-learning difficulties- 3

   Frequently get distracted
   Difficulty assembling information from
    several sources
Problem areas in adolescents with
language-learning difficulties- 4

   Understanding spoken language – they tend
    to miss a lot or pick up bits and pieces that
    may not be the most important information.
    They may not even realize that they haven’t
    understood. Speed of processing – they
    need to process continuously otherwise they
    may only get the gist.
Sophisticated language

   Oral language forms the basis for written
   If oral language skills are not sophisticated,
    may have difficulties explaining, describing,
    presenting an oral argument and justifying an
   Require more sophisticated written language
    skills to develop a storyline, analyze
    characters/themes and present a discussion.
Language and Maths

“If God speaks to man, he
   undoubtedly uses the language of

                 Henri Poincare
Language and Maths

   Language requirements include terminology,
    problem –solving, explaining and justifying, basic
    concepts e.g. measurement, auditory memory e.g.
   “Langue has the power to help children organize and
    link their partial understanding as they integrate and
    develop mathematical concepts” (Campbell and
    Rowan, 1997)
   What can we deduce about language impaired
Language and Maths

“By using language appropriately, students are
  expected to develop their mathematical
  understanding through giving meaning to
  new experiences and in reflecting and
  relating them to already held ideas, forging
  new connections” (Meaney, 2002)
Language and Maths

   Findings from a study in New Zealand (Neville-
    Barton and Barton (2005) show that vocabulary
    difficulties contributed to the difficulties experienced
    with understanding maths discourse, but not as
    much as expected.
   Prepositions and word order were key features
    causing problems at all levels
   Similarly, problems arose from a lack of
    understanding and ability to use implications,
    conditionals and negation.
Decide what the student …

   A) Must know

   B) Should know

   C) Could know
How to modify…
   How to modify the amount of work
   How to modify the complexity of tasks
   How to modify tests, assessments and reports
   How to modify teaching style

   Main reference: One in Eleven – Practical Strategies
    for Teaching Adolescents with a Language Learning
    Disability – Brent, M, Gough, F, Robinson, F. ACER
    Press 2001.
Students often feel overwhelmed
due to the presentation of a page
and may panic due to the ‘look’ of
            the task.

•Typed versus

•Uncluttered (spacing,
keep underlining to a

•Not too wordy – keep
questions short and to
the point
•Use similar font and layout
•Minimum type size of 10 and a
clear font style
•Break it down into steps or
•Allocate one section at a time
•Timeline for each section
  Time considerations

Learning disabled students
are slow to complete work
“Sam’s teachers were pleased with his attitude
to homework. It was always completed and
correct. But Sam’s mother reported that
everyone in the neighborhood helped with his
homework. It was too difficult for him. By the
time that they found someone to help, it was
always late and there had been many
frustrated tears. No one knew how much time
and effort went into completing homework”

May be slow to understand the task
Slow readers
Difficulty interpreting info
Slow in formulating answers
May need to seek assistance often
May take longer with editing and
Assignments should be designed
to accommodate both
simplification and extension.

E.g. Arrange work in sections.
Core sections need to be
completed, with further sections
being completed with
Ways to reduce the amount of work
•Provide some of the info
•Select articles from a selection to reduce
search time
•Provide cloze sheets rather than asking for
written paragraphs
•Accept paragraph answers rather than essays
   Prepare a proforma that needs to be
   Allow students to present their work
    pictorially or diagrammatically e.g.
    timelines versus essays or a picture
    instead of a description
Reductions in amount of work can reduce stress
as well as allow students the satisfaction of
completing task.
      Modifying the
    complexity of tasks

Some tasks are easier than others e.g. It is easier
to ‘describe’ than to ‘compare and contrast’. Not
all tasks may need to be modified.
  1. Clear written
         (avoid oral)
-Helps with understanding as well as remembering
what has to be done
-Others may be assisting the student
-Ensure task has been copied down correctly
2) Purpose and steps
 Outline the purpose
  of the assignment
 Sequence steps in
  order they should be
3) Levels of difficulty
-Provide a range of levels of difficulty so
that students have a choice

-At times, choice may need to be
Supply a range of
different resources
with different
levels of

Assignments that interview real people. This is an
important life skill.
Presentation of work
•Reduce extensive writing through ideas such as
graphic presentation, Powerpoint and posters.

