Adolescent Language and Literacy: Supporting Emotional, Social, and Academic Growth

Session Descriptions

We've focused this conference on 'how-tos' that will build SLPs' confidence and ability to serve teens and tweens.

Barbara Ehren

These pre-recorded lectures are on-demand and last only an hour, so you can listen to them whenever time permits!

We've divided the sessions into three general categories:

Take a look at the session descriptions, then sign up and get the skills to help adolescents emerge into productive adults.


Let's Make a Difference With Adolescents

Barbara J. Ehren, EdD, CCC-SLP
Run time: 54 minutes

Many research studies have confirmed that adolescence is not too late to intervene with struggling students. However, adolescents are still a neglected population with regard to speech-language services in schools. In this session, we'll highlight the overall landscape of secondary services and then discuss the rationale and practical information you need to provide quality services to adolescents.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • describe the value of addressing adolescents' personal, social, academic, and vocational needs
  • articulate a cogent rationale for focusing on adolescents in an array of areas

How Do You Motivate Adolescents?

Kathleen Whitmire, PhD, CCC-SLP
Run time: 64 minutes

SLPs working with adolescents are often thwarted by the students' lack of participation and seeming "indifference." To develop meaningful intervention plans and establish and sustain student engagement, we need a deeper understanding of adolescents' unique characteristics and the contexts in which they function. In this session, we'll discuss the hallmarks of adolescents' social, cognitive, and linguistic development; a proven model of intrinsic motivation; and adolescents' current social, educational, and technological contexts and their implications, so you can effectively work with them.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • identify key characteristics of social, cognitive, and linguistic development of adolescents as they relate to educational programs and settings
  • describe a highly regarded evidence-based model for intrinsic motivation that has been effective with various populations, including adolescents
  • list common demands of current social, educational, and technological contexts
  • develop and implement instructional programs for adolescents

Category 1: Managing Service Delivery in Middle and High Schools

Effective Service Delivery in Middle and High Schools

Perry Flynn, MEd, CCC-SLP
Run time: 82 minutes

In this session, you'll learn to write goals and provide services that are more educationally and functionally relevant for adolescents. We'll also discuss how to provide services in naturalistic settings (e.g., social clubs, job settings) that represent the least restrictive environments for this population.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • identify the most relevant types of services for adolescents
  • consider a variety of service delivery models to serve middle and high school students in the least restrictive environment
  • write goals collaboratively (when appropriate) that focus on improving academic and functional outcomes related to the Common Core State Standards

Progress Monitoring in Different Service Delivery Models

Susan Trumbo, MS
Run time: 76 minutes

Progress monitoring for students receiving speech-language services in delivery models other than traditional pull-out settings can be challenging. In this session, we'll discuss how to monitor student goals and objectives successfully in a variety of service delivery settings. Finally, we'll address progress monitoring of students who may not have individualized education programs (IEPs) for speech/language but still reap the benefits of having an SLP provide instruction in their settings.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • describe a variety of service delivery models utilized in secondary school settings
  • discuss progress monitoring for secondary school students with and without IEPs for speech/language
  • develop a system of progress monitoring tailored to the needs and requirements in your school district

Influencing SLP Services in Secondary Schools

Vicki A. Reed, EdD, CCC-SLP
Run time: 61 minutes

The structures and curricula of middle and high school create unique challenges for SLPs who provide services to adolescents with weak language skills. In this session, we'll identify some of the challenges and barriers to services, and will propose strategies SLPs can implement to influence the secondary educational context to address the language and literacy concerns of these adolescents.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • identify characteristics of middle and high school that differ from elementary school and how those characteristics can frustrate the provision of services for students
  • describe professional and policy issues that can create challenges for SLP services for adolescents who struggle with language and literacy
  • identify strategies SLPs can use to influence how they provide services to adolescents

Language and Literacy With Common Core State Standards

Vicky Zygouris-Coe, PhD
Run time: 133 minutes

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) urge students to develop discipline-specific language, close reading and comprehension skills, evidence-based speaking and writing abilities, and collaborative inquiry. In this session, we'll examine the language underpinnings of the standards, and how to best plan for instruction and interventions that promote literacy, learning, and success for all students. We'll round out the session by emphasizing the importance of collaboration between SLPs and classroom teachers, exceptional education teachers, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) teachers, administrators, and parents.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • analyze the language underpinnings of the CCSS (grades 6–12) in English language arts standards, and language requirements in the content standards
  • explain the relationship between speaking, listening, reading, and writing as reflected in the CCSS
  • identify what students can learn and accomplish using language in secondary grades
  • describe the SLP's role in the CCSS era and the urgency for strategic and sustained collaboration among educators

