Class Lecture Notes in Chronological Order



Exam Dec 6  More application oriented.  Analyze an oral and written sample.  Will be able to use handouts and book for a portion of the test for that analysis.

You won't be responsible for chapter 12.  There will be information questions that will be closed book.

Week one


  • Linear growth fashion.

  • Sensory motor age 2

  • Pre operational (acquisition of motor skills?) 2-7

  • Concrete  (logical) 7-11

  • Formal operational (abstract reasoning)12-

Chomsky  Linguistics

  • Generative grammar --everyone has a system for making rules about language.

  • We have an inborn business, but the way we make connections.

  • Innate thing that allows us to develop systems and rules about language.

  • More nature based -- No end of ability to learn language.

  • No limits to language development.

Vgotsky (Jung also thought this)

  • Shared knowledge of culture.

  • Language as a social tool.  If not social development aspect to language, cannot learn the language.

Halliday 1925-  Linguistics

  • Systemic functional linguistics .  Language is the foundation of human experience.

  • Language is a function developed through needs.

  • Pairing of function of language.

  • Nonverbal kids --look at the function of behavior.  Does behavior serve as a function?


  • More current.- KU

  • SLI Specific language impairment

  • Looks at young language acquisition

  • 1.  specific language to be acquired (task)

  • 2.  child's predisposition (ability) IQ

  • 3.  environment

  • Somewhat aligned with the first three.


  • Not language acquisition and development, but brings it into IQ conception.

  • Born 1940s.  7-11 intelligences  (e.g., linguistics, logical/mathematical, musical/rhythmic, bodily/kinesthetic, spatial, naturalistic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, existential (ponder life questions - evaluative level).

  • People develop in different ways. which is very individualistic.

  • Nature and nurture play a role.

  • Scope and sequence different for different people.

  • Language development is very individualistic.

2 focal cases with major impact, no language development until adolescents (Victor and Genie)  Solitary confinement has an effect in 1 minutes to an hour symptoms appear and in 2-3 days definite symptoms appear.


Chomsky said we had nurture and nature in developing language.

Linneberg:  There’s a deadline for learning language.  First language needs to be learned by puberty.  Critical period of learning language.

Genie supported the thesis that there is a critical period for learning language.


Neglect is worse for a child than physical abuse.


Three components of language we want to look at.

1.  Form of language

  1. Syntax—rules governing how we put words together.  A big part is the agreed upon rules.  Culture, background, sensitivity toward the language.

  2. Morphology has to do with the meaning of language or context it takes.  Morpheme counting is a way of figuring out the complexity of someone’s language.  Morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning.  The word baseball has two units of meaning.  Basement has one unit of meaning.  Baseballs, 3 units of meaning because a bound morpheme.  We have bound morphemes and free morphemes.  A free morpheme is like baseball because every one of the morphemes in it stands alone.  A bound morpheme is when an “s” (plural)  changes the meaning of the word, thus we change the numerical content, so the “s” is considered a morpheme.  Morphemes are the smallest units of language that carry meaning; they are combined to create words.  Some words consist of a single morpheme (e.g., school), but many words comprise two or more morphemes, such as schools (two morphemes--school + s) and preschools (three morphemes--pre + school + s).

  3. Phonology (form) refers to the rules of language governing the sounds used to make syllables and words.  Every language has a relatively small number of meaningful sounds or phonemes.  General American English relies on the combination of 15 vowels and 24 consonants to create about 100,000 words. Phoneme is the smallest unit of physical sound that can signal a meaning. 


2.  Content of language (thinking of something very dynamic)  Content is purposeful.  Communicate to self or other, express a emotion, etc.

  1. Semantics

  2. Meaning of behavior as well as expressive and receptive language.


3.  Use of language

a.  Pragmaticsintention or goal of communication.  Many are nonverbal elements.


Think about how you look at these and hear language as others speak.


Speech and Language Milestone Chart


Developmental milestones

The course of children's development is mapped using a chart of developmental milestones.

These milestones are behaviors that emerge over time, forming the building blocks for growth and continued learning. Some of the categories within which these behaviors are seen include:

By age one


  • Recognizes name

  • Says 2-3 words besides "mama" and "dada"

  • Imitates familiar words

  • Understands simple instructions

  • Recognizes words as symbols for objects: Car - points to garage, cat - meows

Activities to encourage your child's language

  • Respond to your child's coos, gurgles, and babbling

  • Talk to your child as you care for him or her throughout the day

  • Read colorful books to your child every day

  • Tell nursery rhymes and sing songs

  • Teach your child the names of everyday items and familiar people

  • Take your child with you to new places and situations

  • Play simple games with your child such as "peek-a-boo" and "pat-a-cake"

Between one and two


  • Understands "no"

  • Uses 10 to 20 words, including names

  • Combines two words such as "daddy bye-bye"

  • Waves good-bye and plays pat-a-cake

  • Makes the "sounds" of familiar animals

  • Gives a toy when asked

  • Uses words such as "more" to make wants known

  • Points to his or her toes, eyes, and nose

  • Brings object from another room when asked

Activities to encourage your child's language

  • Reward and encourage early efforts at saying new words

  • Talk to your baby about everything you're doing while you're with him

  • Talk simply, clearly, and slowly to your child

  • Talk about new situations before you go, while you're there, and again when you are home

  • Look at your child when he or she talks to you

  • Describe what your child is doing, feeling, hearing

  • Let your child listen to children's records and tapes

  • Praise your child's efforts to communicate

Between two and three


  • Identifies body parts

  • Carries on 'conversation' with self and dolls

  • Asks "what's that?" And "where's my?"

  • Uses 2-word negative phrases such as "no want".

  • Forms some plurals by adding "s"; book, books

  • Has a 450 word vocabulary

  • Gives first name, holds up fingers to tell age

  • Combines nouns and verbs "mommy go"

  • Understands simple time concepts: "last night", "tomorrow"

  • Refers to self as "me" rather than by name

  • Tries to get adult attention: "watch me"

  • Likes to hear same story repeated

  • May say "no" when means "yes"

  • Talks to other children as well as adults

  • Solves problems by talking instead of hitting or crying

  • Answers "where" questions

  • Names common pictures and things

  • Uses short sentences like "me want more" or "me want cookie"

  • Matches 3-4 colors, knows big and little

Activities to encourage your child's language

  • Repeat new words over and over

  • Help your child listen and follow instructions by playing games: "pick up the ball," "Touch Daddy's s nose"

  • Take your child on trips and talk about what you see before, during and after the trip

  • Let your child tell you answers to simple questions

  • Read books every day, perhaps as part of the bedtime routine

  • Listen attentively as your child talks to you

  • Describe what you are doing, planning, thinking

  • Have the child deliver simple messages for you (Mommy needs you, Daddy )

  • Carry on conversations with the child, preferably when the two of you have some quiet time together

  • Ask questions to get your child to think and talk

  • Show the child you understand what he or she says by answering, smiling, and nodding your head

  • Expand what the; child says. If he or she says, "more juice," you say, "Adam wants more juice."

Between three and four


  • Can tell a story

  • Has a sentence length of 4-5 words

  • Has a vocabulary of nearly 1000 words

  • Names at least one color

  • Understands "yesterday," "summer", "lunchtime", "tonight", "little-big"

  • Begins to obey requests like "put the block under the chair"

  • Knows his or her last name, name of street on which he/she lives and several nursery rhymes

Activities to encourage your child's language

  • Talk about how objects are the same or different

  • Help your child to tell stories using books and pictures

  • Let your child play with other children

  • Read longer stories to your child

  • Pay attention to your child when he's talking

  • Talk about places you've been or will be going

Between four and five


  • Has sentence length of 4-5 words

  • Uses past tense correctly

  • Has a vocabulary of nearly 1500 words

  • Points to colors red, blue, yellow and green

  • Identifies triangles, circles and squares

  • Understands "In the morning" , "next", "noontime"

  • Can speak of imaginary conditions such as "I hope"

  • Asks many questions, asks "who?" And "why?"

Activities to encourage your child's language

  • Help your child sort objects and things (ex. things you eat, animals. . )

  • Teach your child how to use the telephone

  • Let your child help you plan activities such as what you will make for Thanksgiving dinner

  • Continue talking with him about his interests

  • Read longer stories to him

  • Let her tell and make up stories for you

  • Show your pleasure when she comes to talk with you

Between five and six


  • Has a sentence length of 5-6 words

  • Has a vocabulary of around 2000 words

  • Defines objects by their use (you eat with a fork) and can tell what objects are made of

  • Knows spatial relations like "on top", "behind", "far" and "near"

  • Knows her address

  • Identifies a penny, nickel and dime

  • Knows common opposites like "big/little"

  • Understands "same" and "different"

  • Counts ten objects

  • Asks questions for information

  • Distinguished left and right hand in herself

  • Uses all types of sentences, for example "let's go to the store after we eat"

Activities to encourage your child's language

  • Praise your child when she talks about her feelings, thoughts, hopes and fears

  • Comment on what you did or how you think your child feels

  • Sing songs, rhymes with your child

  • Continue to read longer stories

  • Talk with him as you would an adult

  • Look at family photos and talk to him about your family history

  • Listen to her when she talks to you

From, click here.

Developmental Order

Developmental Order

No kid develops exactly the same way.  Three general stages:

1.  Perlocutionary Stage:  Unintentional sounds or movement and other people interpret that as language or communication.  Not really communicating because there's no intent.

2.  Illocutionary Stage:  Once the baby starts making those connections and does those things on purpose.  Child is beginning to use words and motion with communication intent.

3.  Locutionary State:  Actually using intentional communication.  "Mamma juice."



  • Preverbal.

  • Turn taking "dance" between mother and child.

  • Hosteller suggests that mothers can tell what their babies mean.

  • From birth, general distress, cries with tightly shut eyes.

  • 2 months enjoyment smiling mouth with widening eyes.

  • 3 months a sense of fun laughter

  • 3-4 months answer, baby cries with open eyes.

  • 6 moths joking laughter and wariness when quiets, stares, frowns, turns away

  • 9 months fear, stares, frowns, mouth pulled back, frozen movement

  • Before 8 weeks babies smile at all human faces, then begin to show attachment and recognize people they know.  Laughter begins around 14 weeks. 

  • 3-12 months experiment with sounds.

  • English, French, and Chinese all sound the same in early stage babbling.

  • Deaf children babbling is delayed. 


Significant steps in first year babies have learned

  • Making sounds brings a response.

  • Turn taking in interaction

  • They can make lots of different noises.

  • Listening to other people's voices.


13.6 months is average age for first words, but there is a wide range.  Typically begins around 9 months.  De Villiers says they copy adult word and use consistently.  Then children concentrate on walking, running, playing, climbing, and purposeful movement around one year of age and less on language development.


Asperger's is usually diagnosed around age three because of communication problems.  One of the signs of infantile autism is lack of eye contact.  There are studies in that.


Then single word sentence arrives.  One word means many things.  Nelson describes children as expressive social situations or referential children mostly words related to names of objects.  May be linked to whether extrovert or introvert in later life.  Children often generalize, call every man Daddy. 


Symbolism  Word stands for object in it's absence.  Talk about yesterday and tomorrow.  Go on to full language development.


Can nonhuman animals use language? Animals cannot discuss complex ideas.  Even the most primitive species of some kind.  Most studies have concentrated on apes, which communicate through signs.  American sign language, plastic symbols, and computer keyboards have limited success.  Much criticism.


Bruner said children learn patterns of familiar routines. 

Holliday suggested that language development is in order to get people do things for them.  Mothers can predict what the child will do.  Mothers of slow language developers and blind children lack visual context of words and are off on the timing.


Theories of Language Acquisition

Skinner thought language is learned by imitation through operant conditioning.

Children can create original sentences and say things they've never heard adults say.

Rules of grammar are complicated and generally are not explained by adults.

Language is innate according to Chomsky saying children are preprogrammed. 

Explains why children go through the same language stages and make the same mistakes.

There are specialized areas of the brain related to language, primary auditory area, Wenicke's area for initiation, then transmitted to Broca's area for speech interpretation and application and pragmatic, and motor area to produce.

Savants don't have two hemispheres, but it grows as one.  No split, just one big piece.

Hemisphere-ectomy for severe seizure disorders.  Take a half of a hemisphere usually.  You can train other areas of the brain to compensate.

Interactionist view says it's nature, nurture, health, and nutrition.

Children speak in telegraphic way, omitting unimportant words.  They can remember rhyme and songs correctly. 

2 1/2 400 words

Language becomes something to play with, with rhymes and stories. 

In speech errors, children work out the language rules.

Parenteese is the way adults speak to children.  Similar throughout the word.  Overly expressive nonverbally.

Use changing pitch and intonation, shorter sentences, familiar words.


Stimulate a children's language development.

  • Talk to the child.

  • Listen to the child.

  • Encourage the child to talk.

  • Asking open ended questions.

  • Expand the child's statements into a longer grammatically correct form

  • Check that you understand the child's meaning.

  • Name things in the environment.

  • Read to the child.

  • Offer a good language model, for example, use adjectives and adverbs and finish your sentences.

  • Answer children's questions.

  • Stimulate with safe and active interesting environment.

  • Interact with attachment figures.

By school age the basic grammatical rules are learned. 

By age seven language is very similar to adults.

Whorpf says thought is dependent on language.  Whorpf-Sapir Hypothesis.  Inuit Eskimos have 12 words for snow.

Piaget says concept development precedes language development. 

The debate continues, but there's obviously a strong link between language and thought.

Vgotsky says language and thought are separate but come together to interact around age 2.

Boys delayed, active children use fewer words, blind and deaf delayed, twins delayed.

There's a considerable range of development.

Pragmatics is the use of language to express intent.

The communication goal of the speaker carries one half of the equation of the whole equation.  Equally important are the linguistic adjustments.  Linguistic adjustments are what the listener does to help accomplish the overall goal.  Constant adjustments back and forth between the speaker and listeners.

Pragmatics is the use of language to express intent.


Turner's Syndrome affects only girls and they have no ability to read facial expressions and body language.  Everything sounds just the same.  Problems with expressive and receptive.


Need to teach pragmatics to kids with autism and Aspergers.  Many kids with Asperger's will try to get a big response from people (very enthusiastic praise, for example).


Many kids with high functioning autism don't know how to modulate their voices either. 

Proxemics is an important element to pragmatics, which is another difficult understanding for many of our students.  We have to teach it like we teach everything else.

Can teach about changing topics, give a social story scenario.  We can train kids to recognize cues, then generalize cues that they are doing something inappropriately.

Boy's Town model.  Teach kids to respond to certain cues to things.  Teach social interaction skills.

Direct instruction techniques, making initiations, and so on are important.



  • Facial expressions, body language, body positioning, gestures, voice tone, intensity, reciprocity (back and forth), turn-taking, and making linguistic adjustments. 

  • In reciprocal conversation we have to have heard what the other person said in order to respond back.  Reciprocal conversation comes a little further along in development.  Around 3-4 years old it's parallel.

Semantics =  The study of the meaning of words.  The rules of language.  The rules vary between culture and among people.




Content/Context is very complex.

Factors that play into context.

1.  Purpose:  What is the purpose of the interaction?

2.  What is the content or topic of discourse?

3.  What is the type of discourse?

4.  What's the level of participant characteristics?  How much knowledge I have about the content?  What is the emotion?

5.  Setting.  Formal and informal ways of speaking.  The space between them is shrinking.  We see more people in authoritative positions using more informal language.

6.  Activity itself within the setting.  What surrounds the context.

7.  The speech community.  We are bound in a sense by the width of the community of this context.

8.  What is our mode of discourse?  Saying?  Writing?  Size print? Font?


  • Generalization.  This component of language affects generalization, so it's crucial for SPED teachers.  The understanding of these rules will all influence how people generalize information.  By the time a child is four years old, they understand most of the social rules about language.  Many of our students have serious problems with generalization.  Kids with autism are extremely literal and may need their name to know you mean them.

Components of Language


Exam 10/4 Complete first set of content.  Exam is 10/11, in class.  Videotape due 10/11.  10/18 read chapters 4 and 5.  Se page 64, where discuss policies and practices table.  Read and understand that page.  2020 the school populations 50% will be nonwhite.


Gould, Steven  The mis-measure of Nan.


Syntax is the order words go together to form language.

Morpheme is the smallest unit of meaningful sound.

Free morphemes  base ball (each stand alone)

Bound morphemes (s)

Phoneme is the smallest unit of sound.