•Accept a shorter written response
•Group presentations – student may only have to
prepare/present a section
Oral presentations to small group
or just to teacher

Video presentations
Modifying Tests

   Modifications need to be ongoing

   Phase out modifications towards Year 11
    and 12
   Modify the content
   Modify the marking
Modifying Tests
Decreases stress, improves performance,

Allows the child to demonstrate their

Open book tests
-Oral tests versus written
-Having a reader
-Having a clarifier
-Having a scribe
   Modifying Tests

•Cloze sentence completion (e.g. provide first letter

and dashes to show length of word or provide a
word bank
•Underlining or circling the correct
answer, rather than writing out answers
•Delete some of the difficult questions
    Modifying Tests

   Not penalising spelling or grammar errors
   Multiple choice – provide only one or two
   Word questions in the positive
   e.g. Which one is correct
   vs. Which one is incorrect
     Modifying Tests

•Allow props e.g. calculators, tables

chart, spell checkers, word processors
•Students must know what they are
allowed to take in with them e.g.
•If appropriate, allow student to not
take the test, rather than ‘dismal
Modifying Tests

• Explain   some of the terminology
or use simpler vocabulary
•Not imposing time limits i.e.
student must complete what they
•Mark the test out of the
questions answered, rather than
out of the total number of

   It is vital that everyone is clear about the level of
    assistance/modification that students are receiving.
   Both parent and student need to be consulted before
    the assistance is given.
   ‘Satisfactory’ or ‘not satisfactory’ may be more
    appropriate than a grade.
   Use an asterisk to show grade was achieved with
    Teaching Tips

   Slow down
   Reduce background noise
   Ensure that you have the student’s
   Shorten and simplify your sentences
   Use repetition, use repetition, use
   Highlight essential info and key words
    (orally and visually)
Teaching Tips - 2

   Avoid abstract language
   Break long monologues up with pausing, cueing
    about what is to follow, headings and warnings
    about topic changes
   Teach organisational strategies and make sure
    the child practises these
   Use a modality of senses according to how the
    child learns best (e.g. kinesthetic – ‘doing’)

•This is the most powerful strategy for
 assisting comprehension and making
       maximum use of class time
•The idea of being one step ahead rather
             than 10 behind
        •Familiarity of the topic
•Opportunity to learn core vocabulary

•Staff liason with support staff is crutial

   A picture is worth a thousand words
   Mind maps and graphic organisers – show
    association of concepts
   Visual schedules/timetables
   Present an outline of the lesson visually
   Provide hand-outs rather than note taking
   For anxious students, represent the time or
    size of the task visually
        Linking concepts

-Link new
information to
already learnt
-Make implicit

   Use a ratio of 5:1 in terms of 5 praises to every one
   Set up opportunities to succeed
   Make a visual representation of “Things I’m good
    at…” versus “Things I’m not so good at”
   Use the student’s strengths as compensation for
    their difficulties.
   Tick what is right instead of crossing what is wrong
Suggestions for early language

   1.Minimise direct questioning e.g. “What’s this ?”
                                             “What do you want ?”
                                             “ What are you doing ?”
   2. Comment on all activities e.g. “You’re building a tower !”
   3. Model correct responses
   4. Shorten your sentences
   5. Exaggerate intonation, volume and rate of speech
   6. The child must request all objects verbally e.g. “More ice-
    cream please”. Use a confused facial expression until he
    attempts to use sufficient language.
Suggestions for early language
development (cont.)

   7. Introduce opportunities for language through the use of absurdities
           e.g. Tell him to eat but don’t give him a fork
                Put in a bath without any water
                Read a book to him upside-down
                Give him an empty glass when he is thirsty
                Put his shoe on his hand
   8. Expansion (adding a word). E.g. If the child says "That dog running", expand on it by
    saying "That dog is running so fast"
   9. Wait for the child to repeat the expanded utterance by signaling that you are waiting for
    him, or use the prompt “Say ……………..”
   e.g. “ Mommy come” ----- “Mommy come here”
        “ Baby sitting” ----- “Baby is sitting”
   9. New words – use the word repeatedly so that it can be incorporated into his vocabulary.
   10. Praise all attempts at new language, not only successes.
   11. Toys: Puppets (conversations or a puppet show); food and cooking equipment, barrier
   12. Use open-ended questions e.g. "Tell me about your drawing".

