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Language and Literacy in Elementary Schools: Curriculum

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

The Evolution of the Role of Speech-Language Pathologists in Schools (Plenary)
Marc E. Fey, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

Since the 1970s, the role of speech-language pathologists in schools has changed dramatically. Thirty years ago, most SLPs were ancillary school personnel with the primary functions of diagnosing and treating children's speech sound disorders, with little or no opportunity to collaborate with teachers to influence children's oral and written language performance more broadly. The adoption of national standards, such as the Common Core State Standards, has changed that, and school-based SLPs now evaluate and treat a wider range of children and have a larger influence on the social and academic development of children in general education classrooms as well as those with IEPs. This session will serve an as introduction to the online conference. We will review what has changed regarding service delivery in the schools and what has remained the same as SLPs' influence has grown and changed.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the ways in which SLPs' role in schools has evolved

Practical Lessons for Tackling the Common Core State Standards
Lyndsey Zurawski, SLPD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

Implementing language and literacy lessons for children with communication difficulties can be challenging within the general education setting. This session will introduce practical lessons and tools that participants can immediately put into practice to help students on their caseloads meet the requirements of the Common Core State Standards.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify Common Core State Standards and lessons that apply
  • Implement language and literacy lessons that correlate to the Standards with whole classroom groups as well as small groups
  • Identify strategies to scaffold language within the classroom setting

Digital Literacy for Elementary Students
Melissa Malani, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

School-based speech-language pathologists play a critical role in the development of students' literacy skills. As digital texts become more widely used in classroom and treatment settings, it is important for speech-language pathologists to understand how to strategically approach digital texts and effectively incorporate them into their interventions. This session will discuss various technologies and how to use them within a language and literacy context.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Define digital literacy and the distinctive features of digital texts
  • Utilize new technology applications
  • Evaluate the construction of various digital texts

Disciplinary Literacy Instruction
Kim Murza, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

With the emphasis on nonfiction in the Common Core State Standards, children are exposed to nonfiction texts in math, science, and history at earlier ages. However, disciplinary texts are more difficult for students to master because there are not many parallels to oral language, and the challenges associated with comprehending disciplinary texts are amplified for children with underlying language impairments. This session will provide a rationale for speech-language pathologists serving elementary-age students to consider explicit instruction in disciplinary literacy. We will discuss specific linguistic features of the disciplines and provide intervention suggestions for targeting disciplinary literacy with this age group.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the unique linguistic features of science, math, history, and literature texts
  • Compare discipline-specific reading strategies to generalized reading strategies
  • Discuss promising disciplinary literacy interventions
  • Implement disciplinary literacy intervention that aligns with the Common Core State Standards

Best Practices in Assessing English Language Learners
Carol Scheffner Hammer, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

English language learners (ELLs) constitute the fastest-growing group of children entering schools in the U.S. today. Though once concentrated in particular regions of the country, the growth of the ELL population is occurring in all areas. As a result, speech-language pathologists in urban, suburban, and rural areas are being called upon to assess the language abilities of ELLs and determine if children have a language disorder. This session will present best practices for assessing ELLs and discuss guidelines for diagnosing children. We will give an overview of the changing demographics of ELLs in the U.S. and explore current research findings about the language development of dual language learners and characteristics of ELLs with language impairments.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the changing demographics of the U.S.
  • List three key findings about the language development of ELLs and three characteristics of ELLs with language impairment
  • Apply three key strategies to the assessment of ELLs

Grammatical Skills in Elementary School Children with Language Impairments: We're Not Finished Yet
C. Melanie Schuele, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

Children with primary language impairment (both specific and nonspecific language impairment) typically begin elementary school with obvious grammatical errors in their spoken language. They tend to rely on simple syntax to convey their thoughts and ideas and often have metalinguistic skills that are substantially less developed than their typical-language peers. Meanwhile, the essential tools for academic success—reading and writing—rely on underlying linguistic knowledge. This session will explore the links between grammatical linguistic knowledge and children's academic performance and mastery of the Common Core, considering primary linguistic skills as well as metalinguistic skills. We will then explore intervention goals, activities, and teaching strategies to develop children's grammatical knowledge, primary linguistic skills, and metalinguistic skills.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Explain to parents and teachers how a child's grammatical abilities influence academic success
  • Use academic grade-level materials to build children's primary language skills and metalinguistic skills
  • Demonstrate how to respond to child errors with scaffolds that provide varying levels of support