How do these differentiate?

  • Speech is the neuromuscular act of producing sounds that are part of our language.

  • Language is the rule-governed symbol system.

  • Communication the process for exchanging information and ideas for the participants in the language.

Video on Communication Disorders

  • Each child and each disorder is unique.

  • Children with communication disorders are at risk for lifetime academic problems.  Speech, language, and hearing disorders.

  • Early identification is crucial.

  • A deficit in language, speech, or communication can constitute a communication disorder.

Language Disorder:  One or more of these deficiencies.

  • Expressive:  Writing, talking, describing, explaining.

  • Receptive, following verbal directions, reading comprehension, problem solving, sequencing events.

  • Language:  Phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics

Phonology is how we combine sounds to produce words.

Morphology is the study of the smallest unit of sounds.

Syntax is grammar rules.

Pragmatics can also be a problem.  It involves independent work, class discussion  Usually labeled as behavior disorders.  Provide visual and verbal presentations of new information.

Speech disorders are a deficit in vocal or spoken language.  Articulation, apraxia, and stuttering.

By age 7, children should sound like an adult speaker.

For apraxia, model good speech sounds for all students.  Encourage good speech sounds.  Avoid criticizing or correcting.

Stuttering repetition, blocking is helped with avoiding labeling stuttering behavior, increase strengths, decrease errors, provide calm, do not point out or reward successful speech, ask questions with short answers, avoid singling out stuttering, maintain eye contact during stuttering.

  • New stuttering intervention on the Discovery channel.  Attach a feedback device into ear so person hears words as one says it, which instantaneously changed stuttering.  They think there's some kind of brain transmission problem.   Hearing the words makes the person think they are in a fluent pattern.  Will using a microphone increase one's oral fluency.

Voice disorders can be life threatening. 

  • Need diagnosis by ear, nose, throat doctor.  Beware of hoarseness.  Click here. 

  • Vocal nodules may be a cause.  Drink lots of water, avoid irritants, avoid lozenges, avoid overusing and abusing voice, avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Hearing impairment may cause delayed or different communication.  24 million Americans have a hearing loss.   Types of loss:  conductive hearing loss (correctable), sensorineural loss (permanent), mixed.   Signs of ear infection:  student is passive, inattentive, more disruptive.  Very common.

Considerations:  Pre-tutor, classroom acoustics, handouts with oral reports, encourage independence, don't set limits.  Children need to wear amplification devices on a consistent basis.  Make sure hearing aid is working because about half the time, hearing impaired students in the classroom are not functioning. 


CAPD  Auditory Processing Disorder is normal hearing but receptive problem. 

Speech pathologist needs to know what the teacher is noticing.


Areas of disability

  • MR - Articulation, speech, voice problems.

  • LD - Language acquisition, use of symbols, being able to retrieve and use words, acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, mathematical abilities.

  • Dyslexia and dysgraphia have problems using symbols.

  • Splinter pattern-- not a linear developmental route, spikey ups and down.

  • Autism spectrum disorders and PDD

Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is a 'subthreshold' condition in which some - but not all - features of autism or another explicitly identified Pervasive Developmental Disorder are identified. PDD-NOS is often incorrectly referred to as simply "PDD." The term PDD refers to the class of conditions to which autism belongs. PDD is NOT itself a diagnosis, while PDD-NOS IS a diagnosis. The term Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS; also referred to as "atypical personality development," "atypical PDD," or "atypical autism") is included in DSM-IV to encompass cases where there is marked impairment of social interaction, communication, and/or stereotyped behavior patterns or interest, but when full features for autism or another explicitly defined PDD are not met.

Classical autism (spinning, light filtering, nonresponse to humans) have immediate or delayed echolalia.  50% will not develop vocal speech, but may have sign language or visual cue communication system. 

  • PECS is a system with icons representing different things.  Built on reinforcers based on picture exchange.  Child may have a ring of cards with pictures they can show you.

  • Classical autism and mental retardation often go together.  Lower functioning will have less sophistication.  Might use a yes-no board or single card/poster with icons.  There's a whole range of communication tools used with kids with autism.

Augmentative communication -- uses technology device.  Could just be a pointing Mayer-Johnson communication tools and icons.  Boardmaker.  Kids who need a lot of visual aids are a big thing and can be time consuming to make.  Make sturdy, laminate so you can use them again and again.  Good task for paras.  Linda Hodson has an excellent book on using visual strategies.  Linda Grey.

Sabrina Freeman  Teach Me Language


Behavior Disorders

In a study, kids with behavior disorders saw everyone's nonverbal as angry no matter what.  That's why we are so frequently met with defensiveness because they cannot read nonverbals and frequently misinterpret.  Think other people are mad at them most of the time.  Direct instruction made a huge impact on what they could interpret, but needs lots of social skill and behavior regulation (e.g., anger management, values clarification).  Use appropriate and inappropriate examples (when to use it and when not to use it).  Get the skills in a controlled environment, then practice in the real world with teacher, then direct assignments to use those skills in outside world.  The lower the cognitive level, the more concrete the visual needs to be (an actual photo of the person--lowest), next step up a drawing, next step up is a cue.  Too much detail will snag them.  Don't use color for kids with autism because if the icon has a red shirt, then the child may only apply the idea to men in red shirts.


There's a particular disorder that looks like autism, which is a "semantic pragmatic disorder. "  Child is so concrete, with limited vocabulary, and can't do reciprocal discourse.

Kids with Asperger, with great vocabulary and can have conversation about interests, all still extremely literal.  Language idioms are a problem.  They need a lot of direct instruction to be able to deal with idioms.


Tourette's is closely related to learning disabilities.  Kids with Tourettes have motor and verbal tics.  One of the misleading things is when you see on movie, they have a specific type called copralalia (people say swear words or sexually oriented things if have a verbal tick).  "John has tourette."--interesting video.  Had both motor and verbal may say and touch other person's private parts.  Central nervous system disorder--so are learning disabilities.  Often ADHD or LD is co-morbidity with tics.  "I have Tourettes."


If we can cure it, should we?  Girls with Rhetes have a hand-washing and clapping 24/7 so can't feed themselves.  In that kind of case, sure, a cure would be useful.


Most kids with Tourettes have motor or vocal tics that are not so disruptive.  How much should we change someone's personality?  Cochlear implants controversy, for example.


Hearing Loss  6% of population has some major hearing loss, and out of that 1 million are deaf.  American Sign Language ASL and Signed English are two forms, but no similarity.  American Sign Language is the third most used language in English and Spanish speaking country.  Environmentally, the child may be at a different level, but there's no connection with MR or IQ. 

1.  Conductive is when don't produce sound in your ear (can't amplify the sound enough, like aging).  Use hearing aids for this type. 

2.  Neural or sensory-neural means there's something congenitally wrong with the inner ear, didn't develop well, may have been mother's alcohol drinking during the pregnancy.  That can be corrected with Cochlear implant. 

3.  Central Auditory.  Damage in cerebral cortex.  Often kids with multiple disabilities.


Blindness  Smaller prevalence than hearing loss.  The culture has changed about cognitive disabilities in a home environment (Downs, autism).  80-90% of learning is based on visual input.


  • Many of us have those, such as hyperopia (far sighted, muscles too short), myopia (near sighted, eye ball muscles too long), astigmatism, (surface of cornea is uneven) cataracts (clouding of the lens)  Disorders can cause cataracts, such as cru de chat (only way to tell is babies have a catlike meow in their cry.  That disorder can be treated and the cataracts can be removed, but untreated will cause blindness in a few months (immune disorder).  Also causes MR.  Maple Syrup urine disease is the smell of the urine, which causes glaucoma in infants.  Harlequin skin disorder?  Premature babies have eye develop problems. 

Muscle disorders

Nystagmus is uncontrolled eye movement.

Strabismus crossed eyes to center or outside.  Many kids are born with these disorders or it happens during the birthing process.

Esotropria eyes going toward nose and exotropia going toward outside of the head.


Traumatic Brain Injury TBI may have hearing, vision, language confusion.  Called social dis-inhibition--it changes behavior so they are more impulsive.  Real disturbed pragmatics, where can't interpret.  Language comprehension may be impaired.


Early Expressive Language Delay  ELD  Kid's speaking doesn't develop as rapidly as other people.  Language delayed classrooms.  Developmental disorder.  Most kids are fine because of pre-school.  If caused by environment, should be in an ELD class. 


There are times when children who are victims of abuse or neglect are diagnosed with a language related disorder.  It may be the cause, so teachers need to keep an eye out for that.  Way too much language or not enough language may be indicative of something else.


Disability Areas

Photo credit and link.

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Photo credit and link.

Oct. 11 Exam Classroom discussion, films, handouts, and first three chapters--particularly chapter 3-- in text.  Can bring one notecard.  Mean length of utterance MLU  Why is it bound or not? Look at number of  morphemes. 

  1. A morpheme that occurs only as part of a larger construction; e.g. an -s at the end of plural nouns
    - bound form

1/2 general objective style, short answer, short essay question.

Disability Areas

  • MR Cognitive disabilities (mental retardation):  IQ in mild to moderate range.  90% of kids diagnosed with MR are in the mild to moderate range.  They have the same developmental pattern as typically achieving kids, but at a slower pace.  A good scope and sequence chart will help you with a kid with MR.

  • LD With learning disabilities, there are splinter skills:  Much variance in skills and deficits.  75% have difficulty in the area of using symbols.  There are hundreds of different processing problems.  Gave up categorizing when identified 400.  Identifying doesn't mean we have a good intervention, so look at two groups:

  • Autism Spectrum includes classical to high functioning autistic disorder who have language (ritualistic, sequential, consistency needs) to kids with Asperger who have high vocabulary and language mastery but large processing difficulty with linear thinking.  Simultaneous thinkers (big picture) can't follow sequential thinking (linear).  Sequential thinking--including reading through phonics--doesn't work for simultaneous thinkers.  Some kids will never learn by phonics.  Kids with autism cannot determine what is relevant or not.  Discrete trial training Lovaas  AKA Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has limited empirical support, but has been used for autism.  Kids who are nonverbal or self-injurious.  Takes kids 3-5 years.

  • Dyslexia has to do with reading.

  • Dysgraphia has to do with writing and numerical.  You cannot fix dyslexia or dysgraphia, but can train strategies for adaptation.  Can affect reading, writing, acquisition of something, or use of something (e.g., listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, mathematical reasoning, mathematical computation).   Listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, mathematical reasoning, or mathematical computation things can fail in acquisition or use.

Facilitative communication  Kids were taught to use a keyboard.  Studies were not well empirically validated.

  • 50% of kids with classical autism don't speak.  Augmented communication is important.

  • Echolalia is seen in this area.  Immediate echolalia happens as an immediate response.  Delayed echolalia is when child uses a phrase over and over they heard some time earlier.  Kids use echolalia to make a point.  "Fisher boys story." Kids try to convey meaning with that.  Dr. Temple Grandin has autism but acquired multiple PhDs.


Language Assessment Informal or Classroom-Based for Oral and Written Language

Most kids with a language disorder will have some contact with a speech pathologist.  That may be an itinerant person or more into articulation rather than your substantive issues in expressive language and understanding.

2 year old:  3-5 word sentences, uses pronouns, has a large soccer vocabulary, fairly clear.

2 year old:  1 word answers, sounds, shortened words, responds to questions, upbeat, energetic speech, two word answers.

4-5 year olds  6 word sentence  "I don't know yet, and that's all I know."  Puts several sentences together without a prompt.  Some articulation differences twack for track.  More eye contact.  He could tell why.  Higher level of content, more abstract.

Child with articulation problems--age 5, SLI.  One word answers. My mommy name boy.  My daddy uhm nine.  Articulation is difficult to understand.  3-4 word sentences.  Good eye contact.  Letter sound substitution.

6-7 years old  Much longer sentences and multiple sentences.  Still lots of enthusiasm.  Very expressive nonverbals.  Gestures. 

7 Rapid and fluent speech.  Long sentences and multiple sentences together.  Speaking like an adult.  Making evaluations.  Sitting erect posture.  Posture and presentation style, not distracted.  Quick recall.  True conversation.

10  Connects all sentences with and.  Can see contemplating.  More sophisticated language.  Could do names, dates.  Higher vocabulary.

14 OCD, ADHD, and Aspergers.  .  Negative nonverbals.  Upset about a racist incident in class.  Seems upset.  Fluent language.  Seems to speak well.  Varying vocal rate and pitch.  More off color, cuss words.  Talking about how stupid others were.  Shock value.  Emotional.  Bizarre sense of humor.  Showman.  Attention shifts.

Awareness of camera was interesting.  Young didn't care, then seemed to show off, then seemed self conscious and stiff, and the last ones could have talked a long time.  Gestures went up mid age range and down with older.

Twins have the same idiosyncratic speech errors.  They are often delayed.  We think it comes as part of their language development. 


Pose 5 questions, representative of what we talked about, open ended.  Then answer each question in two to three paragraphs.  Due beginning of next class.  What stuck out in your mind.  "When we looked at the two year olds, we saw significant difference in number of words put together as well as physical response to the question.  Compare what you saw between those two similar aged kids.


MLU  Mean Length of Utterance --

Morpheme:  smallest unit of meaning


An utterance is the thought.  = the number of words it takes to get the word across.  Can be a clause or word.

Free and bound.


Informal Assessment (Doesn't have validity or reliability in the same way)  In an informal assessment, you always tell what you did and put full information in the data.

When you get to stage five and use 4-5 words per sentence, can look at overall language ability.  Page two of handout.  Good to tape and transcribe the tape.  You can ask a question and the kid can tell you something.  Spontaneously telling something is more difficult than retelling.  Ask child to listen to a story or read a story, then retell the story.  Stimulus should be provided immediately beforehand.  We don't want to test memory or acculturation.  You could use more than one sample.  We look at fluency, vocabulary, sytax/usage, text organization, pragmatics.  Oral Retelling Scale works about age 4.


1.  What should a teacher do when he or she observes a student who may have a language disorder?


Based on the observations, I think the key is for me to collect data in a systematic way so that I can discuss what I observe with the parents and IEP team.  I was surprised by how much I was able to observe in just a few minutes.  The first concern is whether the problem has been identified.  Then the teacher needs to determine what strategies will be useful in supporting the student.  Most students with a language disorder will have some contact with a speech pathologist. That speech pathologist may be an itinerant person or more knowledgeable about articulation rather than substantive issues in expressive language and understanding.  The teacher can seek advice from other professionals and determine the nature of needed instructional strategies.


Course materials suggest that the teacher can compare and contrast the student’s language development to other typically developing students.  For example, at the age for entering school (5-6), the student typically does the following:

·         Has a sentence length of 5-6 words.

·         Has a vocabulary of around 2000 words.

·         Defines objects by their use (you eat with a fork) and can tell what objects are made of .

·         Knows spatial relations like "on top", "behind", "far" and "near."

·         Knows her address.

·         Identifies a penny, nickel and dime.

·         Knows common opposites like "big/little."

·         Understands "same" and "different."

·         Counts ten objects.

·         Asks questions for information.

·         Distinguished left and right hand in herself.

·         Uses all types of sentences, for example "let's go to the store after we eat."


What are some indicators to observe when trying to determine a child’s language development?


I observed a variety of indicators that suggested the nature of each child's development.  Going into the situation, I couldn't imagine what I could learn other than whether or not the child was consistent with the various age-appropriate behaviors.  The many subtleties of the way the children communicated suggested a variety of behaviors which could be observed.  There are many indicators that suggest a child’s language development.  These indicators include the following:

  • The length of sentences.

  • Use of pronouns.

  • Length of responses to another person.

  • Nonverbal expressiveness.

  • Articulation and enunciation of word sounds.

  • Initiative in expressive language.

  • Eye contact during oral speech.

  • Use of syntax.

  • Complexity of vocabulary.

  • Rapidity and fluency of speech.

  • Conversational turn-taking.


What can one expect from a normally developing two year old?

One can expect a large range of communication as typical for a two year old.  I recall the course materials saying the variance was large, but I understood when I saw the two children.


The textbook explains that by the time they are 2 years old, their vocabulary may reach 200 words. They know relational or substantive nouns and have age agent and action syntax.  


When observing the child I talked to, I thought about the books explanation that this age child most often assumes their listeners know everything they themselves know, and they speak accordingly.  They provide no background information, use linguistic shortcuts without clues to their referents, are unable to take the listener's perspective, and are unable to respond to requests for more information or clarification.  I could see that in my interactions with him.  This child spoke better than I anticipated, however, and completed 3-5 word sentences, used pronouns, had a larger vocabulary than expected, and spoke fairly clearly.  I considered this child language-adept. 