- Vocabulary Development underpins literacy learning
- Important ingredient in class interaction
- Information presented in different subject matters
   e.g. technical terms, textbook language
- Limited vocabulary affects ‘language of learning’ e.g.
   terminology used in test-taking (contrast, compare,
   list, describe)
- Vocabulary is vital in socialisation e.g.using the
   correct slang or ‘in’ expression.
Ways to reinforce word knowledge
(Love and Reilly – Word Journey)

   Refer to the explicit meaning of the word and contrast it with
    words of similar meaning e.g. ecstatic – pleased, delighted
   Use the word in context with elaboration of the meaning and
    link it to the student’s personal knowledge or experience e.g.
    arrested – my neighbour was arrested by the police for drink
   Emphasize the correct pronunciation and contrast it with that of
    similar sounding words e.g. hospital/hospitable
   Give repeated exposure to the word and an opportunity to use
   Highlight words related to it in meaning e.g. bored – boring,
Additional Vocabulary Ideas

   Synonyms, opposites, homonyms, homophones,
    multiple meanings
   Look for the root word
   Make associations
   Dictionary work
   Writing the word down, clapping it out
   Word building
   Keep an index book of new vocabulary
   Classify words according to category
   Encourage students to ask when unsure
Vocabulary building

   Encourage the student to ask you the meanings of any ‘new’ or
    ‘difficult’ words that he encounters.
   When discussing a new word, ask the student to use that word in a
    sentence of his own to ensure that he has understood the meaning.
    Also, encourage him to use that word again later on in the day.
   Revise new vocabulary often - lots of repetition may be required. Also,
    thinking of a word that rhymes with or sounds like the new word may
    help the student to remember it. Making a picture in his head of the
    new word will also be helpful.
   Write down new words and their meanings in a small notebook (an
    index book may be a good idea so that the words are in alphabetical
    order). Encourage the student to revise these words.
Vocabulary building (cont.)
   Play vocabulary games such as the following:
   Say a topic e.g. ‘water’ and ask the student to generate a list for
    you of as many associated or related words as he can e.g. sea,
    salt, pool, drink ….. When he is finished, go over his words with
    him and offer additional words that he may not have thought of.
   Play categorisation games e.g. pick a category, and see who
    can generate the most items in that category.
   Description games: Ask the student to describe an object to you
    in as much detail as possible e.g. what it looks like, tastes like,
    feels like, where we would get it from, its function, etc etc.
    Using the “WH words e.g. who, where, why, what, when may
    help him. Discuss all new vocabulary and provide some
    additional suggestions.
Descriptive writing

   Make a clear picture in your head of the
    scene that you are describing. Use lots of
    adjectives (describing words). Try and use
    some similes (comparisons that use the
    words ‘as’ or ‘like’ e.g. “His hair looked like
    an old pot scourer”
   Remember to use your five senses to create
    a detailed, clear image for the reader.
   Smell, sight, touch, taste, and hearing.
Describing objects in detail
(Also useful to be used by students
with word-finding difficulties)

   What does it look like? (colour, shape, size etc) Make a clear
    picture in your head.
   What does it do? (function)
   Where would you find it?
   Does it make any sounds?
   Can it move?
   Does it have parts?
   What does it feel like?
    Any other details
For word finding, it may also help the student to think of the first
    sound of the word, if it is a long or short word, the shape of
    the word, if it rhymes with or sounds like another word).
Ideas for pragmatic role play (conflict

   You bite into a hamburger you’ve ordered and you see half a
    cockroach inside.
   You find another couple sleeping in your hotel room
   You collect your dry cleaning and your favourite suit has shrunk
   You buy a brand new TV and as you connect it, it blows up
   You buy a very expensive parrot and it dies the next day
   You order a birthday cake for your friend and the bakery
    delivers a wedding cake
    You go and collect some photos and they give you the wrong
Conversation helpers
   If someone has told a story about something funny, frightening or
    embarrassing that has happened to them, you could use one of these
    stories below to continue the conversation. Remember, it may be a
    story that involved you, or it may be a story that happened to someone
    else. It may even be a story that someone else has told you. Make
    sure that your story 'links' onto the story that has been told. You could
    start off with one of the following 'links':
   Listen to THIS funny/embarrassing/scary story
   I've also had a really funny/embarrassing/scary experience
   Write one or more examples under each heading
   A funny story that I was involved in or heard about
   A frightening experience that I was involved in or heard about
   3. An embarrassing story that I was involved in or heard about.
Examples of Social Stories
We are all different
Some kids are skinnier than other kids. Some kids are fatter than other kids. Some
     kids are taller and some kids are shorter.
Sometimes, children may think that short kids are younger than taller kids. They
     might call me a ‘baby’ because I am shorter than they are. Being short doesn’t
     mean that I am younger than other children. We can’t tell how old someone is
     just by looking at how tall or short they are.
I might get upset or angry when someone thinks I am young because of my height.
I could tell them that I am already five years old, even though I may look a little
     younger. I can tell them that tall children aren’t always older than short children.
     I could tell them that we are all different and it doesn’t matter how tall or short a
     person is.
This will help them to understand better.
It’s OK to be short. We all look different. It would be very boring if everyone looked
     the same.
Social Stories (cont.)
   Touching Other Girls’ Things
   Sometimes girls touch other girls’ things
   I feel sad when someone touches my things without me letting them
   If I want to touch something that belongs to another girl, I need to ask
   I should say “Please can I touch that?”
   Sometimes girls may say “yes”, and then I can touch their thing.
   If a girl says no, I can always look with my eyes instead of touching.
   I could also walk away and look at something else.
   An adult could also help me if I’m having a problem.
   It’s OK to touch other people’s things if they let us.
Figurative language
   Colours:
   1. “His face turned red”: This could mean that he was feeling _______________ or
   When someone is envious, we say that they are ________________ with envy.
   “She suddenly went white”. This could mean _______________________________ or
   “He was feeling blue”. This means that
   “Every cloud has a silver lining”. This means that
   “He had a black soul” means that he was an ________________ person.
   “He has the Midas touch” means that everything he touches turns to _________________.
    This really means that
Strategies and anecdotes for reading