Leadership Skills for Speech-Language Pathologists
Barbara J. Ehren, EdD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL
Runtime: TBD

One of the key roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists in schools, as defined by ASHA, is leadership. However, this is not an area in which speech-language pathologists typically receive pre-service preparation. This session will discuss specific and practical ways that speech-language pathologists can exert leadership in a variety of venues on behalf of elementary school children who struggle with language and literacy.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify areas in which leadership is needed at the elementary school level
  • Identify your own leadership strengths and areas in which further development is needed

Narrative Language Development, Assessment, and Progress Monitoring
Ron Gillam, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

This session will focus on narrative language, standardized tests of narration, and the monitoring of narrative language development over time. First, we will examine current information on narrative development and language sample analysis techniques related to describing narrative content and form. The session will then review a standardized test of narration and describe a progress monitoring tool—Monitoring Indicators of Scholarly Language (MISL). Participants will practice some basic narrative analyses.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Discuss key aspects of narrative development in school-age children
  • Describe a standardized assessment of narration
  • Explain how to track children's progress in narration

Reading Comprehension for Expository Texts
Marilyn A. Nippold, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

Many children in elementary schools today have reading comprehension deficits that stem from underlying weaknesses in spoken language development. This session will explore how to enhance reading comprehension in school-age children by addressing underlying deficits in syntax, morphology, and the lexicon. The focus will be on the Common Core State Standards and the expectations for reading and comprehension of expository discourse in science.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify challenges associated with comprehending textbooks written in the expository genre
  • Identify the language demands of science passages
  • Utilize new strategies to enhance reading comprehension by addressing students' underlying language weaknesses

Best Practices for Using a Tiered Response to Intervention Model
JoAnn Wiechmann, EdD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

For the past decade, the No Child Left Behind policy has put forth the expectation that educators provide tiered, focused intervention for struggling students. This session will provide guidance to speech-language pathologists on their role in the various tiers in a Response to Intervention (RTI) model. We will describe evidence-based practices to support oral language and literacy skills in each tier, enabling speech-language pathologists to make recommendations to determine language disorder and language difference as well as when to move from one tier to the next and when to move on to a special education evaluation.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe a tiered RTI model for oral language skills
  • List evidence-based interventions for use at Tiers 2 and 3 for students struggling with oral language skills
  • Describe a process for making data-based decisions for use in a three-tiered RTI model and discerning when a special education evaluation is appropriate

Authentic Communication and Literacy Outcomes for Students With Significant Disabilities
Janet Sturm, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

Historically, students with significant disabilities have received limited, splintered literacy learning experiences that were often focused at a basic functional level (e.g., worksheets and drill-and-practice). To become literate and increase authentic communication skills, students with significant disabilities need access to effective literacy learning contexts that support engagement in authentic and meaningful learning experiences. The best outcomes for students with significant disabilities can be achieved when SLPs collaborate with educational teams to provide a clear scope and sequence of explicit speaking, listening, and literacy intervention from preschool through post-secondary settings. This session will explore how to partner with educational teams to identify functional, authentic communication and literacy goals for students with significant disabilities to meet the rigorous standards of the Common Core. We will discuss implementation strategies that target achievement of these goals within high-quality instruction.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • State examples of learning goals that promote language, communication, and literacy skills across a range of student abilities and draw upon the Common Core
  • List examples of learning contexts that optimize communication and literacy outcomes for students with significant disabilities
  • Explain strategies that can be used to promote social communication and literacy development in students with significant disabilities in varied intervention contexts

Assessing and Treating Spelling Problems
Julie Masterson, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