The other child we observed used one-word answers, non-word sounds, shortened words, only response to questions without initiation.  The second child's communication seemed extremely upbeat and energetic speech, much like his physical movements.  I considered this child physically-adept. 


I was quite surprised about the way the physically-adept child was physically superior--far superior to the other child--and how the language-adept child was superior in his communication ability.  I wondered if the one child's physical development of gross motor skills are progressing so fast in the physically-adept child that his brain cannot focus on communication development.   I wondered if the language-adept child's brain is so busy in his communication development that his physical development is progressing at a slower rate.  I have seen the language-adept child wiggle, lose balance, and fall down on numerous occasions in true "toddler" style.  For the physically adept child, I cannot imagine him having a loss of body control and falling without reason.



When do children seem to launch into adult-style communication?


Age seven seems to be a crucial time for children who are typically developing.  As expected, the two year olds were poor speakers.  By the time the children were 4-5 years olds, they had  6 word sentences--  "I don't know yet, and that's all I know.."  The children put several sentences together without a prompt.  They had more eye contact, fewer articulation problems, and a clearly higher level of abstract content.


I was impressed with the way the child could put together long sentences and multiple sentences.  Although this child may be quite skilled, the child was speaking like an adult, which suggests that is a potential turning point.  The child's effective nonverbal communication and ability to make evaluations seemed quite adult-like.  The child's erect posture seemed quite mature.  The child's posture and presentation style suggested that the child was not distracted.  I was impressed by the child's quick recall. 


How can you tell if a child is aware of his or her problems in language development?


I was most interested in the child with articulation problems--SLI.  I could not answer that question, but being geared into the child's laughter and hand movement suggested that the child was probably aware.  I think is some ways I've come to ignore so much communication behavior so that I am more receptive to students that my processing may prevent me from observing those details.  I'm quite sure that I should video record these kinds of observations that I do in the classroom because I'm too engrossed in the interaction to be an effective observer of my own or the child's behavior during the communication.


What can one expect from a typically developing adolescent?

According to the textbook, the communication abilities of adolescents who are typically developing include the following:

  • Language for more intensive social interactions.

  • Language at the literate end of the oral-to-literate continuum

  • Language abilities related to critical thinking.

  • Advanced adverbial conjuncts, adverbs of likelihood, technical terms, precision, specific verbs, multiple meaning words.

  • Adolescents produce longer sentences for particular purposes.

  • Skilled conversationalists.

  • Slang.

  • Analogical or inductive reasoning.

  • Syllogistic or deductive reasoning.

  • Deal with multiple teaching and communication styles.

  • Meet diverse classroom rules.

  • Understand advanced discourse.

  • Increased amount of work produced.

  • Use working memory for reasoning and processing.

  • Longer focus time.

  • Work independently.

  • Take notes

  • Expressive writing.

  • Logical and critical thinking.

  • Can do advanced types of writing.

I was fascinated by the adolescent we observed.  He was age 14 and diagnosed with OCD, ADHD, and Aspergers.  This child used negative nonverbals, which seemed quite typical among some of my students.  The adolescent seemed upset about a racist incident in class, which suggested sensitivity on the child's part.. The child used fluent speech and a fast speech rate.  He seemed to speak well compared to students I've known.  The adolescent showed varying vocal rate and pitch.  His more off color, cuss words seemed consistent with what I've observed in my students.  The adolescent talked about how stupid others were, seemed to use some content for shock value, seemed emotional, had a uniquely amusing sense of humor, and was a bit of a showman.  His communication and attention shifts seemed quite typical to me. 


Given that this child's communication behavior was not typical, I wonder to what extent I already have been working with students with disabilities.  Of course we know that English language learners have many of the same language development characteristics as children with certain kinds of disabilities.  So given the students I work with who are culturally and linguistically diverse and students who have failed to succeed at state colleges, I suspect that a large portion of my students have disabilities.  I've never been privy to that information, but the practicum students and this adolescent seem very similar to some of my college students.


Nov. 1

Oral retelling scale--Difficult because hearing a story, which is subjective.

Mean length of utterance MLU

Coun number of morphemes, divide by number of utterances. 

Mean syntactic length is MSL, 2 or more words.

T-Unit Minimal terminal unit--One main clause plus any attached or subordinate clauses, or imbeded clause.  Incomplete sentences are thrown out.

C-Unit  Can include incomplete sentences and simple, compound and complex sentence.

MLU Average length in morpheme of a speakers utterance.  An utterance is a sentence--a complete idea.

BOUNDARIES Boundaries for computing MLU

Use a regular sentence. Rules are set up on preschool kids, but apply to kids with leanguage development problems.

1.  Reoccurrence of a word for emphasis.  Top, stop, stop is one morpheme because multiple words have same meaning.

2.  Compound words

railroad 2 or more free morphemes we count as one.  Compound word is used as a unit.

3.  Proper names even with titles count as one.

4.  Ritualized replication (night night) count as one no matter home many times it's said.

5.  Diminutives such as sweetie, Honey, ie roun  horsie, dogie count as one.

6.  Auxiliary verbs --Gonna wanna counts as one.  gonna = 1 but going to = 2 

7.  Contractive negative --don't, can't, won't count as 2 because it means two words.

8.  Possessive or possessive marker Tom's dog = 2

9.  Plural marker  cats count as one.

10.  Third person singular She eats He walks = 2 

11.  Regular past tense He walked = 2  walked = 1

12.  Present progressive marker (ing) he was walking  walking = 1

13.  Disfluency -- Stuttering or repeating part of a word = 1

14.  Fillers uhm ah like valley talk = 0


Jimmy went outside to play on the slide (one utterance)  8 morphemes

8 divided by 1 = MLU 8

Listen to the context in which it is said.

When run all sentences together with and.  Only 2 things can go together with an.  A semicolon is one utterance.

Achieving kids up to 5 years old --Do MLU --Not appropriate for older kids unless they have developmental problems.

Average 4.0, the child is speaking typically to most (adult conversation).

I wanna go = 3 divided by 1 or MLU = 3

"Can you feel your socks around your ankles."  A great distracter!

Stage 1  MLU = 1-2 words in a sentence.  12-26 months.  The emergence of true words.

Stage 2 MLU = 2-2.5  27-30monts, prefixes, suffixes, preposition.

Stage 3 MLU = 2.5-3 31-34 months.  Different sentence types

Stage 4 MLU 3-3.75 35-40 months.  More complex sentences

Stage 5 MLU 3.75-4.5 41-45 months.  You have basic sentence structure going.  Basic idea of putting together sentences is there.

Go go dada 2 divided by 1 = 2 MLU

Me want juice  3 divided by 1 = 3 MLU

Never take it on just one sample.  Get samples at different times in different contexts. 

Listening comprehension is often far better than what you can read or say.

Sample analysis guidelines handout.

Could look at all of these in kids sample.

7 or more letters in length--higher up on scale

7 or more letters in length - higher up on scale.

Oral language develops before written.

Oral is more difficult to judge

Oral language - tape record and transcribe.




Nov. 8 

See Components of Written Expression Handout

Same as with oral sample, we want to have the sample itself in front of us and we also want to have seen the child write the sample.  There are physical aspects.  need to see dominance, finger grip.

Be a good observer!  You'll be amazed what you could create to really look at oral and written language.

Three syndromes in kids with written language issues:

Dysgraphia:  is a writing disorder, like dyslexia is to reading.  We see letter reversal, frequent misspellings, If a kid can't read a word, they should be able to spell the word, word transposition, flipping numbers.  Word transposition is common and okay orally, but not in written form.  "I to went the store."  Transfer from handwriting to computer around 7 to 8th grade. 

Some schools will say dyslexia is a medical condition.

Need to get information on the IEP.

Hyperlexia is a pervasive developmental disorder.  Under autism scale.  Really early reading ability and intense preoccupation with words and letters.  Kid traces everything sees, but little or no comprehension.  Have little comprehension over what they've read, but also limited oral skills as well.  No decent reciprocal conversation.  Sometimes talk about kids with low comprehension, but this is really more extreme--incredible oral reading and writing ability.  Many have other overt perceptual problems.  Almost like savant perceptual experiences.  Not every kid with autism has this.  It is a form of autism (PDD)

Semantic/Pragmatic disorder is close to Aspergers--pervasive developmental disorder characterized by very concrete, difficulty with conversational discourse.  Has limited vocabulary.  We thought they were lazy or smart alecs, but when clearly had all three, then they have the diagnosis. 

Autism spectrum disorder--kids at all places along there.  If echolalia is the primary speech mechanism, or don't speak at all, or have excessive self simulation and self injury, that's more toward classic autism end.

Sam Kirk coined term "learning disabilities" in 1964.  High correlation between TBI and emotional behavior disorders?

Perseveration--repeating writing strokes

Motor planning--having to plan it.

We tend to judge creative writing with the use elements, which limits what we see with kids.  Some kids are severely limited in form and usage.

Writing evaluation scale gives good evaluation.

Kids with behavior disorders have trouble getting directly from point a to point b.  We can see that in their writing.  We can tell much about kids by how well they can sequence.  Has a lot to do with how they problem solve.

When they lack confidence in writing may write very light, some push super hard.  Don't care about size other than can they make capital letters larger and is there consistency.  There is some literature that uses handwriting analysis and applies it --psychology--to educational context. 

By the end of kindergarten a child should be able to sequence events in their every day life

Possible Diagnostic Sequence Written/Oral Language  Brenda Miles & Joyce Downing & Judi Carlson developed this informal collect of ways to look at a kid's oral and written language.  This is a way to examine oral and written language without having to rely on a specific test or test score.  You wouldn't do all of these things, but would pick and chose.  Observation is a huge component.  This will work well with kids with autism.  You'll want an oral and written sample.  Could show the kid some stimulus and say "tell me what you see in this picture."  Brainstorming means did we talk about it first to generate ideas.  We need three samples across different environments. Will try to analyze errors, rule based words,  Retest orally.  Retesting words at a lower level--recognition level.

Use this!

Hierarchical levels of performance or presentation:


5.  Generalization--Put in the real environment.  The highest level of the skill is to use it in real life.

4.  Application--Take something and use it in a different context.  Write a sentence using the word dinosaur.  Teacher's still kind of in control of it.  Simulation.

3.  Recall--Show something and remember.  Bring from memory without having things to pick from.  Harder than recognition.  Teachers use this level too much.  If child can't do it, move down a level.

2.  Recognition--Able to find it out of a group of similar distractors.  Easier than recalling it.  Pick from an array of things.  Can make it harder by adding more things.  Can make it harder by making more similar.  Multiple choice tests.  Matching tests.

1.  Awareness--(just getting in the environment)  Introducing something not previously in construct.


Following multi-step directions.  We have so many students who cannot follow instructions.  We really misinterpret how many steps a person can do.  More than 3, we all start falling apart.


Academic language (4th grade on up)  Sometimes don't get academic language and we need to teach it.

Near point (next to you) copying and distance (board) Does it matter if on right side, left side, or above.

Younger kids, need to come down and look at those basic skills.  A language experience story is where the kid dictates something to you.  Get a contained story.  Write on sentence strips, then break into single words.  See if the kid can read the sentence.  Can they take the words and put the sentence together in an appropriate fashion.

Sequencing.  In most basic form.  Can I count, do one to one correspondence, can I put 3 or more pictures together.  Can I sequence sentences in a logical order to make a paragraph?  To make a story?

Does the kid know personal information.  Some of our kids have difficulty with things at that level.  The lower the child's skills, the more normal a child looks, the worst it is for the child.

Tests:  T Test  Pro-ed Publications.  Any teacher can get from resource/library center.  Any teacher can use without a problem.



Boundary markers:  periods, exclamation points, question marks.

Nov 29

Handwriting, spelling, and written language instruction

Nov. 29

Handwriting, spelling, and written language instruction

Multiple choice and short answer:  Vocabulary  MLU, MSU, T unit, C unit

How to compute MLU from a transcribed oral sample. 

Know those developmental stages, early childhood stages related to MLU

Brief case study.  Analyze a written sample.  Create a diagnostic sequence.  What would you look at to assess the child.  Handwriting samples to compare and contrast.  Know instructional approaches to spelling.  Stages of writing instruction.  Creating a social story--do some application with a social story.

Chapters 4, 5, 6  Notes from 9, 10, 11 Nothing on chapter 12

Mini lesson plan will be creating a mnemonic strategy.  Due on Thursday before we start the test.

Handwriting chapter--debate about is handwriting a dead skill?  We talked about pros and cons.  Bottom line--right now written language is still a part of our society and our students need to be able to do it.  Handwriting is very different from one person to the next.  Legibility is a major issue.  Why do we want to spend time teaching it?

1.  When we look at handwriting, we are developing find and gross motor skills.  Pencil grasp, gross motor skill in movement of arm, placement of word on paper. 

2.  We want to aid kids from handwriting as a task to a fluid, unconscious kind of pattern.  The more opportunities to practice, the more fluid and unconscious it will become.

3.  Kids need to write legibly to communicate.  One of many communication skills.

Can teach handwriting in isolation like Denelian.  When we have kids copy from the board, that's an isolation.

We want to expand and link to a purpose so we teach handwriting in context.  See page 369.  Also review 370  Of all of the communication processes, handwriting is at the top of the communication processes because need thought, recall, visualization, fine & gross motor skills.  Multiple complex skill with many smaller pieces of information.

Emphasize legibility and spacing.  Spacing is difficult for kids to do.

The book devotes a time talking about cursive v manuscript writing.  Know what's good about each.  Cursive is faster and shows a connection.  At end, who cares.  With our kids, writing is an arduous task.  Some gen ed teachers may insist one way, so we need to be an advocate.  Don't confuse the ability to write with the ability to be a writer.  Most of us have the privilege of using any word in our vocabulary in something we write.  Most of our students will not reach that level.  Help gen ed teachers see that if we limit what they can produce to what they can physically write, we won't see the true ability of that child.  Look for opportunities to offer modification.  Allow them to create their understanding in a modality they can use.  Maybe create a venn diagram.  Think about what you learn in the methods class that allow kids to be better writters as a differentiated format.

p. 390 has excellent remediation ideas.

Left-handedness.  Nearly everyone is right hand or left hand dominate and have a clear dominant hand.  Most of us have parallel dominance with upper and lower body. 

Some kids have mixed modality dominance.  Both are impaired or neither is stronger.  Sometimes left hand and right foot.  When they are doing things, their brain has to transpose.  They will be slower at being able to write.  A computer keyboard can be a big help.

10% of world is left-handed.  The physical orientation is different.  Hold the pencil further up.  Tilt paper slightly to the right.  Tend to slant their writing more.  Put tape on the paper to hold it there for them.  Don't worry about slanted letters.  Use a harder led pencil. Hand goes across writing and can smear the writing.

If mixed dominance, let them try it out. 

Construct of crossing midline.  Most of us can do that, but it's more difficult.  For kids with midline issues, it's next to impossible.


P. 396

Spelling is incredibility complex.  Rule base teaching is a problem because of the exceptions.

Look at some of the strategy based items.  The CRL at KU in Lawrence is one of the best in the country.  Have the learning strategy--KU Model.  When you look at word identification strategies, you teach root words, which helps develop context.  Use with adolescents.  An alternative to phonics.  Strate-gram newsletter is really good.  Worth looking at.

See fig. 10.2 p. 405.

Look for patterns.  404 gives nice list of common errors.  Then can do targeted intervention.  The Kottmeyer page 407 is common and effective, which allows 2nd grade level.  This allows you to analyze the spelling errors.  Kottmeyer.  10.3.

Typically teach with word list, write, look up.  For our kids, this isn't a useful pattern.  If they are making specific errors, they won't memorize the spelling of those words and apply them.  Encourage gen ed teachers to use alternative approaches.  May want to focus on Dolche high frequency list.  For MR, may want to focus on functional word list (danger).  Go online and put in functional sight word list.  They are all good.  There are many other approaches to teaching spelling we can use.  Some good multi-sensory approaches we can use.  Whole language can work well for kids that have motivational issues if you pick topics they are interested in.  The down side is there isn't any alternative methodology.  For many of our kids we need a multi-modal or multi-sensory approach.  Trace the word in a box of sand.  Make their body in the shape of the word.  Write it on someone's back. How does the child learn.  Then create the experiences for their learning styles.  Let them see, hear, trace the word at the same time.

