17 Ways to Support Learners Who Talk Incoherently

Are you looking for ways to support students who talk incoherently? If so, keep reading.

1. If the student is speaking too rapidly, remind them to slow down. Be sure to give them full attention so they will not feel a need to hurry or compete with others for attention.

2. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., using finished statements or thoughts when speaking) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

3. Get the student to role-play several situations in which speaking well is essential (e.g., during a job interview).

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. Develop simple oral reading passages in written form in which phrases are separated by large spaces (indicating “pause”). Get the student to practice reading the passages aloud.

6. Teach the student appropriate ways to express displeasure, anger, frustration, etc.

7. Get the student to keep a list of times and/or situations when they are nervous, anxious, etc., and have more trouble with speech than usual. Help the student find ways to feel more successful in those situations.

8. On occasions where the student fails to use complete thoughts (e.g., says, “ball,” and points) elaborate on what they said, (e.g., “So you want to play with the ball?”). This gives a model for more finished statements and thoughts.

9. Get the student to read simple passages and record them. Get them to listen and underline words or phrases that were omitted, added, substituted, or rearranged.

10. Praise the student for using finished statements 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.).

11. Record a spontaneous monologue given by the student. Transcribe the student’s speech from the recording and have the student listen to what they said. Get the student to correct errors and practice speaking in more finished statements or thoughts.

12. Create a list of the most common unfinished statements or thoughts the student uses. Spend time with the student practicing how to make these statements or thoughts complete.

13. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Competitive learning activities may increase the student’s anxiety and lessen the student’s capacity and ability to finish statements or thoughts.

14. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

15. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

16. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

17. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

Choose your Reaction!