SLP s Connecting in the Classroom: Language and Literacy

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1 SLP s Connecting in the Classroom: Language and Literacy Patricia A. Van Slyke, Ph.D. Speech Pathology Consultants, LLC

2 Introduction HOW SERIOUS IS THE PROBLEM OF LITERACY? STATISTICS National Reading Panel (1999): 17.5 % of school children will have a reading challenge within the first three years of school. National Assessment of Educational Progress: 4th grade: 87% of students who read for fun were grade level proficient readers. Those who hardly ever read for fun performed at a basic reading level. Those who read for fun daily scored the highest. Reading and written language skills have lifelong impact 75% of school dropouts report reading problems. Half of the adolescents with criminal records have reading difficulties (Learning Disability Basics, 2001). LYON (1998): Only about 5% of children in the nation learn to read fairly effortlessly % learn to read once they receive formal instruction (in any classroom). 60% - reading is a real challenge: of this group 20-30% will have difficulty mastering reading throughout school years. A child who is not fluent reader by 4th grade is likely to struggle with reading as an adult (International Dyslexia Association, 2001). 73% of second grade poor readers have a history of spoken language deficits or phonemic awareness challenges in K. (ASHA, 2001). These children, because of the reading struggles, lose out on development of general knowledge and vocabulary to understand all the other content areas, as well as their own and other s cultures. Eventually, self esteem and motivation to read become affected. Why Children Struggle with Print: May come to school less well prepared than their peers in emergent skills of phonological awareness and knowledge of print May have limited vocabulary or language skills May have limited understanding of value of learning to read Disappointment and frustration become blocks for learning Students remain below even average level of success LITERACY DEFINED: For speakers of English, National Literacy Act of 1991 defines literacy as an individual s ability to read, write, and speak in English and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one s goals, and to develop one s knowledge and potential. Definition is consistent with school curricula, national and state standards, although it is a broad definition.

3 Purpose Language is the foundation of literacy and literacy skills are the foundation of academic success. Children with communication difficulties are at great risk for literacy development. Speech Language Pathologists have an important role in literacy assessment and intervention. SLP services need to be collaborative, relevant to the curriculum and exemplify alternative ways of assessing the language impaired student. SLP s do have a vital role in the No Child Left Behind Act. SLP s: The Language /Literacy Experts The academic training, knowledge of phonological awareness, memory and retrieval are the basis of why the SLP is the qualified professional to work with children with literacy challenges. In addition, SLP s have the knowledge and skills to analyze the language demand of textbooks, language of instruction in the classroom, curriculum expectations at grade and age level, and perform the analysis of written language. Areas of Contribution: Prevention Documenting outcomes Assessing Advocate for Effective Literacy Practices Providing Intervention Identifying At-Risk Children Program Development Advance Knowledge Base Research Classroom Challenges: There are many areas that language challenged children in the classroom may have difficulty with. One that may have significant impact on literacy learning is the deficit in the phonological system. This affects: New vocabulary learning Rote phonological learning (days of week, addition tables, etc.) Repetition of nonsense words Learning to read: decoding and comprehension Phonology abstract Children with challenges in reading may not really be aware of individual letters, segmentation of words, and attention must be drawn to these concepts and emphasized in focused instruction. Difficulty constructing accurate phonological representations. Phonological memory is challenged; can t remember the representations. Children with both phonological awareness and naming speed challenges more impaired in literacy (Wolf et al.,2002).

4 Stages of Literacy Development Stage 1 Emergent Literacy Period: Birth Kindergarten Children in a literate culture acquire much information about letters, words and books. Greatly dependent on the amount and type of exposure during this period. Van Kleeck and Schuele (1987) identifies three areas of literacy socialization : Literary artifacts Literary events Types of knowledge gained from literary experiences One of most important literary events is joint book reading: What do children learn from this event? van Kleek (1995) says: Importance of reading in adults lives Talk surrounds books Parents work to get and keep babies attention Parents reinforce attempts to participate Stage 2 Development of Word Recognition Skills: Proficient word recognition involves visual recognition of familiar letter sequences (orthographic patterns). This stage does not involve sounding out the word. First: Logographic Stage: Marks the end of emergent literacy and is a transition to the Alphabetic Stage. Associate one of graphic features or surrounding context with the spoken word (MC DONALD S). Some researchers (Ehri, 1991) say there is a Transition Stage. Use of partial phonetic cues to recognize words: /d/ initial might be dad or dog. Alphabetic Stage: Use of sound letter relationships to decode; is not fluent reading. Orthographic Stage: Use of spelling patterns to recognize chunks of words; words they have seen often. Memory of familiar letter sequences that form a pattern (ing, ed, able, ment). Automatic Word Recognition Stage: Automatically know the word quickly, requiring little attention to the letters. A) accuracy B) fluency (fluent readers don t fixate on little words)