Category 2: Developing Literacy in Adolescents

A Strategic Approach to Writing Intervention

Bonnie Singer, PhD
Run time: 70 minutes

School-based SLPs are being called on to take a more central role in supporting the development of students' written language, particularly in the upper grades. However, many find themselves overwhelmed by the numerous skills that students need to master to meet curriculum-based writing demands. In this session, we'll introduce you to a strategic approach to intervention that targets some of the core language skills frequently overlooked by other disciplines but are essential to student success with writing.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • explain the roles of executive function, self-regulation, and reading comprehension in written expression
  • use a strategic approach to written language intervention
  • collaborate with other educators to modify curriculum-based writing assignments that support student performance
  • provide a unique contribution to written language instruction and intervention within a school system

Strategic Approaches to Digital Literacy

Melissa D. Malani, PhD, CCC-SLP
Run time: 70 minutes

Digital texts may be the future for instructional content; however, we lack empirical data on effective instructional methods that foster reading comprehension of digital texts. In this session, we'll discuss specific evidence-based reading comprehension strategies and how to use them with digital texts when working with adolescents who do and do not struggle with language and literacy.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • define digital literacy and strategic instruction
  • discuss how digital texts can impact an adolescent's motivation
  • discuss effective reading comprehension strategies with digital texts
  • discuss the construction of digital texts and how it may impact student performance and comprehension

Foundational Strategies to Support Disciplinary Literacy

Patricia Sampson Graner, PhD
Run time: 65 minutes

Discipline-specific strategies cannot replace general strategy instruction for adolescents who struggle with reading and writing. The problem is that these struggling readers and writers do not possess the foundational skills and strategies to be proficient with disciplinary literacy. One solution is for content teachers to collaborate with specialists who can instruct students in the foundational strategies that support disciplinary literacy skills, working toward positive post-secondary outcomes and workforce readiness.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • describe discipline-specific strategy instruction
  • describe general strategy instruction
  • identify discipline-specific research trends for struggling adolescents
  • compare the attributes of discipline-specific strategy instruction and general strategy instruction

Semantic and Literacy Development Through Morphological Awareness

Julie Wolter, PhD, CCC-SLP
Run time: 66 minutes

As children progress, a large percentage of the new words they encounter are morphologically complex with a clear internal structure. Since the meanings of most of these words can be predicted from the meanings of their individual components, an awareness of the morphological structure of words can help children learn new vocabulary, understand words they encounter in reading, aid in pronunciation when decoding, and influence spelling. In this session, we'll briefly review current theoretical and research-based perspectives on morphological awareness and then discuss a variety of evidence- and theory-based techniques and strategies that SLPs can use in language and literacy intervention for adolescents.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • describe the research basis for morphological awareness intervention
  • determine morphological awareness functioning in students with and without language and literacy deficits
  • implement a morphologically based intervention for adolescents with and without language and literacy deficits

Category 3: Empowering Special Populations

Enriched Writers' Workshop: High-Quality Writing Instruction for Adolescents With Developmental Disabilities

Janet M. Sturm, PhD, CCC-SLP
Run time: 102 minutes

Using the alphabet to write is especially critical for students with developmental disabilities (DD) because conventional writing opens possibilities for self-expression. To become literate, all students, including those with DD, need access to effective writing instruction that engages them in authentic, meaningful, and frequent writing experiences. Historically, students with DD have received writing instruction focused at basic functional levels (e.g., worksheets, drill-and-practice). In this session, we'll describe the Enriched Writers' Workshop, an approach that provides comprehensive, high-quality writing instruction to students with DD.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • describe learning considerations for adolescents with DD
  • summarize the core learning goals of the Enriched Writers' Workshop
  • explain several strategies that can be used to support the writing and communication development of adolescents with DD

Inference Generation Skills: Intervention for Adolescents With ASD

Kim Murza, PhD, CCC-SLP
Run time: 74 minutes

In this session, we'll focus on inference generation as an aspect of pragmatic language and higher-level literacy skills. We'll discuss how to assess inference skills in both modalities and how to provide evidence-based intervention to help adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) succeed at home, school, and work.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • identify the unique challenges individuals with ASD face
  • describe the process of generating inferences both socially and while reading
  • identify the categories of reading inferences most related to social inferences
  • identify the aspects of social inference generation that are typically troublesome for individuals with ASD
  • demonstrate how to adequately assess the reading and social inference abilities of adolescents with ASD
  • discuss evidence-based practices for addressing both social and reading inference generation

Improving Self-Regulation in Adolescents

Kristine Noel, PhD, CCC-SLP
Run time: 57 minutes

Adolescents with language impairments and self-regulation problems may have difficulty with daily activities such as expressing their emotions appropriately, staying attentive during conversations, completing assignments, and showing appropriate social behavior. As a result, many experience problems with successfully interacting with others and learning independently. In this session, we'll demonstrate intervention strategies to help adolescents better regulate and direct their thinking, language, behavior, and emotions.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • explain the relationship between language and self-regulation
  • identify at least three intervention strategies to improve self-regulation skills
  • describe two strategies to monitor progress and use data to inform intervention decisions
  • explain how self-regulation relates to the Common Core State Standards

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