Tag Archives: langauge and literacy

What Does a Speech Pathologist Know About Language and Literacy?

Jamie Putnam, speech language pathologist and owner of Capital Area Speech Therapy, has been providing in-service opportunities to preschool/kindergarten programs around our area. The following is information gathered from Jamie’s lectures.

Speech pathologists are often portrayed as the ones who “fix the sounds”. There is no doubt we spend time working on the “r” sounds, a lisp, or a number of other sounds. Those sounds, however, are only a small percentage of our qualifications. 

What about language and literacy? Are they related? What do speech pathologists know about language and  literacy?

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Language and literacy is a symbiotic relationship. These skills develop together. Research shows  that children who enter school with strong oral language skills learn to read and write easier and excel in school related to their peers who struggle with language skills.

Language disorders are seen in as many as 1 in every 5 children. Research indicates that the majority of children with language disorders will go on to having reading difficulties or disorders. 

What does early language and literacy development look like?

AGE

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

12-18 mos.

Rapid language acquisition & word explosion

  • Enjoys books as toys
  • Likes to turn pages
  • Loves predictable stories
  • Points out familiar objects in pictures
  • Likes the same book over and over

18-24 mos.

Rapidly expanding word base and word combinations

  • Chooses books
  • Knows that books go front to back and right side up-will orient a book
  • Loves predictable repetitive stories
  • Will fill in words

24-36 mos.

Awareness of sentence structure and vocabulary continues to explode

  • Will correct adult if story is read differently
  • Will fill in words or attempt to tell story
  • Likes repetition and predictability in stories

3-4 years

Uses complex sentences & understands word structure (tense)

  • Understands that words may be changed and manipulated
  • Rhyming and word play
  • Recognizes name in print
  • Recognizes environmental symbols

4-5 years

Clearly communicates about remote events

  • Simple sound letter correspondence
  • Letters have meaning
  • Experimental writing, spelling, and story telling

There are five predictors of literacy success.

1. Oral Language

2. Alphabet Awareness

3. Phonemic Awareness

4. Concepts About Print

5. Early Writing With Inventive Spelling

A professor in early childhood education describes these predictors in detail in this You Tube video.

 

 

 

 

Phonological Processing Skills of Children Adopted Internationally – Research Says…

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I am joining fellow speech pathologist bloggers in reading and blogging about a recent research related to our field. For more information or to see more research reviews, check out this blog.

I have several amazing friends who have recently adopted or are in the process of adopting children internationally. Over the past couple of years, I have also worked with a few children who have been adopted internationally. For these reasons, I found this study about certain language skills of children adopted internationally to be a great one to review.
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Phonological processing skills are very important for oral language and literacy development. Phonological skills include phonological awareness, phonological memory, and rapid naming. Phonological processing skills are referred to as the decoding component of reading. These skills as well as comprehension are essential for reading success.

The children who participated in the study were adopted from China before 25 months of age. The study was performed when the children were between 6 years, 8 months – 9 years, 3 months. They were individually given a formal phonological processing test. Some of the children were receiving speech therapy for articulation or language impairment.

The researchers wanted to find whether children who were adopted internationally had difficulties with phonological processing skills at the school-age when compared with a normative sample of children their age. After formal assessments, the study noted that these children preformed within the average range of scores to the tests’ normative sample.

They also examined whether age at time of adoption had an impact on phonological processing skills at school-age. The results indicated that age at time of adoption was not correlated with reading comprehension or phonological processing skills. It should be noted that this particular study only examined children who had been adopted before 25 months old. Previous studies have found that age of adoption is correlated with later school language skills. These previous studies may have studied a broader age range of adopted children.

Scott, K., Pollock, K., Roberts, J., and Krakow, R. (2013) Phonological Processing Skills of Children Adopted Internationally. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 22, 673-683.

What is Phonological Awareness

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Have you heard the term phonological awareness? This term refers to the understanding that language is composed of smaller units including words, syllables, and sounds. Children with good phonological awareness skills are able to hear and manipulate these words and sounds.

Phonological awareness skills are very important for reading success. Speech pathologists work on phonological awareness skills when children have difficulty hearing rhyming words, learning sound/letter recognition, and have difficulty learning to read.

