Last week, I posted this question in Georgia Pathway’s Teachers’ Lounge (which can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/217794748258654/):
“Recently, I’ve noticed that a child whose language I thought was higher than her peers is only parroting phrases. She’s not comprehending what she’s saying; she’s only repeating. What strategies do you use to help a child move past parroting to articulating his or her own thoughts independently? Thanks for your help!”
I received this fantastic feedback and insight from a two Pathfinders, one from the signing community and one from the listening and spoken language community…
“Does the child have cognition of the concepts? If the cognition (visual picture) is not in the brain, that may be where the break down is occurring. If so, sign language (which is pictures in the air) may provide the picture and connection to the concept. This can creates a bridge to the English. If sign language is not an option, maybe holding a large picture up for each concept… I have not tried this without sign language.”
“For a child who is using Listening and Spoken Language (LSL), you can measure milestones based on his/her listening age which is the age at which the child was amplified and is benefiting from the technology. So, for example, if she was implanted at 1 year old, and her chronological age is 2 years old, than her listening age is 1 year old. For children with implants, imitating sounds and phrases, especially with the prosody of speech (babble that has the ups and downs of conversation) can be normal if her listening age is within the 1 year time frame. See http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/01.htm for more information on language milestones. Strategies to help her articulate her own thoughts: (1) Recasting: where the listener takes pieces of the child’s speech that are intelligible and expands on it to encourage her to keep talking; (2) Asking questions and ‘Tell me more’: again picking out pieces of language that the child has spontaneously used to encourage more talking; (3) Language rich classroom and experiences where the child is encouraged to use language because she is excited about the topic. See ‘Teaching Activities for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing’ at http://www.moogcenter.org/Bookstore.aspx for more information”
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