5 Ten Research Based Practices 1 Teach meaningful experiential literacy for information, to perform a task and for pleasure.motivation to learn. 2 Use high quality literature. 3 Teach phonics in both reading and writing. 4 Use of multiple texts that link and expand contexts. 5 Teacher and student led discussions. 6 Whole class community that builds concepts and background knowledge. 7 Small groups for reading skills; others are writing about what they have read. 8 Ample time to read in class. 9 Direct instruction in decoding and comprehension strategies, with a balance of direct instruction, guided instruction and independent learning. 10 Multiple assessment formats to inform instruction.informed decision making. (Taken from Morrow, Gambrell, & Pressley, Editors, 2003)

6 Classroom Interventions PRESCHOOL YEARS TEACH: Prevention especially for those children you know to be challenged with language learning. Rhyme training Initial phoneme segmentation Final phoneme segmentation Word segmentation - # of sounds in a word Blending Letter names and sounds Listening activities IMPLEMENTATION: Small groups Cycle approach Games Keep data Categorize rhyming words or words beginning with same letter K, 1 & 2 : alphabet changing letters on the board Pick a rhyme and generate a new rhyme From this, work on syllabication and word awareness Word Detective what other words look or sound like this one and are they related to each other relates to morphology. Teaches prefixes, suffixes, root words used together with context. Comprehension MULTIPLE LEVELS: Schema (drawing on background experiences) Literal comprehension Higher-level of inferences Ability to study/learn from text (Richek, M., Caldwell, J.,Jennings,J. & Lerner, J.,2002) WHAT GOOD READERS DO DURING COMPREHENSION: Read from beginning to end of text with only occasional jumping around Read for information relevant to what they want to know Anticipate what will be in story based on prior knowledge of the topic Know what parts of story are important as they read monitor what to read quickly and what to go back over Reflect as they read Good comprehension = active readers Have to teach the comprehension process: prediction, imagery, what they don t understand in the text, integrate new information with what they already know, clarification and summarizing skills.

7 Fluency of Reading: RATE + ACCURACY OF DECODING: Repeated readings short passage, reread 3-4 times, increasing rate each time, giving repeated exposure to the words; they become more automatic. by Elfrieda Hiebert Strategies for facilitating comprehension, storage and retrieval. INCREASE MEMORY: Use of novelty have fun Use words: juice, good for you, drink snack or breakfast Emphasize word parts Use movement Visual mnemonics For older students, must look at metacognitive skills: Includes executive functioning: Looks at student s ability to plan, organize and monitor thinking, information and behavior. Student may not be aware of failure to comprehend reading; may have ineffective study strategies re: homework. Student with L.D. or Struggling Student: metacognition operates differently than does in normal learner: Inefficient thinking Can t use strategies they have learned Passive approach to learning Don t self - monitor or self assess Students may not be aware of: Predicting and verifying Previewing Purpose setting Self - questioning Drawing on background knowledge Summarizing / repair strategies May not understand the varying rates of reading: Scanning Skimming Reading for content/comprehension ORIENTATION STRATEGIES: Identify the reading aids: headings, graphics, pictures, terms in italics Set up predictions Raise factual and evaluative questions The questions will establish purpose for reading

8 Summary SLP s can assist the classroom teacher and special education teachers through collaboration to make modifications for students with language, reading or literacy challenges according to what is on the IEP in terms of the student s language functioning. Some SLP s may chose to provide direct and detailed instruction that targets specific literacy challenges in the classroom, through the language arts curriculum, as well as incorporating best literacy practices during the speech and language therapy sessions. Every teacher is a teacher of literacy.

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