Language Strategies

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Language Strategies
Vocabulary
 Teach vocabulary in context/facilitate the use of context clues
 Teach the meaning of “wh” questions to facilitate comprehension
 Use categories, synonyms and antonyms to facilitate understanding
 Use gestures/objects/visuals to emphasize/teach meaning
 Use visual cues when providing instruction
 Pre-teach key vocabulary and concepts
 Use demonstration paired with student interaction/movement to act our meanings
 Utilize word webs, student drawings and word maps to organize content
 Allow multiple opportunities to practice and reinforce vocabulary
 Use peer instruction/ cooperative groups
 Ensure student’s attention
 Use a variety of games that target vocabulary
 Use examples/actions/concrete visuals/multiple modalities to teach figurative language
and multiple meanings
Comprehension
 Communicate at the student’s level of understanding
 Repeat directions. For processing concerns, repeat the direction verbatim. For language
concerns, paraphrase the direction. Emphasize key words.
 Have the student repeat directions or what he has said
 Have the student organize directions utilizing first, second, third, etc.
 Identify critical meaning words in directions
 Break story information/directions into smaller units (beginning, middle, end) and ask
questions
 Before presenting auditory information, tell the student what information to listen for in
the presented material
 Have the student repeat information that he is listening for in the presented material
 Ensure student’s attention
 Use a slower rate of speaking when presenting information
 Present information in smaller steps. Shorten the length of instruction, directions,
questions or comments.
 Teach the meaning of “wh” questions
 Use a story map, graphic organizer, student drawing to increase understanding
 Teach story elements-character, setting, problem, etc
 Review, discuss & paraphrase main idea
 Explain humor/idioms/multiple meanings
 Use a variety of games (Bingo, Simon Says, 20 Questions) to build vocabulary
Oral Expression
 Help student summarize information. Expand on what the student has said.
 Use gestures or visual cues for ordering first, second, third, etc
 Help student identify the main topic
 Redirect student to main topic when going off on tangents or off topic
 Use visual organizers/story maps
 Help the student sequence events or organize information by asking what happened first,
second, next, etc.
 Emphasize/encourage the student’s use of sequential words during story retelling
 Have the student use specific vocabulary to relate information, rather than using nonspecific words such as “thing, stuff, that, it, etc”
 Allow the student extra time to formulate and express responses
 Provide a good language model
 Provide opportunities for the student to communicate successfully
Syntax & Morphology
 Model correct grammatical forms
 Have the student repeat correct grammatical forms
 Observe if the student can self-correct when reminded
 Have the student construct oral sentences with targeted grammatical structures
 Have the student practice daily oral language sentences orally and provide feedback
 Encourage the student to use complete/complex sentences when answering questions and
provide a model as needed
Pragmatics
 Model the appropriate response or social interaction
 Allow extra time for student to formulate and express responses
 Emphasize basic social skills such as greetings, eye contact, polite forms, body language,
and spatial boundaries
 Use verbal/physical/nonverbal cues to remind the student to use appropriate social
behavior in a variety of settings
 Provide opportunities to:
Ask questions
Initiate and maintain conversation
Give sufficient information
Give cause and effect information
Use language to make choices and express needs
Use problem solving/decision making techniques
Practice with peers in appropriate learning groups
Adapted from information presented at SSTAGE Best Practices Conference January 2008.
May 2008
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