17 Tips for Helping Learners With Expressive Language Disorder

Are you looking for tips for helping students with expressive language disorder? If so, keep reading.

1. Praise the student for using finished sentences or thoughts when speaking: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

2. Praise the students in the classroom who use finished sentences or thoughts when speaking.

3. Get several students to build a sentence together (e.g., The first one starts with a word such as “I.” The next student adds the second word such as “like.” This process continues as long as possible to create one long, finished sentence. Do not accept nondescriptive terminology.).

4. Create a list of the attributes that are likely to help a person become an excellent speaker (e.g., takes their time, thinks of what to say before starting, etc.).

5. Give the student an appropriate model to mimic speaking in finished sentences or thoughts (e.g., speak clearly, slowly, concisely, and in finished sentences, statements, and ideas).

6. Explain objects, persons, places, etc., and have the student name the things described.

7. Provide the student specific categories and have them name as many things as possible within that category (e.g., things that are cold, objects, persons, places, etc.).

8. Provide the student a subject and have them write as many finished sentences about it as possible, emphasizing the use of specific vocabulary.

9. Provide the student scrambled words and have them put them in the correct order to form a finished sentence.

10. Teach the concept of verb and noun phrases as soon as possible so the student has a means of checking to see if a sentence is finished.

11. Urge the student to use an appropriate synonym when experiencing difficulty retrieving the “exact” word they want to say.

12. Assist the student use memory aids to recall words (e.g., a name might be linked to another word; for example, “Mr. Green” is a very colorful person).

13. Show acceptable and unacceptable speech (including incomplete thoughts and nondescriptive terminology such as “thing” or “stuff,” etc.) and have the student critique each example making suggestions for progress.

14. Get the student to finish associations (e.g., knife, fork, and; men, women, and: etc.).

15. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Competitive learning activities may cause the student to hurry and fail to speak in finished sentences.

16. Consider using a language development app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

17. Consider using an assistive technology designed to support students with articulation disorder.

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