Grace Fernald kinesthetic approach to reading.  She made great progress and many of her techniques are still used in remedial reading.

There are linguistic approaches--root words, cognitive approaches, and word families, Janus does high interest low vocab books.  Super Duper does lots of word family kinds of things and reasonably prices.  Lindamood.  Cognitive approach Margaret Wong.  See page 422.

Hardly any spelling errors are random.  They almost always follow a pattern.  The best way to help kids is to be able to analyze the pattern of those errors.  Focus on error pattern analysis.

Written Language

 -- Most difficult.  Remember that it's not just a product, but also a process.   You have to have all the components in the process, be capable of doing them, before you can create the product.

Most use 3 stage approach

Pre-writing, brainstorming, Venn diagram, Inspiration is a great software program that does Webbing.  Teach the prewriting strategies.

The actual writing itself.  A rough draft.  Enhancing the rough draft.  All kinds of tools and strategies.

Post writing means where we go back and proof-read.  Some kids have fluency problems and skip over common errors.  Read the paper backwards so reading each word and checking each word.  Catching spelling, not analyzing content.

Teach write approach.  Teach skill, practice writing. Others suggest a write-teach approach is more functional.  Use what they've created to teach the individual skills.  Both are valid approaches.  It's good to have more than one way to look at things.

When given feedback on writing, use selective feedback.  Don't attempt to fix everything at once.  Okay at college level.  If you correct everything at once, it will be overwhelming.  If you focus on one thing, kids come away from writing experience feeling as though they are writers and can create something.

Direct instruction is important.  Our students are not good vicarious learners.  In class within a class--one teacher can give instruction and other teacher can model the instruction.  Don't assume that are students can learn without instruction, practice in isolation, then perhaps they can generallize.

Notetaking, outlining, and short essay--our junior and senior high kids will flounder if we don't teach it.  There are lots of teaching books to support your teaching, such as step up to writing.  All kids need to be exposed to these techniques and given an opportunity to do them. 

Teach students how to add their own content.  Some kids are better just listening without combining a visual.

Write key words on the board.  You need to know that those are the most important concepts.  Combine that with a quick review of what you said before when you start the next class session.--Recap previous class.

Look online at  which has tons of suggested structures.  Keep shopping around until you find what works best for the specific student.

Writing strategy:











K  what do I know

W what do I want to know

L what have you learned


Create a word

A series of steps for doing something.

For handwriting, a spelling thing, or a written expression thing.

Glossary of linguistic terms

Notes from course textbook below.

Material below is directly quoted or closely adapted from the course textbook and is for use only by enrolled students who have purchased the textbook. 


Polloway, E. A., Miller, L.  & Smith, T. E. C.  (2004).  Language instruction for students with disabilities.  (3rd ed.)  Denver:  Love Publishing Company.


The material below is protected by publisher copyright and cannot be copied from this site.

Chapter 1

Chapter 1  Introduction to Language, Speech, and Communication

  • Rationalism:  The child's mind is ready to learn language given the opportunity to do so.  Chomsky contended that the capacity for acquiring language is innate in humans and unfolds in relatively universal ways.  Nature

  • Empiricism --Locke-- holds that the child's mind is a blank slate, on which experience is impressed.  Nurture

  • Social Interactionists contend that the interaction of biological abilities and environmental influences accounts for language development.

Language form refers to the structures of language--the rules governing sounds, meanings, words, and sentences.

Language content concerns the rules governing how meaning is derived from words and sentences.

Narrative refers to the rules governing how conversations and stories are structured in terms of sequence, cause-and-effect relationships, and character motivations.

  • Phonology is the set of rules governing how sound are used to make syllables and words.

  • Phoneme is the pronounceable sounds, the smallest linguistic units to carry meaning.

  • International Phonetic Alphabet represents phonemes.

  • English contains approximately 44 phonemes, which can be categorized into consonants and vowels.

  • Place of articulation is the part of the mouth where the articulatory contact or movement is made.

  • Manner of articulation describes how consonants are produced.

  • Plosives or stops refer to small explosive sounds that result from a stoppage of airflow out to the mouth followed by a sudden release of air. 

  • Fricatives are hissing sounds such as the s in silly.

  • Affricates are combinations of plosive and fricative qualities.

  • Nasals are from the passage of air into the nose (n for nonsense)

  • Lateral sounds result from airflow being directed out of the mouth alongside the tongue (the two l sounds in likely)

  • Glides are semivowels produced through movement rather than stoppage or constriction of the airflow, such as the y sound in yes.

  • High vowels are produced with the tongue held relatively close to the palate resulting in a narrow oral resonating space.

  • Mid vowels have wider resonating spaces because the tongue is held midway between the palate and the floor of the mouth.

  • Low vowels have the most oral resonance, as the tongue almost rests on the floor of the mouth.

  • Back vowels are those produced with rounded lips

  • Front vowels result from spread lips.

  • Morphology is the set of rules governing how phonemes are combined into syllables and words to convey meaning,

  • Morphemes are the smallest grammatical units that carry meaning

  • Syntax is the linguistic conventions for generating meaningful phrases and sentences.

Language content refers to the meaning level of language.

Language is used in various social contexts.

Narrative ability is the sequence of events put together in a story.

  • An initiating event.

  • Attempts or responses.

  • Consequence

More complicated narrative episodes

  • An internal response

  • A plan

  • Reactions

  • Ending.

Paralinguistics are the pitch and range of the voice, intonation, pattern, vocal intensity, and how the various parts of the utterance are emphasized.

Proxemics are the physical distance in communication.

Kinesics is the set of body and facial gestures, movements, and expressions used.

Chronemics is the timing factors that influence how people interpret their conversational partners'' utterances.

Chapter 2

Chapter 2  Language Development from Infancy through Adolescence

Communication in the paralinguistic period:  first words.

Emerging language:  combing of words

Developing language:  two word utterances

Language for learning:  reading, writing, figurative, narrative, classroom discourse.


Brown's most significant contribution to the study of language development was his description of the mean length of utterances for children at different stages. Mean length of utterance or MLU  Children achieve 5.0 when they enter school.

Prelinguistic Stage

  • Motherese:  underscore pitch, rate, loudness, stress, rhythm, and intonation.

  • Bruner--joining attention and joint referencing.

  • Parent encourages joint attention by looking at baby

  • 's eyes and face as he or she speaking.  Over time the baby begins to look at the parent's eyes whenever the parent speaks.  Joint referencing develops out of joint attention.

  • Babbling is the use of consonant-vowel (CV) syllables.

  • Intentionality is intending to communicate, which include:

  • Seeking attention, both for and away from self.

  • Seeking conversational interaction.

  • Requesting objects, action, information

  • Greeting

  • Giving

  • Protesting/rejecting

  • Responding/acknowledging

  • Informing

Emerging Language Stage

  • By the end of their first year of life, children understand about 20 different words.  By the time they are 2 years old, their vocabulary may reach 200 words.  Most common communicative purposes, age 1 = 20 words, age 2 = 200.

  • Relational or substantive nouns.

  • Syntax at 18 months of age, producing two-word phrases.  Agent and action, for example.  (Dog eat.)

  • Phonological development occurs gradually, extending over a period of s several years.


  • Children's attempts to communicate more than double in frequency between 18 and 24 months.

  • A presupposition is an assumption the speaker makes about what the listener already knows. 

  • In the earliest phase of emerging language, children most often assume their listeners know everything they themselves know, and they speak accordingly.

  • They provide no background information, use linguistic shortcuts without clues to their referents, are unable to take the listener's perspective, and are unable to respond to requests for more information or clarification.

  • Turn-taking

  • The ability to take conversational turns over extended conversation is limited, as is their ability to share turns over extended conversation is limited, as is their ability to share turns with more than one or two conversational partners.

Developing Language Stage

  • Semantics --at age 4, they can say approximately 1800 different words.  Children probably understand as many as 3,000 to 4,000 different words.  At this stage, children are using nouns and verbs, adding prepositions, using temporal words, adjectives, pronouns, regular and irregular verbs.

  • Syntax --embedding takes two basic forms:  embedding phrases within sentences, and bedding clauses within clauses. 

  • Morphology:  the earliest morphemes children use with any regularity are the plural marker.

Phonology:  developing language period is a time of rapid change.

  • Cluster reduction:  two consonant combinations are reduced to one.

  • Substitution of a glide for a liquid.

  • Epenthesis or the insertion of the schwa as in tewl for tree.

  • Conversational repair.

  • Figurative language-- One of the most important aspects of children's language learning during the developing language stage is the beginning of understanding that language is arbitrary and can exist on several levels, ranging from the literal to the metaphoric.

  • Narratives can be categorized into four types:  recounts, eventcasts, accounts, and fictionalized narratives.

  • Language for learning comes ages 5-11.

  • When most children in grades 1 and 2 read something new, they spend most of their attention energy on decoding.  They are engaged in learning the  sound-letter correspondences and phonological syntheses that constitute decoding.  These decoding processes, known as phonological awareness, gradually become more natural for children.

  • Semantic development:  common nouns, proper nouns, concrete nouns, abstracts nouns, collective nouns, counts nouns, mass nouns.

  • Fleshing out the pronouns:  During this period, children complete their sorting of the English pronoun system.

  • Figurative language:  become aware that words can mean more than one thing and that different words can be used to describe the same thing.

  • A metaphor, simile, proverbs, adages, maxims, become more proficient at understanding and manipulating the figurative language used in humor.

  • Children elaborate noun and verb phrases, adding more adjectives and adverbs and including prepositional phrases and subordinate clauses.

  • Passive sentences, remain difficult for children until the end of this period.

  • Exceptions to the rule occur with certain verbs, especially when they are used as infinitives.  Ask, promise, and tell. 

  • Embedding infinitive phrases, object complements, and relative clauses that modify noun phrases in the object position but not in the subject position.

  • Conjoining acquisition of conjunctions, including conditionals, causals, disjunctives, temporals.

  • Adding ing.

  • Use language in ways the public school culture considers literate.

  • Other than conversational and narrative.

  • The oral to literate shift:

  • structured play, wordless books, comic books, books on video, folktales, trade books.

  • True narratives emerge when children's stories contain a central theme, character, and plot, as well as a setting and a complete episode:  An internal response, a plan, a reaction or ending.

  • Discourse of the classroom, some of the rules for which are never verbalized by the teacher (hidden curriculum), student response format.

  • The metas

  • metalinguistic ability--reflect and talk about language

  • metacognitive ability - reflect on and talk about thinking and reasoning skills.

  • Comprehensive monitoring refers to children's emerging ability to recognize when they do and do not understand something.

  • Organizational and learning strategies refer to the methods of children use to organize themselves for learning.

  • Graphophoneme awareness is associating letters of the alphabet with the sounds the letters most often represent.



Language for more intensive social interactions.

Language at the literate end of the oral-to-literate continuum

Language abilities related to critical thinking.

Advanced adverbial conjuncts, adverbs of likelihood, technical terms, precision, specific verbs, multiple meaning words.

Adolescents produce longer sentences for particular purposes.

Skilled conversationalists.


Analogical or inductive reasoning.

Syllogistic or deductive reasoning.


Deal with multiple teaching and communication styles.

Meet diverse classroom rules.

Understand advanced discourse.

Increased amount of work produced.

Use working memory for reasoning and processing.

Longer focus time.

Work independently.

Take notes

Expressive writing.

Logical and critical thinking.

Can do advanced types of writing.

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Cultural Diversity

  • Factors that affect minority cultures and different linguistic groups.

  • Institutional racism and other forms of discrimination.

  • Lowered expectations of student achievement.

  • Mismatch between curriculum and student needs.

  • Mismatch between pedagogy and cultural context.

  • Tracking and ability grouping

  • Lack of student, teacher, and parent involvement.

  • By 2020, nearly 50% of individuals living in the US will be from African American, Asian, Latino, or some other non-European ethnic group.

  • Two factors that cause the societal mainstream to notice language  is an accent and a disparity between public and formal language codes (schools, middle and upper socio economic groups).

Deficit viewpoint:  The language of people from lower social classes represent a deficient code, not just one that is different from the majority culture.

Difference position:  all languages have the potential for communicating the full range of human experiences and for meeting all the purposes for language.

Children who are bilingual are an extremely heterogeneous group.

More than 400 million Spanish speakers throughout the world.

Acceptance of language diversity can empower students to succeed in inclusive educational settings and communicate acceptance of individual differences.

  • Teachers must be able to communicate effectively in the language of the students.

  • Teachers must understand the structural differences between languages.

  • Teachers must respond positively to cross-cultural behavioral diversity.

  • Teachers must recognize similarities and differences among various cultures.

Cultural elements should be incorporated in instructional programs.


CEC Common Core of Knowledge and Skills must be addressed in special education teacher preparation programs.


Ways to reduce discrimination in assessment:

  • Administering tests in the child's native language.

  • Using only tests that have been specifically validated for the purpose they are being used.

  • Conducting assessments using a multidisciplinary team.

  • using more than a single instrument to determine the existence of a handicapping condition.

Majority language bilingual immersion:  teachers are bilingual, instructional activities are modified to involve the students' primary language,  literacy in the primary language is encouraged and reinforced.

  • Selecting appropriate materials for students;

  • Consider the intended audience.

  • Check for congruence with the family's and community's values, beliefs, and practices and with current recommended practices.

  • Consider the effectiveness of the presentation.

  • Examine the graphics, illustrations, case studies, and photographs used.

  • Evaluate the translation of the material.

To help teachers meet the special classroom needs of language-different students:

  • Assess needs.

  • Empathize.

  • Foster a sense of belonging.

  • Assign a buddy.

  • Use "sheltering" techniques with simple, slow speech and visuals.

  • Teach key words.

  • Read and reread books aloud.

  • Provide opportunities for success.

  • Keep track of language progress.

  • Value bilingualism.

  • Support the family's involvement.

  • Foster an appreciation of cultural diversity.


Final Exam Study Chapters 4, 5, 6  Notes from 9, 10, 11

Chapters 4

Chapters 4  Language Assessment and Instruction for Preschool Children

Severity of impairment:  assessment, intervention, and instruction are sometimes viewed in terms of severity of impairment.

For a preschool-age child, assessment is aimed at discovering which communicative intentions the child exhibits, how those intentions are expressed (language forms), what the child expresses (language content), whether the child understands or uses narrative language.

Developmental age is the typical chronological age at which a child can perform a skill in a given area such as language.

Types of assessment include:

  1. Standardized tests.  There are also nonstandardized approaches without comparison to peers.

  2. Interviews

  3. Observations.

Standardizes tests have:

  • Clear administration and scoring criteria.

  • Validity.

  • Reliability.

  • Standardization.

  • Measures of central tendency and variability (normal distribution)

  • Standard error of measurement with a specific degree of confidence.

  • Norm-references.

Nonstandardized approaches include criterion-referenced procedures, the use of developmental scales, and dynamic assessment.  Provide a means to examine whether a child can attain a certain level of performance.

The following communicative dimension can be addressed in interview sessions:

  • Conversational partners

  • Mode of communication

  • Conversational duration

  • Amount of tlaking

  • Conversational structure

  • Topics

  • Adult talk to chldren

  • Speech acts

  • Social beliefs

Observation of children's play and routines in familiar environment.  The information gleaned from the observations can be embedded into the instructional plan for the students.

Assesment of Communication and Language in Preschool Children

For children whose communication is primarily PRELINGUISTIC, assessment will determine precisely which aspects of their communicative repertoire need bolstering so that they can move into the emerging language phrase. 

EMERGING LANGUAGE assessment will pinpoint which linguistic processes need attention so that they can move into the developing language phase. 

DEVELOPING LANGUAGE stage--assessment can show which abilities need emphasis and further development in preparation for entry into kindergarten.

The majority of instruments available for assessing communication and language development at the prelinguistic stage are nonstandardized scales and checklists.

No standardizes instrument assesses all aspects of children's emerging language abilities.  The scales provide information about the following areas of communication and language behaviors:

  1. Expressing a variety of communicative functions

  2. Using strategies for initiating, responding to, and repairing conversations

  3. Expressing intentions trough gesture and/or vocal means

  4. Using facial expression and eye gaze appropriately during social interaction

  5. Using and understanding symbolic behavior both with and outside language

Standardized instruments are much more commonly used for children whose language abilities are characteristic of the developing language period than for earlier stages.

Interviews with parents and/or caregivers provide valuable information regarding a child's communication and language

Communication and Language Instruction

States must link students' IEPs with state learning standards.

