23 Ways to Help Learners With Expressive Language Disorder

Are you looking for ways to help students with expressive language disorder? If so, keep reading.

1. Give the student sentence starters (e.g., Go ___. Run ___. Today! ___ . Anyone can ___. etc.) and have them write finished sentences.

2. Record the student’s speech and point out unfinished statements and common terminology. With each successive recording, reinforce the student as their use of finished sentences and specific vocabulary improves.

3. Following a field trip or special event, have the student retell the learning activities that occurred with all emphasis on using descriptive vocabulary and finished sentences.

4. Select a peer to model speaking in finished sentences for the student. Designate the students to work together, perform tasks together, etc.

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

6. Get the student to correct a sequence of phrases by making each a finished sentence.

7. Provide the student several short sentences and have them combine them to produce one longer sentence (e.g.,” The dog is big.” “The dog is brown.” “The dog is mine.” becomes “The big, brown dog is mine.”).

8. On occasions where the student uses unfinished sentences or nondescriptive terminology, give the student models of growth and specific vocabulary using their statements as a foundation.

9. Get the student to finish “fill-in-the blank” sentences with appropriate words (e.g., objects, persons, places, etc.).

10. Video the student and classmates performing several actions. Play back the video without sound and have the student narrate observations in finished sentences with descriptive vocabulary. (This learning experience could be altered by using a prerecorded videotape.)

11. Select a topic for a paragraph or story and alternate making up sentences with the student to give a model of the components of a finished sentence.

12. Ask questions that encourage language. Refrain from those that can be answered by yes/no or a nod of the head (e.g.,” What did you do at recess?” instead of “Did you play on the slide?” or “Tell me about your vacation.” instead of “Did you remain home over the holidays?”).

13. Present the student an object or an image of an object for a few seconds. Ask the student to recall specific attributes of the object (e.g., color, size, shape, etc.).

14. Provide the student a sequence of words (e.g., objects, persons, places, etc.) and have the student list all the words they can think of with similar meanings (i.e., synonyms).

15. Provide the student a sequence of words or images and have them name as many things as possible within that category (e.g., objects, persons, places, things that are hot, etc.).

16. Provide the student a sequence of words describing objects, persons, places, etc., and have them find the opposite of each term.

17. Provide the student a sequence of finished and unfinished sentences, both written and oral, and ask them to find the ones that are correct and incorrect and make appropriate modifications.

18. Provide the student a group of related words (e.g., baseball, fans, glove, strikeout, etc.) and have them write a paragraph that includes each term.

19. Provide the student a list of transition words (e.g., therefore, although, because, etc.) and have them write sentences using each term.

20. Get the student to make notes, lists, etc., of vocabulary that is needed to be recalled and have the student carry these reminders for reference.

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

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

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

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