Monday, August 20, 2012

Defining Words: Part I

One day I was working with a boy and a girl on describing.  We were describing animals to each other, trying to help the other child guess what animal we were talking about.  This little boy was supposed to be describing a rooster, and....he didn't really know how.  I whispered into his ear, "It says 'cockadoodledoo'".  He turned right around and promptly said, "It says crocodile doo-doo!"  And then I proceeded to laugh.  Really hard.  Couldn't help it.

I love language.  I love teaching language.  I love working with children who struggle with language.  Not only is it highly entertaining, it can also be very rewarding.  I am by no means an expert, but I feel like I have some nifty tricks and materials up my sleeve.  So I thought I would share them with you.

In my experience, when I have a child with language difficulties, they usually also have trouble defining words.  Semantics  in general seem to be a common area of difficulty.  My favorite tests for looking at semantics in detail are the TOSS (There's one for ages 4-8 and one for 9-13) and the LPT-3 (Ages 5-11).  They are both extremely easy to administer, score, and interpret.  They lay it all right out for you very clearly what areas the child particularly struggles with- whether it's labeling/word-finding/vocabulary, giving functions, attributes, or the category.

Join me tomorrow when I share with you how I usually introduce intervention and also a couple of printables. :)


  1. Have you ever used the Expanding Expression Tool kit? I find it to be a wonderful tool for teaching these kinds of skills.

  2. I hadn't heard of it before, but I just looked it up and it definitely looks useful for a variety of language skills. Thanks for mentioning it!