The basis for learning to read and write have been formulated by various professional groups, such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Children who exhibit weaknesses in oral language development during the prelinguistic, emerging language, and/or developing language stages of development often display a variety of problems learning to read, write, or spell, which are typically diagnosed, collectivey, as a language-learning disability (LLD).

Language-learning disability is viewed as a more general type of language-based learning problem than dyslexia.

LLD involve problems with both single-word reading and comprehension.

The long-term goal of language instruction for preschool children with disabilities is to a cquire the semantic, syntactic, phonological, and pragmatic abilitites typical of the end of the developing language period.

Language Instruction for Preschool Children in the Prelinguistic Stage

9-18 months work to increase the child's ability to:

  1. vocalize

  2. vocalize frequently and use different types of vocalizations

  3. exhibit intentions in communicating

  4. use different forms to communicate intention

  5. exhibit several types of intensions (requesting, negating, commenting)

  6. engage in mutual attending

  7. engage in joint attending--the parent and infant look at each other's faces while conversing.

  8. engage in joint referencing

The basic elements involved in modeling turn-taking and imitation are

  • observing the child

  • using smiles and vocalizations to stimulate behavior from the child

  • waiting while the child expresses or performs some behavior, such as vocalizing, moving limbs, or making faces

  • imitating whatever the child does

  • waiting for the child to do something else.

Modeling anticipatory sets

Anticipatory sets are activities or games that have been repeated often enough that the child becomes familiar with the sequence being repeated.

Increasing Communicative Intentions underlies the ability to use the wide range of semantic, syntactic, and morphological structures typical of the emerging language state of development. Here are examples of communicative temptations.

  • While engaging the child in play, stop and wait for the child to communicate either a desire to continue or directions about what to do next.

  • During snack time, begin eating without offering the snack to the child.

  • Present a closed bag of toys that requires adult help to open.

  • In the middle of an interaction, stop and wait for the child to request a continuation.

  • Put on an unusual piece of clothing.

  • Put on a mask.

  • Present the child with two masks and ask which he or she wants.

  • Open a bubble jar and blow bubbles until the child indicates his or her desire to blow them.

Language Instruction for Preschool Children in the Emerging Language Stage

A set of factors that predict hte need for language intervention and/or instrution, including problems with:

  • Language production:  small vocabulary with few verbs, more transitive verbs (eat apple) and general verbs (make, do, go), few intransitive verbs (sit, lie) or bitransitive verbs (take the book to the teacher)

  • Language comprehension:  significant problems with comprehension, gap between comprehension and production.

  • Phonology:  few vocalizations, limited number of consonants, little variety during babbling, fewer than 50% of consonants produced correctly, with glottals and backs substituted for fronts, vowel errors, and problems with syllable structure;

  • Imitation:  few spontaneous imitations, imitation mostly in reponse to direct modeling and prompting.

Language Instruction Using Symbolic Play (Stages)

  • The child expresses playful pretending

  • The child uses symbolism beyond self

  • The child combines symbolic games

  • Uses hierarchical pretending that shows planning.

Teacher should take care to use both relational and substantive words.

The teacher would use words serving the following communicative purposes:

  1. Rejection

  2. Nonexistence

  3. Cessation or prohibition of action

  4. Recurrence

  5. Existence

  6. Action on objects

  7. Locative action

  8. Attribution

  9. Naming, possession, commenting

  10. Social interaction

Bookreading can foster language development.

Facilitating communicative intentions and discourse functions:

  • Naming people, objects, events, and locations

  • Commenting on, or describing, the physical attributes of people, objects, or events including size, shape, and location; movements and actions; and references to attributes such as possession and usual location.

  • Requesting objects in the present environment and outside the current environment

  • Requesting the initiation or continuation of an action

  • Requesting information about objects, actions, people, or locations using intonation

  • Responding directly to preceding utterances

  • Protesting or rejecting an ongoing or impending action or event

  • Seeking attention to oneself or aspects of the environment

  • Greeting through conversationalized rituals.

Teachers can model the three most typical forms of discourse functions:

  • Requests for information

  • Acknowledgements to the conversational partner

  • Answers or responses.

Language instruction for preschool children in the developing language stage, should include goals of reading, writing, listening and using language to acquire, assess, and communication information.

There are a variety of instructional products, processes, and contexts.

Benchmarks or short terms objectives must align developmentally with what the child needs to acquire next in the developing language stage.  It's important to determine the degree to which the objectives are likely to improve the child's communicative effectiveness.  Also important is the degree to which the children are modifiable with regard to the language products identified as needing instruction.

Certain language forms are more teachable than others because they are

  • more easily demonstrated to the child or shown through pictures

  • taught through materials and activities that are easy to access and organize

  • used frequently in naturally occurring situations in the child's everyday life.

Modifications the teacher can make:

  • Reducing the rate of speech

  • Repeating utterances more than once

  • Highlighting specific words and word order with exaggerated intonation and heightened vocal emphasis

  • Monitoring linguistic complexity so that sentences are slightly longer than the students', are well formed, and are semantically accessible to the students.

  • Ensuring that teacher request for linguistic production from students are pragmatically appropriate--that is, not expecting students to use a complete sentence if the socially appropriate response is one or two words.

ACC Alternative and/or augmentative communication (ACC) modalities.

Chapters 5

Chapters 5 Language Assessment and Instruction for School-Age Children

Kavanagh and Mattingly presented a convincing argument showing how reading develops from the foundations of oral language skills acquired by normally developing children. Oral language abilities underlie reading and writing.

Example Standardized Measures:  Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Communication Abilities Diagnostic Test (Johnston & Johnson)

Nonstandardized Measures rate communication areas, including speech-language abilities:


  • Soliciting attention

  • Paying attention

  • Questioning

  • Appropriateness

  • Descriptive ability

  • Speech-language abilities

Both criterion-reference measures and behavioral observations can yeild valuable information about the language abilities of school-age students.

Although students with LLD often sound intelligible in conversations, many exhibit difficulties with phonologically demanding tasks, or phonological processing, such as segmenting words into syllables and sounds, producing phonologically complex words or phrases, or pronouncing nonsense words.  Several measures exist for assessing students' phonological processing abilities.

Often students with LLD experience difficulty understanding the vocabulary in their textbooks.

Nonstandardizes approaches to assessing students' expressive vocabulary usually focus on lexical diversity and word retrieval.

Another aspect of expressive vocabulary that teachers can observe is a student's differentiation of nouns into subcategories, such as the following:

  • Common nouns

  • Proper nouns

  • Concrete nouns

  • Abstract nouns

  • Collective nouns

  • Count nouns

  • Mass nouns

How students use personal pronouns and adverbs reveals another aspect of expressive vocabulary knowledge.

Use of syntactic structures ca focus on the following:

  • Articles

  • Exceptions to tense markers and plurals

  • Nonreversible passive sentences

  • Reversible passive sentences

  • Infinitive sentences

  • Embedded infinitive phrases, object complements, and relative classes.  H'es the one I saw at the mall.

  • Conjoining with conditionals, causals, disjunctives, and temporals.

POST TEACHING after intervention.  Following the teaching phase, the teacher tests the student again on the same material to determine several things:

  • How much change the student exhibited

  • How the student approach the tasks

  • What the student's error pattern and self-monitoring abilities were

  • How modifiable the student's responses were

  • Which teaching styles and strategies worked to promote change.

EPISODE elements and structure in children's narratives.

  1. An initiating event or background information telling what propels the main character into action.

  2. An attempt, or information about the main character's attempt to achieve his or her goals.

  3. A consequence, or information about the resolution of the initiating event.

  4. An internal response, or information about the main character's reactions to feelings about the initiating event.

  5. A plan, or information about what the main character intends to do and why

  6. A reaction/ending about the main character's reactions to the consequence.

Research on classroom discourse revealed that very little of how classroom discourse works is ever verbalized.  Hidden curriculum is the unspoken set of rules about how students are expected to communicate and act.

Nonnarrative discourse types:  Descriptive discourse, poetry, expository discourse, and argumentative/persuasive discourse.

THE METAS:  Metalinguistic, metacognitive, and metapragmatic abilities.  Most students develop the abiity to reflect on their own thinking--metacognition--sometime during their elementary schoolyears.  Students with pragmatic disorders typically experience difficulty with metapragmatic tasks. 

One of the goals of language instruction for school age children is to help them develop facility with the language structures, forms, and functions that appear during the language for learning period.  Language targets can include the components of oral language development (semantics, phonology, syntax, morphology, pragmatics).  The teacher can select reading material that includes particular vocabulary words and at the same time ask the student to incorporate the same words into oral descriptions or storytelling activities.

P. 170 have strategies about story telling, which can be good for the IEP.

Teaching about narrative discourse can focus on how narrative language can be used to provide multiple opportunities for students to integrate oral and written language and to practice narrative abilities. Nelson recommended that teachers begin teaching students about nonnarrative (expository) discourses by having them discriminate between narrative and nonnarrative discourse structures.  Teachers can use schemata as visual organizers to help students recognize the organizational structure of different types of expository text and to help them organize their oral or written report.  Students can also gain insight into nonnarrative discourse through learning to recognize key words that characterize different kinds of expository text.  Teachers can develop activities to help students learn the key words characteristic of different types of text.

MATH Nelson pointed out that the language of mathematics constitutes a special case of expository, or nonnarrative, discourse.  Most mathematics instruction in the early grades takes the form of the teacher giving directions.  Students with LLD experience difficulties learning the language of math.  They fail to remember the correct order for solving the problem from the teacher's directions, use less self-talk, and confuse the symbols.  Story problems require students to undertand th problem in tow stages;  first, before the mathematical operations are applied and then after the application, to see what has changed.

To engage students on the more abstract, or meta level, Paul suggested that teachers encourage students to talk about the language forms they are using, how and why they are using those particular forms, ad which other language forms might be used for the same purposes.

Processes of language instruction

Scaffolding is the process by which teachers mediate specific experiences, such as the use of particular language forms or functions, to help students become more competent with those forms or functions.  To model, the teacher begins by showing the student the materials they will use for the session and tells the student what they will be working on, or the goal of the session.  This is the intention to teach strategy.

Miller Model of mediated teaching.  Interesting.  KOOL Organize my class this way.

  1. Intention--what we will do

  2. Meaning strategy is to explain to the student WHY the task or goal is important.

  3. Examples highlight the concept we are working on

  4. Hypothesize or transcend by asking the student why the characters did various things in the story

  5. Self evaluation--We've been talking about . . . why is that important?

  6. Planning --How will you apply this in the future.

Whole language instruction uses children's literature to introduce students to reading and emphasizes the communicative functions served by written langauge.  Whole language instruction integrates oral and written language across the curriculum.

Contexts of Language Instruction

Classroom-based instruction.

Speech-language clinician (SLP)  There is a value in teachers consulting or collaborating with SLPs when designing and implementing communication and language instruction.  Specific lessons or units with the SLP providing support to students with LLD helps them achieve greater success in the classroom.

Web-based instruction has become more frequently used. 

Construct a communication board for a story.

Chapters 6

Chapters 6 Language Assessment and Instruction for Adolescents

Most adolescents with language disabilities have been identified during elementary school as having a language-based learning disability.  Reading and writing demands of the secondary curriculum are considerably greater than the demands in elementary school, placing stress on weak language systems.

The metas--metacognition, metalinguistic knowledge, and metapragmatics--become important in adolescence.  Students are expected to take more control over their own learning, and they are required to recognize and reflect on their own thought processes and learning.  They are expected to use logical and critical thinking to evaluate information and to write in different discourse styles.  In middle school, teachers begin requiring students to take responsibility for knowing when they don't know something, for knowing how to get assistance when necessary, for working independently, and for knowing how to utilize a variety of resources in completing assignments.

Standardized instruments designed to measure advanced language abilities often fail to identify students whose basic oral language is minimally adequate but who are having difficulty with the extended discourse contents of the secondary curriculum.  In addition, standardized measures of advanced language rarely yield information that can lead directly to instructional planning.

Nonstandardized Assessment

Semantics, syntax & morphology, and pragmatics

The aspects of language that are most crucial to success in secondary school are semantics, syntax and morphology, and pragmatics, particularly as the curriculum becomes more literate and less oral.  The literate lexicon emerges in adolescence:

  • advanced adverbial conjuncts

  • adverbs of likelihood

  • verbs with components related to presumpposition, metalinguistic reference, and metacognitive reference

  • technical and precise terms

  • multiple-function words

  • multiple-meaning words

The secondary curriculum introduces students to verbs.  1.  verbs used to interpret spoken and written language and to talk about cognitive and logical processes.  2.  verbs used to convey specific presuppositional information.  factitives are verbs that presuppose the truth of what follows.  Students also need to become competent with how words are related through derivations and etymology and through sound.  Figurative languages--general sequence of acquisition for figurative language is a guide for determining criteria to use in judging student responses:

  • Terms of phrases referring to concrete objects, events, or processes emerge earlier than those referring to abstract objects, events, or processes.

  • Familiar saying develop earlier than unfamiliar ones.

Typically developing students in secondary school are able to recognize and comprehend virtually all sentence types.

T-unit length is the number of main clauses (main clasue plus attending subordinate clauses0 and coordinate clauses in the sample.  T unit length continues to increase throughout adolescene in both typically developing students adn students with laguage-based learning disabilities.

Also can analyze--Clause density or the average number of main and subordinate clauses in an oral or written sample.  In early adolescence, clause density is higher in spoken than in written language samples, but by mid to late adolescence, clause density in written samples is similar to or somewhat hgiher than in spoken samples.  The third aspect of syntactic development that can be analyzed ins the presence of high level structures.

The conversational abilities of students with language-based learning disabilities typically seem characteristic of young, normally developing children.

Speaking skills are assessed in the following areas:

  • Linguistic features.

  • Paralinguistic features

  • Communicative functions

  • Discourse management

  • Rules for cooperative conversation

  • Nonverbal behaviors

Top responses when students rate themselves:

  1. follow directions

  2. show respect to fellow students and to teachers

  3. work cooperatively with fellow students

  4. appear interested in class

  5. take notes

  6. successfully skim texts and reference sources for information

  7. participate in class discussions

  8. give oral reports

Teacher shows a videotape of a classroom lecture and asks the student to describe the main idea and several relevant details related to the main idea.

Metacognition is the ability to think about and reflect on one's cognitive processes.

  • Integrating and distilling the story requires five abilities:

  • Understanding the individual propositions, ideas, and events of the story.

  • Understanding how the propositions are related to one another.

  • Identifying the story grammar components that serve to organize the story.

  • Selecting the most salient information for inclusion in th summary.

  • Distilling that information into a version that is concise and cohesive.

A sophisticated set of cohesive devices appears in written narratives produced by students who are considered good writers.  Specific markers include better, best, more, most, less, and least; general markers include same, similar, different, likewise, and else.

Forms of narrative discourse:

  • novel

  • comic book

  • folktale

  • myth

  • tall tale

  • personal essay

  • autobiographical narrative

  • oral history

The secondary school curriculum contains a high percentage of oral and written expository text. Expository texts include essays, speeches, lab procedures, journals, government documents, newspaper and magazine articles, and directions, among other things.

Teachers can follow this assessment model:

  • fluency

  • lexical maturity (higher level vocabulary)

  • sentential syntax

  • grammatical and mechanical errors

  • text-level analysis

Metalinguisic knowledge

  • edit their own or others' work

  • paraphrase or summarize a story or piece of expository text

  • choose the most effective vocabulary words

  • select appropriate syntactic and morphological structures

Gardner's Multiple intelligences

  1. Linguistic intelligence

  2. Spatial intelligence

  3. Quantitative intelligence

  4. Logical intelligence

  5. Musical intelligence

  6. Intrapersonal intelligence

  7. Interpersonal intelligence

  8. Physical intelligence

  9. naturalist intelligence

Another useful approach to assessing students' metacognitive abilities evaluates comprehension monitoring.

Purposes of language instruction

  • To eliminate or cure an impairment

  • To change the impairment

  • To change how the student responds to the impairment by providing compensatory strategies

Guidelines teachers can use when selecting the words that students should learn:

  • Teach fewer words in greater depth

  • Teach words that are integral to the unit or theme

  • Teach words that encode key concepts

  • Teach terms that will be used repeatedly

Connect to student background knowledge.