   Make a picture/movie in your head of what you are reading
   Reading comprehensions are like treasure hunts – we have to search
    for the answers and find ‘clues’ (key words). You may have to ‘dig
    deeper’ for the answer (inference)
   Chocolate cake analogy – if you eat the whole cake you feel sick,
    rather enjoy it bite by bite. Digest each paragraph by working through
    each sentence. If the sentence is tricky, work through each word.
   If a word is difficult to read, sound it out or look for smaller words that
    you may know within the longer word.
   If you don’t understand a word, try pronouncing it differently. Read till
    the end of the sentence to see if you can work out a possible meaning.
    You may not even need to understand the word to understand the
    majority of the passage.
Structure Words
From: Visualising and Verbalising (Nancy Bell)

   What
   Size
   Colour
   Number
   Shape
   Where
   Movement
   Mood
   Background
   Perspective
   When
   Sound
Games for initial sound awareness:

   Remember, we are only dealing with SOUNDS, not LETTERS
   The student must be the shopkeeper. He has to choose what
    shop it is e.g. the /s/ shop (which only sells items with a /s/ e.g.
    socks, cereal, sunglasses). Ask him if he sells various items
    and he needs to reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’. E.g. “Do you sell bananas?”
    He should reply ‘no’.
   Make three columns on a page. Each column represents a
    particular sound e.g. /b/ or /d/. Tell the student that he has one
    minute to think of as many objects that begin with that sound as
    possible. Before he starts, try and ‘guess’ which column is
    going to win. When he has completed each column and you
    have written down all his words (discuss errors with him as they
    arise), count up the words to see which sound has won.
Games for initial sound awareness:

   Whilst driving, decide on a particular sound for that journey (e.g. on the
    way to school). The student has to call out anything that he spots that
    begins with that sound. Encourage him to keep repeating the sound
    aloud while he is looking.
   Puzzles or building blocks: Say any word to the student. If he can give
    you the beginning sound, give him a piece of the puzzle or a block.
   Give the student a piece of paper and a particular sound to work with.
    Ask him to draw as many items as he can on the page that start with
    that sound.
   Show the student two objects or pictures. He needs to decide if they
    start with the same sound or not. Reinforce with puzzle pieces or a
    game. When is able to do this, simply give him two words and see if he
    can work out if they begin with the same sound or not.
Phonetic spelling
   Use gestures e.g. cued articulation
   To spell short words, think of a word that rhymes and use
   Strategies to use when spelling ‘long’ words or words with more than
    one syllable (phonetic approach).
   These points will help you to spell a word that you are unfamiliar with.
    You may not be able to get the spelling exactly right, but someone
    reading your work will be able to work out what the word should be:
   Make a picture in your head of the word or put it into a sentence. This
    will help you remember the word while you are working on it.
   Clap out the words and decide how many claps it has.
   Work on each ‘clap’ individually
Phonetic spelling (cont.)

