Contextualized Academic Language Intervention
Academic language is the sophisticated language required to comprehend and express knowledge. It consists of word-, sentence-, and discourse-level patterns characteristic of written language. However, academic language is also present in certain types of oral language, such as narration and information discourse, and oral language precedes the development of written language. All students need intentional instruction on academic language features such as discourse structures, sentence structures, vocabulary, morphological awareness, and inferencing; however, students on SLPs’ caseloads have an even greater need for academic language intervention. In this event, the presenter will do a deep dive into what academic language is and how to teach it. Importantly, the context of academic language is the academic curriculum that students need to access in general education. The presenter will cover practical and empirically based recommendations for promoting students’ academic language in the context of their grade-level expectations and general education curriculum, as well as present several examples of academic language goals. She will draw materials from open education resources and present case scenarios showing efficient, powerful, and integrated academic language lesson plans.
5 mins - Disclosures, Introduction
25 mins - Review of current research
50 mins - Objectives
Define academic language and describe its features.
Explain how to use the general education curriculum to contextualize academic language intervention.
Develop appropriate academic language goals.
30 mins - Results and Recommendations
10 mins - Q&A
ASHA: 0.2 ASHA CEUs,
CA SLPAHB: 2 hrs
CMH: 2 hrs
About the Presenter
Bio and Disclosures
Bio: Dr. Spencer is an associate professor at the Rightpath Research & Innovation Center in the Department of Child and Family Studies, University of South Florida. She earned a specialist degree in School Psychology and a PhD in Disability Disciplines from Utah State University with emphases in language and literacy and early childhood special education. She has been a board certified behavior analyst since 2001. Dr. Spencer has worked with culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse children as well as children with disabilities, their teachers, and their families for 20 years. She has published 54 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 5 book chapters, and 22 non-peer reviewed articles, briefs, or encyclopedia entries. Much of her research has resulted in commercialized or open access educational materials, most of which are available at trinastoolbox.com. She has two current Institute for Education Sciences (IES) funded projects related to academic language and literacy interventions for at risk students. Her publications and editorial service span a number of disciplines including applied behavior analysis, speech-language pathology, early childhood education, special education, applied linguistics, and school psychology. She serves as the chair for the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s (ASHA) committee on Clinical Research, Implementation Science, and Evidence-Based Practice (CRISP), leads a national network of early childhood researchers who study Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) and serves as an editorial board member for Language-Speech-Hearing Services in Schools (LSHSS). Dr. Spencer led the ABAI Practice Board workgroup to develop the resource document entitled, Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Between Speech Language Pathologists and Behavior Analysts. Benefitting from strong collaborations with community partners, Dr. Spencer maintains a spirited research agenda to improve the academic and social outcomes of the nation’s most vulnerable students.
Financial— Dr. Spencer received a speaking fee from the Lavi Institute/Power Up Conference
Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.
- Define academic language and describe its features.
- Explain how to use the general education curriculum to contextualize academic language intervention.
- Develop appropriate academic language goals.
Satisfactory Course Completion Requirements
This course must be watched in its entirety. In order to receive the CMH or the CEU certificate, a quiz is required to be completed with 80% success.
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