This session will cover the skills that underlie spelling performance, including phonological awareness, orthographic pattern knowledge, semantic knowledge, morphological awareness, and the ability to store mental graphic representations. We will describe methods for identifying children's spelling errors and determining potential causal or maintaining factors. We will present intervention activities and strategies to support spelling (and word-level reading) in school-age children.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Analyze spelling errors to determine what linguistic deficiencies may underlie problems in decoding and spelling
  • Develop and implement word study activities that focus only on patterns that need intervention and target associated underlying deficiencies

Child Word Finding: Differential Diagnosis and Intervention
Diane J. German, PhD
Runtime: TBD

Just indicating that a child has a word finding difficulty is not enough. To plan meaningful intervention to address word finding, a differential diagnosis of a child's semantic- and form-related (or phonological) word finding error patterns is needed. To that end, this session will draw from the Test of Word Finding, Third Edition, to present the theoretical underpinnings and characteristics of semantic- and form-related word finding error patterns in single word and discourse contexts. We will then highlight corresponding word finding interventions for each error pattern.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe the theoretical underpinnings of semantic- and form-related (or phonological) word finding error patterns
  • Identify the presence of semantic- and form-related word finding error patterns in single word and discourse contexts
  • Discuss intervention strategies to reduce word finding errors

Counseling Students With Communication Disorders and Their Families
Tommie L. Robinson, Jr., PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

In addition to assessing and treating students' communication disorders, clinicians also need to address the emotional well-being of these children and their families. Individuals with communication disorders can struggle adjusting to the disorder, face bullying, and experience other negative reactions and situations. And parents and other family members seek out additional services to understand their own attitudes and feelings. This session will share techniques for clinicians to use when counseling individuals and families in dealing with the stressors and adjustments related to communication disorders. We will share clinical resources and coping strategies to pass on to students and their families.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify students and families in need of support
  • Utilize counseling techniques to support children with communication disorders and their families
  • Create empathetic attunement with students and families in stressful situations

Accessing and Building the Evidence Base for Your School-Based Clinical Practice
Kathleen Whitmire, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS- CL
Runtime: TBD

A solid research base for speech-language services is essential to meet federal mandates in the schools and drive quality clinical and educational practice. However, speech-language pathologists report barriers in terms of the availability of and access to relevant high-quality evidence to help them with clinical decision-making. This session will present a framework for evidence-based practice (EBP); discuss clinicians' attitudes and beliefs, training, and EBP accessibility; and present solutions and strategies for accessing and evaluating existing evidence as well as expanding the evidence base through field research.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe the current status of evidence for school-based speech-language services
  • List recommendations for expanding the relevant evidence base
  • Apply search strategies for accessing and identifying relevant research
  • Use a flow map for conducting field research

Advancing Phonological Awareness to Improve Literacy Outcomes
Froma P. Roth, PhD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

There is a critical developmental connection between phonological awareness and literacy. Students who struggle with phonological awareness tasks are at high risk for reading and spelling problems. Children who perform well on these tasks usually are (or become) good readers. This session will discuss consequences of this relationship for literacy acquisition and identify key parameters of phonological awareness instruction, effective strategies for learners in the primary grades, and examples of instructional sequences for advancing phonological awareness abilities.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Determine a student's current stage of phonological awareness development and identify next steps for intervention
  • Identify key principles of phonological awareness instruction
  • Develop and implement an evidence-based instructional sequence for teaching phonological awareness to elementary school children

Service Delivery Models: Challenges, Considerations, and Options
Jean Blosser, EdD, CCC-SLP
Runtime: TBD

Speech-language pathologists in elementary schools face the challenge of matching each student with the right service delivery model, the right providers, and the right interventions to achieve the best outcomes for that student. This session will present a range of service delivery models, such as pullout, integrated, diagnostic intervention, classroom-based, 3:1, and collaboration, and explore strategies for implementing them with your caseload. We'll answer questions about dosage, including the recommended type, frequency, amount, and duration of services. You'll walk away with concrete approaches for making decisions about service delivery models that are effective, efficient, evidence-based, and prepare students and their families for discharge from services from the very first session.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe a range of service delivery options and important aspects to consider
  • Match students with the most appropriate service delivery model to meet their needs and achieve positive outcomes
  • Explain service delivery options to parents and teachers to foster buy-in and engagement

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