Phonological awareness skills include the following:
-Hearing and producing rhyming words
-Segmenting words in sentences
-Blending, segmenting, and deleting syllables
-Identifying sounds in words
-Blending sounds to make words
-Segmenting sounds in words
-Deleting sounds in words
-Adding sounds in words
-Manipulating sounds in words

Ideas to boost your child’s phonological awareness skills:
-Sing songs or recite nursery rhymes that have rhyming words
-Ask your child to name words that rhyme
-Clap for every word you hear in a sentence or for every syllable you hear in a word
-Ask what sounds he/she hears at the beginning, middle, or end of words (What sound do you hear at the beginning of ‘Saturday’)
-Ask him/her to say a word then say it without a certain sound (Say ‘ball’, now say it without ‘b’)
-Ask him to say a word then change a sound in the word (What would the word ‘cat’ be if you change the ‘c’ to ‘b’)

You can look back to our post on language and literacy here.

SuperDuperInc has easy to read information here

Reading Rockets has good detailed information and more ideas for how parents can help at home too.

Language and Literacy

Emergent literacy begins at a very young age. When babies turn pages in books, when toddlers scribble on paper, and when preschoolers recognize signs and logos are all part of emergent literacy. It is very important to begin reading when your child is very young. Research has linked early exposure to books and stories to learning to read and to academic success.
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Reading to your child is linked to increased language and literacy skills. You can find more about the research here. Children are exposed to wide variety of words through books that they would not learn through typical conversation. In addition to language and literacy growth, book sharing is a great bonding time with your child.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading daily to your child beginning at six months of age. It is good to try to read together for fifteen minutes each day. According to a study from the National Commission on Reading, reading aloud to children is the single most important intervention for developing literacy skills.

How do you read to a baby? Use simple picture books with few words. Good book choices for babies include Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, and Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin and Eric Carle. While book sharing, talk about the pictures. Use different voices or sing to increase attention during reading time.

Engage your preschool or elementary age child in the reading. Let the child have choices in choosing the reading source. Be expressive when you read stories. Talk about what you are reading. Ask what will the story be about, what will happen next, how does the character feel, what was your favorite part of the story, etc. Let him/her “read” to you. This will help build self-esteem and confidence.

Some of my favorite children’s books include: Pete the Cat Series, Llama Llama series, Dr. Suess books, David Shannon books, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, Down By The Cool Of The Pool, Hush, Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, My Friend Rabbit, The Giving Tree.

Offer a variety of reading sources for your child. Some of my children’s favorite books are science books about space and weather. Picture books, magazines, encyclopedias, are all great reading sources. Put children’s books where your child can easily access them.
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There are inexpensive ways to increase your child’s library. Lego offers a free children’s magazine. Scholastic offers $1-2 books. You can check out several books at a time at your local library. Your library and local bookstores should also offer story times geared for your child’s age group too.

Go have fun reading with your favorite little ones!

Language Group at the Park

The temperatures are dropping. The leaves are falling. The weather is beautiful. It’s a perfect time for some language fun in the park.

What better book to use for an outdoor language group than Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert! This book is so creative and fun. It is great for predicting, learning new words, retelling, and imagining.
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This was our language group this week. My little group of boys had a lot of fun. I think they were just so excited to get together outside of the therapy room…but I’ll pretend it was the book. We read the book, gathered materials to make our leaf men, made “leaf man”, and did a leaf rubbing.
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The boys made some really cute “Leaf Man” creations.
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If you want to do this at home but don’t have the book, check your local library. Here are my tips for using the book. You can find tons of ideas and activities on Pinterest too.

Before you read the book, get your child thinking and imagining. What do you think the book will be about? Who is Leaf Man and where did he come from? What will he do?

While you read, ask questions. Where he will go next? Talk about words that may be new to your child (marsh, drifting, meadows, etc). This website has great vocabulary cards to go along with this book as well as other good ideas and activities.

After you read, see how many animals and things Leaf Man saw while he traveled. Why did he move? What was their favorite part of the story? What would you need to make a leaf man?

I printed out a cute leaf rubbing sheet from Lakeshore Learning’s printable worksheets. I apologize. I can’t find it now. You can use any sheet of paper though. Just place a leaf under the paper. Use the side of a crayon to color over the leaf until you see the picture of the leaf.

Read, explore, create and have fun!