Opportunities might be provided for students to

  • talk about the terms, definitions, applications, examples

  • role play meanings

  • create mnemonic pictures to portray the new meanings

  • create stories

Resources for teachers:

  • sample word definition map (graphic organizer)

  • Venn diagram

  • sets of questions

  • word wall

  • prefixes and roots

  • sample content-area reading lessons

  • vocabugame based on texts the students are currently reading.

Self-cuing strategies when having difficulty with a word

  • graphemic cuing--remembering what the word looks like in written form.

  • gesture cuing--using an iconic movement that is related to the meaning of the word

  • associative cuing--using a word related in meaning or associated with the word to cue the target word

  • visual cuing--imagining what the actual referent looks like

Figurative language plays a critical role in the secondary curriculum.  Students are expected to understand and use similes, idioms, metaphors, allegories, irony, sarcasm, and proverbs, as well as other forms of figurative language.


Conversational competence takes on greater importance as students strive to fit in with their peers participate in social peer groups, and move toward greater independence from parents (p. 222).

To help students with classroom discourse, teachers can use dialogic mentoring:

  • predicting

  • question generating

  • summarizing

  • clarifying

Story grammar checklist to help students organize their understanding of how stories work (Graves & Montague cited in Polloway, Miller, Smith, p. 227:

  • Setting

  • Problem

  • Internal response

  • Plan or attempt

  • Response

  • Consequence or resolution

Cohesive markers:

  • Lexical cohesion

  • Pronouns

  • Ellipsis

  • Definite article

  • Conjunctions

  • Conjunctive adverbs

  • Conjuncts

Expository discourse (descriptive, explanatory, persuasive/argumentative, letter, and biographical)

Teachers can help students with rubrics or benchmarks that differentiate levels of performance in producing expository writing.

Students with language based learning disabilities often experience problems with three phases of writing expository discourse:  generating ideas, generating and organizing sentence into coherent wholes, and editing their work.

Give students copies of the visual organizers

Use prompt cards

Use p. 237 for public speaking.

Teacher may want to use peer prompts where the student acts as a consultant for a classmate or where the classmate acts as a consultant for the student.  Teachers can also encourage students to use rubrics to evaluate and critique their own writing.

Most of these students with severe impairments will already have IDEA mandated individualized transition plans, or ITPs which address

  • The student's progress toward graduation from high school.

  • His or her postsecondary education or training needs

  • Support required fro community living

  • Plans for helping the student succeed in employment and daily living.

Recommend role playing various situations to practice such skills as setting up a class schedule, moving out of the home, asking for accommodations needed for a course, meeting with a rehabilitation counselor or social service caseworker, meeting with a medical provider, working with a personal care attendance, interviewing for a job, making choices in an IEP meeting.

Determine the communication and language abilities the student needs for successful classroom and academic performance.

Chapters 9

Chapters 9 Handwriting Instruction

Handwriting is the formation of alphabetic symbols on paper.

The setting in which handwriting is used most often probably is school.

Note for test:

Ferreiro and Teberosky grouped five levels of writing for literacy development.

Level I Children use separate GRAPHIC CHARACTERS that look alike but that the children consider different.

Level II Graphic forms are MORE DEFINED, and conventional letters have more similarities.  There is a fixed number of forms.

Level III Children ASSIGN A SOUND VALUE to each of the form; each form equates to a syllable.

Level IV Children abandon the notion that each form equates to a sound and utilize more ANALYSIS of each form.  Whole word part of bigger series.

Level V  The code is broken, and children realize that each form equates to a sound.  Development of sentences starting

Sequence of skills

  1. Grasping and using crayons and paintbrushes.

  2. Grasping and holding a pencil.

  3. Moving the pencil in random patterns.

  4. Reproducing patterns, such as line and wave patterns, letters, numbers, and words.

  5. Copying letters and words.

  6. Writing letters and words in manuscript.

  7. Developing flowing movements required for cursive writing

  8. Copying cursive letters and words

  9. Writing cursive letters and words

  10. Writing sentences and paragraphs.

It is not clear how most teachers even approach teaching handwriting.  For many teachers, handwriting instruction is an unpopular activity.

Since the later 1980s there has been a call for teaching cursive first.  Advocates for cursive point out that cursive letters are hard to reverse, provide connections so students can see the whole word, and are faster to produce.

When beginning to write, work on pencil grip and proper posture.

Integrate the child's visual-motor abilities into prerequisite writing skills.  This integration can follow this kind of progression.

  1. Free scribbling

  2. Directionality

  3. Basic strokes

  4. Modeling procedures, using physical prompts, giving nonverbal cues, providing forms to copy, and having students write items from memory.

  5. Provide purposeful chalkboard exercises.

Steps in manuscript writing

  1. Be legible

  2. Trace letters with index finger then writing instrument

  3. Trace letters on chalkboard

  4. Connect dot letters

  5. Make letters in the air

  6. Complete letter fragments

  7. Copy letters from a written copy

  8. Write letters from memory

  9. Combine letters to form simple words

  10. Copy words from a written copy

  11. Trace words on the chalkboard and on paper

  12. Write words from dictation

  13. Write experience stories.

Teaching cursive:

  1. Be legible

  2. Practice rhythem writing; trace and copy increasingly difficult rhythmic patterns

  3. Trace cursive letters on paper and on the chalkboard

  4. Write letters from copy and dictation

  5. Connect cursive letters to form words

  6. Trace words

  7. Connect dots to form written words

  8. Write words from copy and dictation

  9. Write experience stories.

Encourage handwriting practice at home.

Remedial programs

  1. The style of writing must be appropriate for the child's level of motor control.

  2. Handwriting should be taught as a process involving body image, spatial orientation, awareness of kinesthetic feedback, and sequencing, not as just a visual or motor activity.

  3. Children must be given opportunities for visualizing letterforms.

  4. Verbal cues from the teacher, slowly faded out, will assist students in learning handwriting skills.

  5. Handwriting instruction should e direct and individualized.

  6. Children must be taught to monitor their own handwriting.

  7. Sufficient practice must be available for overlearning.

  8. Handwriting must be viewed as a highly complex task.

Left handed writers encounter some unique problems that teachers should address.

Chapters 10

Chapters 10 Spelling Assessment and Instruction

English orthography is a fundamentally alphabetic system in which speech sounds (phonemic units) are represented by letters or letter combinations (graphemes). There are 26 letters, variant and invariant sounds, silent letters, 300 different letter combinations for 17 vowel sounds, and words of foreign origin.  44 phonemes and 500 spellings.

Development of spelling skills

Invented spellings

In competent spellers, spelling attempts progress to the point at which the speller spontaneously categorizes, compares, and contrasts words at a preconscious level of perception (referred to as spelling by analogy) and applies knowledge of the redundancies in words to learning to spell new words.

Five stage system for identifying developmental spelling errors

  1. Precommunicative spelling

  2. Semiphonetic spelling

  3. Phonetic spelling

  4. Transitional spelling visual memory

  5. Words are spelled correctly

Spelling development.  Classification system.  for spelling development.

Common spelling errors

  1. Omission of a silent letter.

  2. Omission of a sounded letter.

  3. Omission of a doubled letter.

  4. Doubling of a letter.

  5. Addition of a single letter.

  6. Addition of a single letter

  7. Transposition or partial reversal of letters

  8. Phonetic substitution for a vowel

  9. Phonetic substitution for a consonant

  10. Phonetic substitution for a syllable

  11. Phonetic substitution for a word

  12. Nonphonetic substitution for a vowel

  13. Nonphonetic substitution for a consonant

See figure 10.2 spelling error analysis chart p. 405.

Also see page 407

Multisensory approaches to spelling involve the visual, auditory, and motor modalities.

Begin by engaging the student in meaningful written language experiences such as letter writing or keeping a daily journal or diary.

Teachers who use whole language approaches must be organized, creative, and to a certain extent, intuitive in determining when and in what areas to introduce instruction related to the orthographic properties of language.

Graham recommended the word list be used for children identified as poor spellers.  Use the list initially as a source for spelling words; group words in the list by common phonic and orthographic principles and teach them as word families; and use the list to confirm that high frequency writing words are not being inadvertently overlooked.

Fixed lists are a new set of words assigned each week.

Flow lists are the number of words initially presented is limited.

Cognitive approaches.  Lindamood.  Wong.  p. 422.

Specific instructional strategies

Corrected test method

Study test versus test study test

Instructional cues  Configuration, or outlining the shapes of words, also may be useful in helping a student t learn difficult to spell words.

Mnemonic devices

Motivational techniques

Computer assisted instruction

Error detection and correction

Chapters 11

Chapters 11  Written Expression

The ability to communicate in written form has been called the highest achievement in language for people in modern cultures.

Research has regularly indicated that a large majority of high school students write inadequately, do not like the process of writing, and cannot write well enough to ensure that they will always accomplish their purpose for writing.

  1. Writing instruction programs for students with disabilities

  2. Writing draws on previous linguistic experiences

  3. Writing must be viewed as both process and product

  4. Because writing is a form of communication, it requires an identifiable audience to facilitate the setting of purpose.

  5. Writing must be tied to cognition.

  6. Writing provides a unique opportunity for personal expression.

Three common stages of the writing task are identified as prewriting, writing, and postwriting.

Prewriting is planning stage

Input --opportunities to experience the environment through diverse means.

Motivation--stems directly from the various forms of input.  Students have to feel the need to communicate.

The purpose for writing can be expressive or functional.

Functional writing can become more creative as it becomes more individualistic, novel, and unusual.

Expressive writing.  First, the writer must appreciate the inherent flexibility in selecting and developing content for the theme.  Next, the writer must be able to tap divergent thinking to explore the specific ideas of interest within the parameters of the assignment.  Convergent thinking must also e tapped, as it provides the vehicle for organization by narrowing the scope and allowing for the selection of relevant information.  Finally, the constant input of personal perspective ensures a unique and original product.  Understanding the task objective is requisite.  The writer must identify the target audience, analyze the task demands, and select a format that is matched to the audience's characteristics and the task demands.

Writing.  The writing stage is the drafting or transcribing process.  Vocabulary acquisition and word usage are the basic semantic foundations for writing.  Two instructional goals predominate:  first, to encourage students to make use of the variety of words they already possess in their oral receptive and expressive lexicon and second to help students learn and use new words particularly as they aid in the written discussion of a given topic.

Sentence structure is used here as a generic term referring to the range of major syntactic and morphological concerns with sentences, including appropriate verb tense, noun-verb agreement, noun-pronoun agreement, correct forms for other morphological structures, capitalization, and punctuation.

Paragraph development reflects the transition in writing from syntactically accurate sentences to well-written compositions or reports.

  1. Paragraphs must express a single concept or main idea.

  2. Initial topical sentences should provide a lead-in for the reader.

  3. Subsequent sentences should provide further support to the concept being discussed.

  4. Final sentences in longer paragraphs should serve a summary or transitional function.

Organizational development is concerned with the overall product.


The postwriting stage entails the proofreading processes of revising for content and editing for structure.

Table ii.1  The Writing Process of Skilled and Unskilled Writers (Polloway, Miller, & Smith, 2004, p. 438).


Unskilled Writer

Skilled Writer

Planning (Prewriting)

Does not participate in prewriting discussions.

Spends little time thinking about topic before beginning to write.

Makes no plans or notes.

Explores and discusses topics.

Spends time considering what will be written and how it will be express.

Jots notes; draws diagrams or pictures

Transcribing (Writing)

Writes informally in imitation of speech.

Is preoccupied with technical matters of spelling and punctuation.

Stops only briefly and infrequently.

Writes in style learned from models of the communication form.

Keeps audience in mind while writing.

Stops frequently to reread.  Takes long thought pauses.

Revising (Postwriting)

Fails to review or rewrite.

Looks only for surface errors (spelling, punctuation).

Rewrites only to make a neat copy in ink or typed.

Reviews frequently.

Makes content revisions, as well as spelling and punctuation corrections.

Keeps audience in mind while rewriting.

Emphasis on writing assessment:

  • Assessment of composition versus transcription

  • Assessment by indirect measures versus direct measures

  • Assessment of process versus product.

  • Assessment via holistic rating versus analytic scoring

Fluency refers to the quntity of writing a child produces and relates to the instructional goal of increasing the length and the complexity of the sentences a child writes.

Sentences can be categorized into four types related to form and four types related to function.


  1. Fragment

  2. Simple

  3. Compound

  4. Complex


  1. Declarative

  2. Interrogative

  3. Imperative

  4. Exclamatory

Type-token ratio is a measure of the variety of words in a writing sample.  The ratio is computed by dividing the number of different words the writer uses (types) against the overal number of words used (tokens)  A ratio of 1 would indicate no redundancy; a ratio of .5 would suggest frequent repetition.

Trends in error patterns

Error analysis does have limitations.  Children frequently use only the grammatical forms they have mastered; therefore, error analysis procedures should be broadened by having students identify specific errors in unfamiliar sentences.

Organizational analysis.  Look for sequence and logical flow. 

Many of the formal writing assessment devices available actually require proofreading skills.

Effectively using revising and editing skills (Polloway, Miller, & Smith, 2004, p. 448):

  1. Can students identify specific mechanical errors within a sentence or paragraph?

  2. Can they identify organizational and ideational problems within a composition?

  3. Can they effectively use strategies for proofreading?

  4. Can they evaluate whether the objectives or purposes of the completed written draft have been met?

  5. Can they transfer these skills from contrived exercises to actual writing?


The secretarial role emphasizes the physical and mechanical concerns of writing, such as legibility, spelling, punctuation, and grammatical rules.

Teach-Write approach.  Considered a product approach.  It emphasizes formal grammar instruction, and emphasis on structure, skill exercises, perhaps diagramming of sentences, and often a reliance on worksheets and workbook pages.  Little evidence of its success with learners in general.  The activity may damage motivation, overwhelm students and lead them to respond with fear and avoidance.

Write-teach approach is better. Emphasizes content over form, thus stresses the primacy of the author role.  No research conclusively supports this presumption for students with high-incidence disabilities.  Graham offered these tenets to assist teachers in instructional decision making

  • Maintain balance between the decontextualized teaching of mechanics (including handwriting and spelling) and the complete de-emphasis of skills information to the extent to which acquisition of skills becomes incidental.

  • Focus on skills likely to aid the student in terms of generalizable benefits

  • Tie skills to instruction on real writing opportunities

Developing initial writing skills

  • Teachers should provide an atmosphere conducive to expression by creating a relaxed time period during which students are motivated to view writing as enjoyable rather than punitive.

  • Teacher should tie writing to the student's spoken language.

  • Related functional writing assignments to specific, defined purposes, as discussed earlier.

The basic aim of instruction is to expose students to varied verbal forms and assist them in incorporating the words into their compositions.

Reinforcement contingencies can be used to enhance vocabulary development.

Teacher can encourage real writing with use of patterned sentence guides and structures.

Sentence extensions facilitate sentence understanding and variety.

Sentence combining--sentence-combining activities are where students expand simple sentences into more complex ones.

Composition Strategy Training

Implicit in much of the discussion is the need for students to be ACTIVELY involved in the process of writing.

Self-instructional strategy training (SIST) if recommended to facilitate writing development.  The process has seven steps :

  1. pretraining

  2. review of current performance level

  3. description of strategy

  4. modeling of strategy and self-instruction

  5. mastery of strategy

  6. controlled practice

  7. independent performance

P Plan
O Other--organize
W Write
E Edit
R Revise

Postwriting--revising and editing are critical skills on which the quality of a finished product hinges.

Expressive writing

Creative writing instruction favors the content over the craft.  Teachers focus on the appropriate conveyance of content rather than only on omissions, misspellings, poor handwriting, or missing punctuation marks.  If students learn that HOW they write is more valued than WHAT they write, the result will likely interfere with the expressive and communicative processes.


  1. concrete-descriptive

  2. concrete imaginative

  3. abstract descriptive

  4. abstract imaginative

Personal diaries or journals


Essay exam writing

  • Encourage students to use their time effectively in preparing for and taking the test.

  • Instruct students to respond first to the essay questions to which they know the answers and to postpone the more difficult ones

  • Teach students how to recognize and respond to task-demand clue words such as compare, contrast, describe, elaborate, and list.

  • Encourage students to outline the answer to each question before writing their response.

  • Encourage students to use mnemonic aids.

