3 Tips to Maximize Vocabulary Instruction

by VocoVision on December 18, 2015

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vocabulary_development_skills_speech_therapy_teletherapyIt’s no secret that in order to be successful in life, the better child’s vocabulary skills are, the better off they will be. Children need a vocabulary to read, write, understand what they’re reading, and even in their listening skills. To make the most of your vocabulary instruction time with your speech therapy patients, you’ll want to craft a program that addresses a variety of skills.

Who is the student?

What is the student interested in? What words do they already know. Are they struggling to learn any target words during your sessions? how well are they remembering words from the last session? With this information, you can choose words that build upon what your student already knows and keep them from becoming too bored with therapy. If you notice that certain words are hard for the patient to learn, increase exposure to those words during your sessions.

This also helps you avoid using generic vocabulary games and allows for choosing activities specifically designed for the vocabulary targets you are trying to achieve.

Talk to the students’ other teachers

If possible, reach out to the student’s teacher to find out more about what they’re covering in class. If you can tie together what students are already learning in school with what you are working on in your therapy session, this can help twofold. If direct communication with the child’s teacher is not available, reach out to the parents for some guidance on what is being covered in the classroom.

Repeat lessons

Research shows that for optimal vocabulary instruction, books should be repeated six times. And during each one of those sessions, target words need to be taught at least six times. About 36 exposures to the vocabulary target word in context seems to be the best way to ensure students learn new words.

As you work on vocabulary instruction with students during telespeech sessions, make sure they understand the point of the lesson and what they should be learning from it. Also, include extra activities they can work on alone, and with parents between sessions with you to ensure they get the necessary repeated exposure for learning.

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