   On a spare piece of paper, write down the sounds that you can
    hear in each clap. Draw lines to help you remember how many
    claps there are e.g. employment = em/ ploy/ ment
   Remember that every ‘clap’ has to have a vowel. Sometimes a
    ‘clap’ may have a vowel and nothing else.
   If you don’t know how to spell a particular ‘clap’, think of a word
    that rhymes with it               e.g. em PLOYment (PLOY
    rhymes with BOY).
   Check each clap CAREFULLY when you are finished.
   When you are happy with the word, write it into your book or
    onto the worksheet that you are working on.
Ideas for sentence elaboration

  Write down the simplest sentence that you can think of e.g. The
   dog walked. Each student has to add on a component to the
   sentence to make it more interesting e.g. The dog walked to the
   shops. The final product is a complex sentence e.g. The brown
   dog with the long, fluffy hair walked to the shops because he
   wanted to get a juicy steak to eat with his friends next door.
 Write a Super Sentence Programme
The ______ (e.g. dog) ________ (did what?) ______ (how?)
   ________(where?)_______ (when?)_____
With older students, specific parts of speech can be included.
Structuring a story:

   A good story has a beginning, middle and an ending.
    A story should include the following:
   WHO (characters)
   WHEN (time that it occurred)
   WHERE (setting)
   WHAT (the plot – brief outline of main events)
   PROBLEM (most stories have a main problem)
   CLIMAX (Most intense part of the story)
   RESOLUTION (How the problem was solved)
   MESSAGE (What we can learn from the story)
Essay writing (1)

   Plan your work
   Organise your ideas e.g. put them into a sequence
   Write up your ideas
   Edit your writing. Check spelling, grammar, vocabulary and
   Review your work before you hand it in
   Your essay needs to have the following:
   An introduction
   Paragraphs. Each paragraph should represent an idea
   A conclusion that ties up your ideas
Essay writing (2)

   Essays need an introduction, body paragraphs and a
   Each body paragraph needs to have TEEL:
   T: Topic sentence (the main idea of the paragraph)
   E: Examples
   E: Explain and elaborate
   L: Link to your topic
   The two "EE"s are interchangeable i.e. you can start with an
    example, and then explain or elaborate OR you can start with
    an explanation and back this up with examples.
Essay writing (3)

   Most students have a good idea of WHAT they want
    to write in an essay, but may not necessarily know
    how to express themselves. These sheets will
    hopefully help. There are spaces for you to fill in
    examples from a novel that you have recently
    studied. I have also tried to give you lots of different
    ways to start your sentences so that you can vary
    your sentence beginnings, thereby making your
    essay more interesting.
Essay writing (4)

   If you give an example or a quote,
   Example:
   Your next sentence could start with one of the following:
   This shows us…
   This is an example of…
   We can see from this…
   This reveals…
   This illustrates…
   This is due to the fact that…
   We can learn from this example that…..
Essay writing (5)
   If you start with a comment about a character, a statement or an
   Example:
   Your next sentence could start with one of the following:
   This is shown in the novel when…
   An example of this is….
   This can be seen when…
   This is revealed when…
   This is illustrated when …
   We learn this when …
   NOTE: These beginnings are similar to the ones above, but you are
    changing the order of your example and explanation i.e. the
    explanation now comes first. In Number 1, the example came first.
Essay writing (6)

   If you have two ideas that are similar, write down
    the first idea
   Example:
   Your next sentence could then start with one of the
   Another example of this is when…
   In addition to this, …
   Furthermore,
   Similarly, …
Essay writing (7)

   If you would like to show the difference or contrast
    two ideas, write down your first idea
   Example:
   Your next sentences could then start with one of
    the following:
   In contrast, ….
   On the other hand,….
   However, …
   Contrary to this,,,
   This differs from…
Essay writing (8)

   If you would like to show the relationship between cause and
    effect in the novel, start with the cause
   Example:
   Your next sentence could start with one of the following:
   Due to this…
   Because of this…
   As a result of this…
   The effect of this…
   This leads up to…
   This results in…
   Once this has occurred…
Some extra resources:
   Time for Talking – Speaking and Listening activities for lower primary
    students. Love, E and Reilly, S.1997. Longman
   One in Eleven – Practical Strategies for Teaching Adolescents with a
    Language Learning Disability– Brent, M, Gough, F, Robinson, S.
    ACER Press, 2001.
   Mapping Inner Space – Learning and Teaching Mind Mapping by
    Nancy Marguiles. Hawkner Brownlow Education.
   Learning to Learn – Strategies for accelerating learning and boosting
    performance. Ward, C and Daley, J, Switched-On Publications.
   Language Disorders – from Infancy through Adolescence –
    Assessment and Intervention. Paul, R. 2001, Mosby.
   Speech Pathology Australia: www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au
Reading Comprehension

   Chocolate cake analogy
   Treasure hunt analogy

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