Notes below from M. A. Sawyer



Fair Assessment

Many norm-referenced, standardized assessment instruments discriminate against people from minority cultural and lower socioeconomic groups.   The traditional overrepresentation of minority groups in special education classes and the under-representation of the same groups in classes for gifted and talented students underscore the need for nondiscriminatory assessment practices.  Although over- and under representation in MR continue to be reported, substantial evidence indicates that they are being addressed.  For example, IDEA requires schools to reduce discrimination by administrating tests in the child’s native language, using tests that have been specifically validated for the purposes which they are being used, conduct assessments using a multidisciplinary team, using more than a single instrument to determine the existence of a handicapping condition.  Although these requirements do not guarantee nondiscrimination in assessment, they should help overcome the bias that often results in inappropriate labeling and placement of children from minority cultural groups in SPED.  Because teachers are classroom leaders, they must closely evaluate their personal attitudes toward expectations of culturally different students.  Effectiveness has to begin with tolerance toward, and acceptance of, culturally and linguistically different children.

Another form of assessment that can be beneficial in reducing discrimination against students is dynamic assessment.  Whatever assessment methods are used, educators need to be aware of the potential for discrimination against students with diverse language and cultural backgrounds.

Description of Policies and Practices Affecting Educational Services for Minority Students



Many factors contribute toward the overrepresentation of kids of color in Special Education Law.


More equity is present than before 1954, when Brown V. Board of Education recognized the fact that separate is not equal, segregation is a denial of equal protection under the law guaranteed by the 14th amendment, realizing that public policy based on physical, race or disability characteristics are not tolerated by the Federal Constitution, and discrimination is unconstitutional.   The interests/claims of African-Americans, people with disabilities, and other citizens with “unalterable characteristics” to equal educational opportunity have been greatly affected by this legislation.  This law eventually led to the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 and P.L. 108-446, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, and others. 

            Larry P. v Riles, 1979 case was an instrumental in preventing unfair placement based on identification, assessment, and evaluation methods.  A federal district court in California banned the use of standardized IQ instruments to evaluate African American students for placement in classes for students with educable mental retardation (EMR).  The court ruled that such tests contained racial and cultural bias and discriminated against students from racial minorities.  In 1986, the Larry P. ban was expanded to include IQ testing of African American Students for all special education placements. 

            Shortly after the first Larry P. decision, a federal district court, in Parents in Action of Special Education arrived at a different conclusion regarding IQ tests.  According to the court, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), the WISC-R, and the Stanford-Binet IQ tests were not racially or culturally discriminatory.  The court further ruled that they could be used in the special education placements of African American Children.  The court also found that the school district had not used the IQ tests as the sole basis for special education placement, thereby complying with IDEA in PASE v. Hannon, 1980.

            Of the 488 items on the IQ tests, 9 were discriminatory, ex. The color of rubies, meaning of COD, Better to pay bills by check than cash, what if the store was out of bread, why give to organized charity than street people, finding a wallet, etc…

Judge overturned Larry P.

            The Larry P. ban on IQ testing for purposes of placing African American students in special education classes was vacated in 1994 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Crawford v. Hoing.  The action was brought by African American students who sought to have standardized IQ tests administered in special education evaluations so that they could qualify for SPED for students with LD. 
Appropriate use of IQ tests can be a valuable part of the evaluation process as long as they are valid, and are not racially or culturally discriminatory, and are not used for the sole criterion for placement. 

            It has been determined that culture, poverty, and socioeconomic status to suppress academic ability, not race.

            Many factors affect the provision of appropriate educational services to children from minority cultures and different linguistic groups, not all of which are positive.  Nieto (1997) identified the following negative factors.

Institutional Racism – Tactic acceptance of dominant White norms and privileges.  Inherent racism based on history and tradition.

Expectations – Deeply held ideas about expected levels of achievement of different groups.  Teachers and others simply expect less of minority students.

Curriculum – Significant mismatch between curriculum and the needs of many students.  Textbooks also are not matched to the needs of students.

Pedagogy – Teachers often teach as they were taught, which often occurred in a very different cultural context than exists in today’s public schools.  Student-Centered, empowering pedagogy is needed.

Tracking – A very inequitable practice that persists in one form or another.  Continues to be thought by many as the best way of teaching students with a variety of different skills.

Student, Teacher, Parent Involvement- Schools continue to be run by professional educators and offer limited opportunities for parent and student involvement.

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Diversity In Society

The U.S. population is composed of individuals from many cultural and linguistic backgrounds.  According to Langdon (1999), in the early 1990’s more than 6 million Americans did not speak English well.  Today, the number may be higher.  The wide spectrum of racial, ethnic, and linguistic characteristics associated with students from different cultures reveals that the melting pot theory has not been totally realized.  Unlike many classrooms in the 1950’s, when most students were of the same race and socioeconomic background, classrooms today are composed of students representing a wide variety of language, socioeconomic classes, and cultures.  Acceptance of such cultural diversity means viewing individuals with different cultural backgrounds positively and viewing diversity among the population as positive for society (Podemski, Price, Marsh, & Smith).

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Difference or Deficit

Difference or Deficit
With the wide range of cultures and racial groups represented in the U.S., and with the obvious regional differences present, language diversity is not surprising.  To the contrary, a lack of significant language diversity would be quite unusual.  Substantial diversity exists within the English language itself.  The form of English in the U.S. is very different than England, Scotland, and Australia.  Even within the U.S., wised variability in English dialects can be found in different regions of the country.  For example, in the South the phrase “you all” is frequently pronounced “y’all”.  In mountain English, an “a” is often added at the beginning of verbs with “ing”, as in “He was a’waiting at the store” meaning “He waited at the store” or “He was waiting at the store”.  In the North, the r is often dropped as in car and bar.  Ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups also speak varying English dialects.  These dialects, and the accents associated with them, reflect an individual’s linguistic background and are often difficult to modify.

            Historically, the question that has often been posed is whether substantial linguistic variance constitutes a language deficit or simply a language difference.

The Deficit Position

Advocates of the deficit viewpoint have asserted that the language from lower social classes represents a deficient code, not just one that is different from the majority culture.  In the 1950’s, - 1970’s, this viewpoint has been replaced primarily with the “difference” position.  The deficit position is not longer considered appropriate.       

            The deficit viewpoint was associated with the cultural deprivation theory, which assumed that various detrimental factors produced deprived homes and communities that fostered educational handicaps (Polloway and Patton, 1981).  Within these environments at the bottom of the social class structure, several forces resulted in learning problems for the children: lack of structure and organization in the home, authoritarian and inconsistent parenting practices; the absence of strong achievement motivation; parent absenteeism; and practical problems associated with poverty.  The language deficit viewpoint took the position one step farther.  It implied strongly that language  used in these environments actually caused and perpetuated many of the conditions described.

Hess and Shipman (1965) concluded that a poverty situation is often associated with a deprived learning environment and thus “produces a child who related to authority rather than to rationale, who, although compliant, is not reflective in his behavior, and for whom the consequences of an act are largely considered in terms of immediate punishment or reward rather than future effects and long range goals.

            Work by Bernstein in working class people in England, and specifically on the concept of two forms of language:  elaborated and restricted codes.  He questioned how this was used for the poor child.  The use or abuse of this distinction between the codes has been equated with linguistic deprivation, linguistic deficiency, or being nonverbal.  Nevertheless, the hypotheses generated about these two codes became the basis for theories in American inner cities and thus warranted attention. 

            The elaborated code is associated with a range of syntactical options available to the speaker.  The verbal channel becomes the basic orientation of communications and allows the speaker the opportunity to explicitly state his or her intentions.  Within the elaborated language pattern a greater flexibility in terms of vocabulary would be found to refer to abstract terms.

            A narrower range of syntactic and vocabulary possibilities characterizes the restricted code.  It is more rigid in form and relies more on gestures, voice, and facial expressions.  It is “we” oriented in contract to “I” oriented of the elaborated form.  As such, it represents an extensive collection of mutual experiences and expectations, such as prisons and gang culture.  The use of this code controls and transmits culture.  It stifles expression.  The use of the restricted code creates social solidarity at the cost of verbal elaboration of individual experience.

Specific Aspects

  1. Short, simple sentences, which are often incomplete and syntactically weak.

  2. Simple conjunctions  such as “so”, “then”, and “because”.

  3. Few subordinate clauses.

  4. Limited and repetitive use of adjectives and verbs.

  5. Statements that confuse reasons and conclusions, with the result being the product of categoric statements.

School problems, IQ test score deficits, difficulty with abstract concepts, and general language failures were traced to Bernstein.

He replied that

Lest the restricted code be misinterpreted as simply poor language, we must be aware that it contains a vast potential of meanings.  It is a form of speech which symbolizes a communally based culture.  It carries its own aesthetic.  It should not be disvalued.

Bereiter and Engelmann never implied that inner-city individuals lacked a communication system for sharing experiences, expressing emotions, and controlling behavior.  They stated that the lower class is not without culture, but he is deprived of that part of culture that can only be acquired through teaching. 

But they did indict the communication system’s inability to complement the growth of the cognitive processes, especially those related to deductive thinking, analysis, hypothesis, building, and inquiry.  Herein lay the so-called language deficit or defect.

One of the major invalid assumptions was that in this approach was that, automatically, students who did not speak standard English had a language deficiency.  As a U.S. society has moved toward integrating minority racial groups into schools, the work force, and society in general, the notion that a different linguistic system is inherently bad had faded.  Difference does not mean deficit.

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The Difference Position


The language position differs significantly from the deficit orientation. 

Proponent of this position believe that all languages have the potential for communicating the full range of human experiences and for meeting all of the purposes of language. 

Ortiz (1995) described a continuum of language skills found in children who do not proficiently use standard English.  Even though the continuum focuses primarily on language systems that are uniquely different from English, it underscores the idea that language systems may be different but not deficient.  Black dialect, regional dialects, or competence in a language other than English reflect difference, not an absence of language functionality.  Ebonics has been the primary focus of the difference position.    Seymour defined Ebonics as a linking of the terms Ebony (referring to Black) and phonics (referring to sound).  Spoken by many African Americans, Ebonics is one of many different varieties of English that is spoken by a group.  It is less regionalized than many dialects and is distinguished by patterns of grammar, morphology, semantics, syntax, and phonology.  Ebonics is probably the foremost dialectical variation of standard English studies since the mid 1970’s.  One reason is that African Americans constitute one of America’s largest minority groups.  Another is that many African Americans do not use language forms that have been assumed to enable one to succeed in school.  Most of these forms have traditionally been associated by the middle class.  Still another significant rationale for the interest in Ebonics is America’s failure to assimilate African Americans into the mainstream of life to the extent achieved with other ethnic groups.  Despite efforts to integrate African Americans into the majority culture, they still constitute a distinct group in many areas.  One can argue that Ebonics has contributed to this situation. 

Although many African Americans use Ebonics, it is primarily used by African Americans living in large urban centers, and it is observed most often in the language

Of children and teenagers.  Certain aspects of the dialect are also found in the language of African Americans in other low socioeconomic areas, such as the rural Southeast.  However, a significant degree of variance can be identified in the dialects spoken in different areas. 

            An essential element of the difference position is its tern “nonstandard” instead of “substandard” to refer to Ebonics and other variations of English.  This perspective views all dialects as complete linguistic systems rather than as inferior and error-ridden deviations from a standard English.  Ebonics became noteworthy in 1996 when the Board of Education of the Oakland, California school system acknowledged its existence and legitimacy.  The goal of the district was standard American English proficiency for all students; however, the means of achieving this goal focused on building on “the unique language background of African American students, which was referred to as Ebonics.  Labov in 1967, 1969 concluded that from this research on the language difference and nonstandard English, there is no empirical basis for the deprivation concept and that young Black children receive a substantial amount of stimulation, actively participate in varied verbal interchanges, and hear many structurally appropriate sentences on which to model their own speech.  Labov also stressed that Black dialect or Ebonics provided a basis for conceptual learning and followed linguistic logic similar to that of standard English.  He concluded that uninformed assessment and unwarranted conclusion result in the concept of language deprivation.  To illustrate this point, he presented a series of conversations that occurred between interviewers in his studies with young inner-city black children.  Children’s limited speech did little to contradict the notion of deprived language.

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Teaching Implications


Language is a powerful tool.  Acceptance of language diversity can empower students to succeed in inclusive educational settings and communicate acceptance of individual differences.  Further, it can have a productive influence on subsequent adult adjustment.  Conversely, language snobbery can have significant negative effects in the classroom.  Unless language bias is drastically reduced or eliminated, many linguistically different children may leave U.S. public schools unprepared to function successfully in the community, in part because of their general frustration and dissatisfaction.

Bernstein states that in dialect there is nothing that prevents a child from internalizing and learning to use universal meanings.  If the culture of the teacher is to become part of the consciousness of the child, then the culture of the child must first be in consciousness of the teacher.


First, the teachers must be able to effectively communicate in the language of their students.

Second, teachers must understand the structural differences.

Third, teachers must respond positively to cross cultural behavioral diversity.

Fourth, teachers must recognize similarities and differences among various cultures, particularly as they relate to learning opportunities or conflict.

Core knowledge Statements

Create a safe, positive, and supportive learning environment in which diversities are valued.

Demonstrate positive regard for the culture, religion, gender, and sexual orientation of individual students.]

Implement strategies for preparing individuals to live harmoniously and productively in a multiclass, multiethnic, multicultural, and multinational world.

Know personal cultural biases that may affect teaching. ]

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Communication is typically viewed as the interchange of ideas, feelings, thoughts, experiences, and information.  Humans communicate through speech, Morse code, and sign language.  Speech refers to the oral sounds of the language code – the conventionally established combinations of speech sounds to produce meaningful units of sound.  Speech is only one means of expression using language, most people consider speech to mean the same thing as oral language.

Literacy refers to the set of competencies children develop with both oral and printed language, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Linguistic competencies are those in which a child must succeed in school.

Models of Language

Once humans learned retrospection, theories of language developed.

Rationalism – stems from the belief that the mind directs sensory experiences through separating and organizing the information acquired through the body’s sensory apparatuses.  The rationalist approach to language acquisition is that the child’s mind is ready to learn language given the opportunity to do so.  The child is seen as an active constructor of his or her reality, including language.

Noam Chomsky (1971) contended that the capacity for acquiring language –that is, for acquiring a sort of protogrammar- is innate in humans and unfolds in relatively universal ways.  Social contructivist, social interactionist, and pragmatic descriptions of language acquisition are all descendents of the rationalist model.


Empiricism holds that the child’s mind is a blank slate, what the philosopher John Locke called the tabular rasa, on which experience is impressed.  Experience and the environment play crucial roles in learning everything, including language.  What the child comes to know reflects what exists in the real world, the things that he or she experiences through sensory mechanisms.  Language is acquired through the passive accumulation of bits of information that eventually form the collection of habits.  In the empiricist view, humans passively reflect on external reality.  The most empiricist model of language acquisition is the behaviorist approach, which is the work of B.F. Skinner in the 1950’s. 

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The Nature-Nurture


Taken to their extremes, rationalism and empiricism delineate opposite ends of what is called the nature-nurture continuum.  Rationalism, the “nature” end of the continuum, asserts that language arises solely because of the nature of the human brain.  Specifically, this view maintains that the human brain is hardwired-or organized-to learn language;  humans are born neurologically primed for language to develop.  This perspective relies largely on the belief that biological factors, how the brain is organized primarily account for language acquisition.

Empiricism, the “nurture” end of the continuum, hold that language arises as a result of the environment acting on the human. External forces are believed to shape the child’s verbal behaviors into language.  In this view, the child is seen as a passive reactor to external stimuli, and biological factors operate primarily in response to environmental processes.

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Social Interactionist Model – A compromise model

Social Interactionist Model

The book contends that language development is a product of nature and nurture.  We believe that children’s brains are primed to learn the relationships between symbols and what they represent but that children must have opportunities and practice with language in order for it to develop.  Supporting this “compromise” view are scientific data demonstrating that children deprived of social linguistic stimulation and children with specific forms of brain damage do not develop language abilities that commensurate with their chronological ages.

The model is termed the social interactionist model, which contends that the interaction of biological abilities and environmental influences accounts for language development.  This perspective is based on the idea that children are born with their brains ready to acquire language and that their interactions with people important to them are crucial to the emergence and development of language abilities. 

From the time they are born, children develop language as a natural consequence of the social and communicative interactions they have with important people in their lives.  As children attempt to communicate and socialize (the nature aspect), their families or caregivers provide the language that is appropriate for these interactions (the nurture aspect).  Each time the child produces a particular language form in the context of naturally occurring interactions with a family member or caregiver, the person “ups the ante”.  In response to the child’s production of language, the adult provides more complex forms, then the child produces the more complex form, and so on, in a cyclical manner.  In this way, children learn more mature and sophisticated language forms until their language system and corresponding social skills approach and reach adult levels. 

