Expanding Language and Communication

Expanding Language and
Communication By Teaching
English Versus Romanian
I drink.
You drink
She drinks
We drink
You drink (pl.)
Red ball
Red pencil
My ball
My pencil
Eu beau
Tu bei
Ea bea
Noi bem
Voi beti
Mingea rosie
Creionul rosu
Mingea mea
Creionul meu
Deficits In Language
• Can lead to deficits in functional
communication. (Getting wants and needs
• Can attribute to deficits in socialization. Both
initiating and reciprocating social interactions,
as well as, carrying on interactions via
• Can attribute to deficits in play. (Interactive
play, socio-dramatic play, joining play)
Three Term Contingency Model
Antecedent – Behavior- Consequence
– Antecedents: Environmental and biological conditions
occurring before a specific behavior.
– Behavior: A concrete action that can be operationally
defined and empirically measured.
– Consequence: What occurs following a specific
Verbal Behavior
• Skinners analysis of verbal behavior teaches us about the function
of verbal behavior and how environmental contingencies control
verbal behavior.
• Typically developing children learn language, communication and
grammar largely through incidental exposure to the environment.
• Individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities often
do not learn language or communication in the same incidental
manner. A child who isn’t learning grammar incidentally needs
structured lessons to learn how to speak correctly.
• Therefore, it is import that we structure lessons for language
acquisition in a manner that supports learning. In other words, we
have to arrange antecedent conditions to teach specific language
and grammar concepts. In this way we are teaching the form of
verbal behavior.
Adjectives (Color)
• Masculine/Feminine/Neutral – Singular/Plural
– Begin by choosing one color and one target from both a
masculine and feminine form.
– You will teach the child to label the noun/adjective
combination and discriminate between targets. (Masina
albastra/tricou albastru)
– Once this is mastered subsequent targets should be
presented in pairs and put in random rotation with
previously mastered pairs.
– This process is repeated until the child spontaneously label
using the correct adjective form without intensive training.
Personal Pronouns
• Personal Pronouns, ideally, should be taught
in vivo, in order that the child understand the
real world meaning.
• Personal pronouns can also be taught using
pictures to represent the persons to be
labeled. (El, Ea etc..)
• Once labels are taught pronouns can be
transferred to pairing with verbs. (“El bea
Possessive Pronouns
• The first person should be taught first in regards to
gender (masc./fem.). This should be taught in the
noun/pronoun format (masina mea/tricou meu).
• The second and subsequent persons should, generally,
be taught seperately and then put in random rotation
with other mastered persons.
• Fluency between persons should be taught in order
that the speaker doesn’t have to “think” when using a
pronoun. Now you are ready to put this concept
together with other concepts to build language.
• Fluency is taught without a vocal Sd.
Possessive Pronouns (A Cui?)
• Anwering mine/yours is taught after my/your.
• This is taught by adding the question “A cui?”.
• This is taught after my/your due to the fact that it
is used less in speach. Teaching the mine/your
forms (A meu/Al meu etc.) may make it more
difficult to learn to use mea, meu, ta, tau etc..
correctly when pairing them with the noun.
• Also, it is easier to discriminate when to use “Al
meu, A mea, etc..” when the cue for using the
pronoun is being asked the question, “A cui?”.
• You will first target labeling “un/o” with one pair of masculine and
feminine nouns.
• Once the child is able to discriminate additional pairs will be taught
systematically and run in random rotation with previously mastered
• The concept is mastered when the child spontaneously is using the
correct article before nouns that were not trained in this format.
• “Doua/doi and multe/multi” are taught in the same format. A
prerequisite for this is the ability to discriminate between plural and
singular nouns. All forms should be run in fluency with one another
and eventually paired with other language concepts. For example,
“Tu ai doua masini in mana.”.
• Common Errors:
• Teaching 2D labels with a subject and a noun
added to the label (“Fata mananca banana”).
Remaining too long on 2D 3rd person labels
before teaching other persons in vivo.
• The format of teaching verbs depends on the
learning style of the child. Following are
differing formats for teaching verb
Teaching Verbs Format One
• If it is possible, teach verb conjugations in vivo by
teaching the child how to say the verb without
the pronoun. This is done, because people
naturally speak using the verb without the
pronoun. (beau, bei, bea, bem, beti)
• You can first do this by teaching the child to
discriminate between 1st, 2nd and 3rd person
forms for each verb. Each verb should be taught
seperately, then ran in random rotatation with
other mastered verbs.
Verbs Format Two
• Often, children are not able to learn the verbs in the
style of format one. Most commonly, difficulty occurs
with the second person forms.
• In this case, the child can learn each verb form in
seperate lessons. For instance, they will have a lesson
only for first person in vivo verbs at the same time they
are maintaining mastered 3rd person forms. Second
person forms should also be taught seperately.
• When the child is able to label the verbs in seperate
lessons according to person, the verbs then can be
systematically introduced one target at a time in 1st,
2nd and 3rd person in random rotation.
Verbs Format Three Visual Cue
• Teaching a visual cue requires the ability to
– 1. Teach the child to read the pronoun and verb in
all it’s forms.
– 2. Teach the child to recite the pronoun and verb
for the desired conjugations. (1st-3rd person
plural or singular)
– Have the child label verbs in vivo with use of visual
cue, if necessary. The visual cue will be faded to
Prepositional Phrases
• Receptive prepositional placement labeling is
a prerequisite for this lesson.
1. Teach the child to label with only the
preposition and generalize across objects and
2. Teach labeling the preposition and the noun.
(Pe scaun, Linga cutie)
3. Sentence building (adjectives, pronouns):
“Masina rosie este pe scaun”, “Cubul rosu
este pe cutie verde”.
Prepositional Phrases Cont.
• In this lesson other language concepts can be
introduced. For instance, when to use “sunt”
vs. “este” when labeling the singular or plural.
• “Sunt” and “Este” can be taught by presenting
multiple items in a prepositional placement
versus one item. You then teach the child to
discriminate the use of the sentence
depending on the singular or plural. “Masinile
sunt pe masa.” , “Masina este pe masa”
Combining Concepts And
• Activities and daily routines must be identified
wherein the child is required to use language
concepts learned in a structured setting.
– Social games in group settings can be introduced
which require language usage.
– Scripted conversations can be taught which
require usage of specific language concepts.
– Incidental teaching opportunities and
generalization opportunities should be captured
and contrived throughout the day.
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