Smart Speech Therapy LLC is celebrating #BHSM2015 ASHA Better Hearing and Speech Month. So without further ado, below you will find my recommendations for designing effective vocabulary interventions for struggling students.
This past academic year I have been delivering vocabulary intervention once a week for an hour in my setting to 5 different classrooms of low achieving students. This allowed me to research quite a bit regarding the principles of vocabulary teaching as well as gave me an opportunity to adapt and design my own vocabulary intervention materials.
Vocabulary is of course one of the integral components of reading comprehension along with phonological awareness, phonics, and reading fluency. Knowledge of vocabulary is especially important for navigation of informational texts.
Who can benefit from explicit vocabulary instruction?
The answer is simple: any child with decreased vocabulary skills! This may include but not be limited to:
- Children from low socioeconomic backgrounds
- Children with Limited English Proficiency
- Children with language impairments and learning disabilities
How can we design effective vocabulary interventions?
According to Judy Montgomery “You can never select the wrong words to teach.” Beck et al (2002) recommends teaching Tier II words, as they would make the most significant impact on a child’s spoken and written expressive capabilities, and are useful across a variety of settings.
Tips on creating intervention materials:
- Make vocabulary words thematic and center them around current events
- Select a topic students are learning about in the classroom or center it around a seasonal event/holiday
- Select no more than 10 words per packet and work on the packet for a period of several weeks to engage in a frequent mass practice
- Attempt to select vocabulary words used across several domains, which are still applicable to the student’s academic experience
Packet Layout :
1. Embed the selected vocabulary words in a short thematic text
2. Create a definitions page with usage tips to assist students with comprehension of vocabulary definitions
3. Have the students practice using these vocabulary words in various activities such as fill-in the blank, matching, sentence creation, etc.
This thematic packet, which can be used all year round, was created to target listening and reading comprehension of older students diagnosed with language impairments and learning disabilities.
The packet contains the following items:
- 4 Paragraph Reading Comprehension Passage about the Hyrologic (Water) Cycle
- 7 Open ended comprehension questions
- 12 Response to Intervention (RTI) Tier 2 vocabulary words in story context
- 10 Synonyms and antonyms matching words
- 15 Fill-in the blank words to complete sentences
- Open ended sentence formulation utilizing 10 story vocabulary words
You can grab it HERE in my online store.
Helpful Smart Speech Resources:
- Vocabulary Intervention: Working with Disadvantaged Populations
- Understanding Complex Sentences
- Creating a Functional Therapy Plan: Therapy Goals & SOAP Note Documentation
- Selecting Clinical Materials for Pediatric Therapy
- Pediatric Background History Questionnaire
- The Checklists Bundle
- Narrative Assessment and Treatment Bundle
- Social Pragmatic Assessment and Treatment Bundle
- Assessment Checklist for Preschool Children
- Assessment Checklist for School Children