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Mabel L. Rice – Nature/Nurture


Noam Chomsky – Nature-Born with the principles of language –

Transformational Grammar – the way the child moves from ideas to words and phrases to produce deeper meaning.  Innate – Language Acquisition Universal


Linenberg – Believes that language is natural, yet there is a critical period for when instruction begins.


Jean Piaget – Nurture

Children think egocentrically about themselves.  The environment nurtures them.  There is a developmental sequence.  Developmental milestones occur.


Skinner – Believes all behavior is learned – an empiricist approach – operate conditioning


Howard Gardner – Frames of the Mind – Nurture – Innate Stages


Vygotsky – Not nature or nurture, but in the middle.  Inner speech – Self Talk


M.A.K. Halliday – Models of Language –Instrumental, regulatory, interactional, personal, heuristic, imaginative, representational.


Jerome Bruner – Language attempts to master influence over world.

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Building blocks of Language

Building Blocks of Language



2 months – enjoyment, smiles


3 months – fun and laughter


14 weeks – laughter


6 months – wariness, quietness stares


9 months – fear, stares, frowns, mouth pulled back


3-12 months – Sound experimentation

Babbling, make sounds, bring response.


10 months – first words


13.6 months – names of familiar objects or people.


18 months – 2 years Developmental short sentences, songs


2 ˝  400 words


Parentese –The way we speak to children.


Tone – Softness, eye contact, sing song


Syntax – Form of Speech



Talk, listen, encourage child to talk, understand meaning, reading to child, provide safe, happy interesting environment.


Piaget – Concept precedes semantic development


Vygotsky – Language and thought area separate views.

Active children use few words.


Observational Studies – Reactivity – Change in normal activity, unfamiliarity –

Anthropromorphese – assigning human characteristics.


Language leads to concepts

Concepts leads to words.




Ex. Pacific Islands – 50 words to describe wind.

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Brain Studies

Brain Studies

Primary auditory area/ Wernicke’s area – Comprehension of Speech

Frontal Lobe – Speech

Broca’s Area  - Back Left Hemisphere – Speech Organization – Communication and understanding

Stroke affects Broca’s Area.


Speech – The neuromuscular act of producing sounds that are used in language.


Language – The rule governed symbol system for communicating.

System of symbols, shared words for communicating, shared code of arbitrary sounds.


Communication – The process of exchanging information and ideas between participants.


Participants – Disabilities – Nonreciprocal communication.


Phonology – the set of rules governing how sounds are used to make symbols and words. 


Phonemes – Pronounceable sounds – smallest unit of sound that can signal a meaning – ex. Uh

Morphene – Smallest unit of meaning in language – ex. No, eat, baseball


Syntax – Rules governing word order

The study of the linguistic conventions for generating meaningful phrases.  Syntactic rules underlie every phrase or sentence uttered, operating to allow people to make declarations, direct others to do something, ask questions, form negatives, and so forth.

Study of the linguistic conventions for generating meaningful phrases and sentences.


Pragmatics – The use of direct and indirect speech to express intent, body language, facial expression, proximity.  Pragmatics is primarily concerned with the functions of language, especially those related to social contexts.  It is based on the idea that when people speak, they are doing more than just uttering words organized by conventional rules of language.  They are also using particular words and linguistic constructions to get things done.  Austin calls these speech acts.

Semantics – Language content refers to the meaning level of language.  Language content is often described as semantics, or the linguistic representations of ideas, feelings, events, relationships, processes, and things.  Semantics if the study of the various ways in which humans attribute meaning to their world and to their experiences in that worlds.

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Narrative Ability

Narrative Ability

The acquisition of knowledge about narrative and the ability to produce narratives are crucial for academic success.  A narrative is usually described as a sequence of events tied together in a story.  Narrative development is considered one of the major precursors to reading and writing and is fundamental to a child’s ability to interact with the various other discourse genres he or she encounters. 


Bruner suggested that narrative thinking is one of the two basic modes humans use to formulate thought, the other being logical thinking.  Bruner indicated that the development of ability with narrative thinking is not only important in terms of literacy but also as “an achievement of social practice that lends stability to the child’s social life”.  Although cultures vary in the ways their members construct narratives, each type of construction contains some sort of story grammar.  Cultural variation is either topic-centered or topic-associated. 

Narrative ability is a precursor to the development of reading and writing and is believed to be fundamental to children’s achievement with other forms of discourse, including descriptive, explanatory, and argumentative/persuasive text.

Narrative ability is the precursor to the development of reading and writing and is believed to be fundamental to children’s achievements with other forms of discourse, including descriptive, explanatory, and argumentative/persuasive text.

Nonverbal Language

Proxemics – involves the conventions used for establishing physical distance in communications with people over a diverse set of social contexts. 

Kinesics – is the set of body and facial gestures, movements, and expressions, used in communicating. 

Chronemics refers to the timing factors that influence how people interpret their conversational partners’ utterances.

Nonverbal language plays a role in communication.  Body movements and gestures, facial expressions, eye movements, and expressions, vocal characteristics, physical positioning, etc carry meaning that must be learned in order to communicate successfully.

Perlocutionary – Making unintentional sounds and movements.

Illocutionary – Intentional communication.

Locutionary – Words express communicative intent.

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Language Development

Language Development

Brown’s Stages of Language Development

Stage    MLU                            Typical Age                  Characteristics

1          1.0 to 2.0 morphemes   12-26 months               Emergence of words, mama,


11        2.0 to 2.5 morphemes   27-30 months              Prefixes, Suffixes, Prepositions


111      2.5-3.0 words              31-34 months               Sentence types, questions


1V       3.0-3.75                       35-40 months               Complex Sentences


V         3.75-4.5                       41-46 months               Elaboration and Refinement


Ecolalia – What is already said, then repeats


Delayed Ecolalia – Repeats what has said.


Prelinguistic – Birth to 12 months, babbling, vocal intonation, contours, jargon, gaze, facial expressions.


Emerging Language Stage – Typical developmental age – 12-16 months – MLU 1.0 – 2.0

Expressive Vocabulary > 50 words and increasing consistent phonetic forms.

Communication: Increasingly linguistic

Pragmatics – Varied communicative intentions

Semantics: naming important people, objects, and processes.

Syntax: two-word sentences.


Developing Language Stage:

Typical developmental age- 26-46 months, MLU 2.0-5.0

Expressive Syntax: combining words into sentences; early negation, interrogatives, and imperatives, basic embedding.

Phonology:  simplified adult forms

Semantics:  explosive vocabulary growth]

Narrative Development:  From sentences to stories

Pragmatics: Intentions expressed more often and over a wider range of functioning.


Language for Learning Stage

Age 5-10 or 11


Adolescent Language

Typical developmental age

11 >


Mean Length of Utterance

M/U = number of morphemes/number of utterances


Ex. Go, go, dada

       1    2      3         one utterance


3/1=3  Between stages 3 and 4   Structure of sentences make affirmation.


Ex.  What’s that

         1      2   3         3/1=3   Stage 3 or 4


Sister go bump.  Bang down stares.    6/2=3   mlu

     1    2    3          4         5         6     


My sister fell down the stairs.                    6/1 = 6mlu

  1     2      3     4        5      6                 

My stupid sister threw her/self down the basement steps

  1     2         3        4      5   6      7         8     9              10             10/1 = 10 mlu  Stage 5


Ball went high.  Fell down hard.

   1        2    3       4     5          6        6/2=3  mlu  Stage 4


Bird flew

   1      2         2/1=1    mlu


The rain is on one side;  not the other

  1    2     3   4   5    6         7   8     9                    9/2 = 4 ˝  mlu Stage 5


Want drink kool-aid.  Yummy.

5/2 = 2 ˝         Stage 3


Billy’s House

  1            2              2  not Billy is


Baseball thrown

   1     2      3             3  Plurals count


Isn’t it fun

1  2   3   4


Proper Nouns = 1  Mary Ann   Nana


What time is it I don’t know     /2    Voice inflection

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Language Characteristics

Language Characteristics

Second Largest Category of disability served 18.9 %


Impaired comprehension and/or use of spoken word, written, and/or other symbol systems.


Incidences estimated between 2% and 8%



Phonology  - Study of speech sounds

Auditory discrimination problems.



Study of the smallest unit of sound.  Auditory comprehension.


Syntax – Structure – the way words are put together.




Semantics – Meaning of words,  meaning/spoken words, figurative language


Use – Pragmatics – How language is used in conversation and socially


Forms of Language Behavior

Phonological, Syntax, Morphology


Expressive – Walking, talking, describing


Receptive – Following Directions, Listening



An error in sound production.


Apraxia – Motor control problem, incident caused by brain.  Speech disorder with muscle control problems.

Lips, tongue 

Model good speech sounds, provide good parallel speech,  avoid corrections



Irregular speech patterns, repetition.

Avoid labeling, don’t call attention to improper speech.

Provide positive speech model.

Calm/Relaxed Atmosphere.

Fluent Speech, Maintain eye contact.


Voice Disorder

Breathing, production of sound.

Life threatening.

Shouting, excessive loud talking, don’t clear throats, don’t talk over kids, indoor voices.


Hearing Disorders

Illness, trauma

Outer Ear – Pinna – Directs Sounds

Middle Ear – Hammer, eardrum, anvil, stirrip


Inner Ear – Interprets sounds


Many young children have ear infections  75% < 2 years get infections.


Hearing problems lead to inappropriate responses, watching others, lack of direction, misspelled words, don’t follow directions.


Seating, look at face

Check hearing aid

Write Instruction down


Close Captioned

Pre or Pair Tutor


Oral Report

Functional hearing aids

Don’t Set limits.

Use handouts.


Written Instructions


CAPD  Central Auditory Processing Detection.


Audiologist or Speech pathologist.


Despite Normal hearing, Verbal IQ is low compared to performance.

Multistep Directions.


Eliminate extra noise.

Increase visual cues, supports.

Avoid Distractions.

Self-esteem, socialization – Model good strategies/behavior management

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Classroom Teacher

Classroom Teacher

Outline Schoolwork on the board.

Use complete sentences for work.

Develop complete sentences.,

Have students sit where he can see the entire class easily.

Choose a buddy for the student.

Have child sit close to instruction.

Gaps may be evident in learning.

Pass on announcements.

Give short, concise instructions, and make sure students repeat them.

Type scripts ( or outlines of scripts) for movies or videotapes use in class.

If you have an interpreter, explain the role.

Speak to the student, not the interpreter

Pause for interpreter

Face the class

Have students participate

Audiologist – Seek Advice

SPED teacher – Sign language or other strategies may help.

Speech and Language Specialists – Many students will need help with speech acquisition.

Assist general and SPED teachers to develop peer partner for support networks for students with a hearing loss, but don’t let the other students do all of the work.

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Speech Disorders

Articulation – Atypical sound production, substitutions, omissions, lack of phonological awareness, learning problems in reading and spelling.

Fluency Problems – Interruptions in flow of hearing, atypical rate and rhythm, repetitious in speech, childhood stuttering, learning problems, poor self-esteem.


Voice Related Problems

Abnormal production, absence of vocal quality, pitch and loudness, structural problems, neurological disorders, may be related to medical condition.

Semantics –

Concerned with meaning, involves schema and concepts, semantic acquisition as a process, relates to vocabulary development, inadequate schema can impact reading comprehension.



Way speech and language are delivered.

Shared information is distinguished from new form.

Speaker interacts appropriately (taking turns, maintain topic)

Implications for learning.


Communication Disorder is Primary leads to IDEA Speech and Language Problems are  Secondary.


Speech sounds – intonation, stress, pauses, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, physical distance.

A communication disorder relates to sending, receiving and processing verbal, and non-verbal and graphic symbol systems.


Communication delays exist when acquisition is slower than developmental norms.


A communication difference is a variation of a symbol system determined by regional, social, and cultural, ethnic factors.

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Service Options and Disorders

Service Options

Individual, Resource Room, Classroom, Home Community


Expression – ideas, feelings, parts of message, content, extra time, courtesy, gestures, answer earlier, select answers


Reception – Essential information, limit directions, avoid indirect comments, demonstrate, model


Avoid overtalking.
Technology –

Augmenting communications

Alternative communications

Aided systems

Unaided systems

Speech synthesis

Extra Time


Speech Disorders Strategies

  • Provide students wit visual and verbal presentations of new information.

  • Write out and provide verbal directions.

  • Written Schedule.

  • Discuss objectives.

  • Before and after, advance organizers

  • Encourage Open-ended questions

  • Teach humor

  • Teach conversational skills

Voice Disorders

  • Apraxia-a speech disorder in which a person has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently.

  • Articulation


  • Model good speech sounds for all students.

  • Avoid criticizing student’s speech.

  • Provide students with opportunities to practice good speech

  • Extended Discourse

  • Encourage children by using good speech sounds.

Splinter Skills - areas of instant genius or knowledge, a learning hallway if you will for someone on the Autism Spectrum.



  • Avoid Labeling

  • Don’t call attention

  • Don’t say slow down, just say I can listen that fast.

  • Don’t jump in or provide words.

  • Increase Strengths, and decrease weaknesses


Provide positive speaking and listening environment.

Be a good speech model.

Speak Calmly and more Slooowly.

Don’t point out or reward successful speech.,

Ask questions that require short answers.

Provide opportunities for fluent speech.

Avoid singling out students.

The teacher must adjust to the child’s speech patterns.



Physically painful t make eye contact.

Try to maintain eye contact with most children,.

Three types of loss, Cochlear Implant Conducts Hearing.


Issue – If child has any hearing left, it will disappear.


Deaf Culture – All it’s own.

Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Connection Between what comes in and how it gets to brain isn’t clear.  LD.


Despite Normal hearing, child behaves as if hearing loss is there.


Verbal IQ Scores are lower than performance – check hearing/listening capacity.

Most kids understand more than they can read – Listening Capacity.

CAPD Central Auditory Processing Disorder – Read more than they understand.

MR 3% if SPED

SD < 68

Typical pattern of language development.

Happens at a slower rate.

Increase language independence and social responsibility.

Functional Language Instruction

Poison, exit


Emphasize real life skills

Life Oriented materials at chronological age.

Increase Content, decrease level.

High Noon, High Interest, decrease vocabulary, job skills.


Learning Disordered

Language Based




Oral development Slowed

Limitations placed on them by the LD

Decrease opportunity to practice and talk

One sided conversations.

Choose their topics.

Rule acquisition,


Word retrieval problems.



Speech Language Impairment



Not as many as perceptional issues.



Innuendo Incidental Learning.



Don’t speak at all, ˝

MR Asperger

Selective Mutism


Immediate repetition

Delayed – says things from past, ex. Fisherboy


Augmentive communication

Assistive technology – computer board

Phrases, key board, picture system.

Facilitated communication


Kids are still processing and understanding, couldn’t do it because of physical constraints.

Facilitator can hold arm.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Comprehension Impaired

Figurative Speech

Language that has more than one meaning.

Pragmatics – Innuendo

Disturbed pragmatics

Lost sense of space

Act on things with less inhibition.

Impulsive problems.


Early Language Display


Great difficulty in reading.

Abuse and Neglect

Language Impairment – Raising to be afraid of expressing verbally.

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Material quoted directly or closely adapted from course textbooks and Professor Carlson's lectures.

Polloway, E. A., Miller, L.  & Smith, T. E. C.  (2004).  Language instruction for students with disabilities.  (3rd ed.)  Denver:  Love Publishing Company.

Pence, K. L. & Justice, L. M.  Language development from theory to practice.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson.




Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Speech-Language Pathology

Language and Cognition Lab

Speech and Language Developmental Milestones

Speech and Language Development

Speech and Language Disorders

Delayed Speech or Language Development

Speech and Language Impairments

This webpage has no affiliation with any organization, school, or institution.   Material may have an external copyright and is for use only by enrolled students at UMKC, who have purchased the textbook and course materials.  Information on this page quoted directly or adapted from Dr. Carlson, class notes from the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and course textbooks and materials

Polloway, E. A., Miller, L.  & Smith, T. E. C.  (2004).  Language instruction for students with disabilities.  (3rd ed.)  Denver:  Love Publishing Company.

To cite this page:

Aitken, J. E., and Sawyer, M. A.  (2007).  Language and cognition in children with special needs.  Kansas City, MO:  Retrieved month day, year, from Home