Oral Expression & ListeningComprehension as Areas of SLDCandy Myers, Supervisor & Principal Consultant for Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)Tami Cassel, Principal Consultant for Speech and/or Language Impairment (SLI)Exceptional Student Services UnitColorado Department of Education

Specific Learning Disability2

Specific Learning DisabilityThe following eligibility criteria must be met: The child does not achieve adequately for the child’s ageor to meet State-approved grade-level standards whenprovided with learning experiences and instructionappropriate for the child’s age or state-approved gradelevel standards and The child does not make sufficient progress to meet ageor state approved grade-level standards when using aprocess based on the child’s response to scientific,research-based intervention.3

As determined by a body of evidencedemonstrating Academic skill deficit(s); and Insufficient progress in response to scientific,research-based intervention

The SLD eligibility criteria must be met in one ormore of the following areas Oral expressionListening comprehensionBasic reading skillsReading fluencyReading comprehensionWritten languageBasic mathematical skillsMathematical reasoning}Not new to federal law*, but added inColorado ECEA Rules (2008) to alignwith federal law (IDEA ’04)* Specified in federal law as “areas” of SLD since 19755

Speech or LanguageImpairment (SLI)6

Speech or Language Impairment“A child with a speech or language impairment shallhave a communicative disorder which prevents thechild from receiving reasonable educational benefitfrom regular education.”Colorado ECEA Rules [section 2.08(7)]

Criteria for a speech or language impairment shallinclude: Interference with oral and/or written communication inacademic and social interactions in his/her primarylanguage. Demonstration of undesirable or inappropriate behavior as aresult of limited communication skills. The inability to communicate without the use of assistive,augmentative/alternative communication devices orsystems.- Colorado ECEA Rules [2.08(7)(b)]

Speech or Language Impairment Speech or Language Impairment– Deficit disability– Determined by an assessment process that comparesa child’s performance to a representative normativesample of children of the same age and demographiccharacteristics– Performance is significantly discrepant from agerelated peers – language impaired

Overlap of SLD & SLI10

Areas of Significant Overlap Between SLDand SLI Oral Expression / Expressive Language Listening Comprehension / Receptive Language Pre-Literacy/Early Literacy SkillsSLDSLI11

The Many Strands that are Woven into Skilled Reading(Scarborough, 2001)LANGUAGE COMPREHENSIONBACKGROUND KNOWLEDGEVOCABULARY KNOWLEDGELANGUAGE STRUCTURESVERBAL REASONINGSkilled Readingfluent coordination ofwordreadingandSKILLEDREADING:fluent execution andcomprehensioncoordination of wordrecognitionand textprocessescomprehension.LITERACY KNOWLEDGEWORD RECOGNITIONPHON. AWARENESSDECODING (and SPELLING)SIGHT RECOGNITIONReading is a multifaceted skill, gradually acquired over years of instruction and practice.

Oral Expression13

What is Oral Expression?Oral expression is the ability to convey wants,needs, thoughts, and ideas meaningfullyusing appropriate syntactic, pragmatic,semantic, and phonological languagestructures.Oral expression should NOT be confused withreading aloud or reading fluently.14

Examples of Oral Expression in the ClassroomStudents are asked to – share stories or retell and answer questions overstories read to them to demonstrate comprehension– predict or make inferences– express their opinions– tell what the story is about (main idea) in sequence(beginning, middle, end)– Summarize what they’ve read– Question as they read– Clarify as they read– Revisit predictions as they read15

Oral Language: Importance to Learning Oral language provides the foundation forliteracy development which leads tosuccess in reading and writing. Both comprehension and expression areessential to academic achievement in allcontent areas. Communication skills are critical for overallsuccess in school.16

ELLOral Language:Language Acquisition for L1 and L2 Developmental sequence – for both first andsecond language acquisition As knowledge and experiential base expands,language becomes more cognitively andacademically complex; decontextualized Acquisition influenced by: culture, environment,experience, exposure, instruction, and activecommunication17

Listening Comprehension18

Listening Comprehension “Listening comprehension refers to theunderstanding of the implications andexplicit meanings of words and sentencesof spoken language.”CDE Guidelines for Identifying Students with Specific LearningDisabilities 200819

Listening Comprehension Skills Comprehension – understanding semantics,grammar, syntax and pragmatic considerations Making connections to prior learning Listening comprehension precedes readingcomprehension20

Language Components of both Oral Expressionand Listening Comprehension:Syntax – word order; sentence structureGrammar – the rules of languageMorphology – the smallest units of meaning in wordsPragmatics/social language – making language choices basedon social contexts; speaking/writing for specific audiencesSemantics – knowledge of vocabulary; meaning-basedlanguagePhonology – understanding the sound rules of our language anduse of sounds to encode the meaning of languageMetalinguistics – the conscious consideration of languagethrough use of language; meta-skills are CRUCIAL to reading21

Impact of Language Impairments Two areas of SLD specific to language, itself – althougha language impairment will impact all areas of literacy– Oral Expression– Listening Comprehension Other areas of SLD will also be impacted by a languageimpairment– Reading – basic reading skills, readingcomprehension, written language, and to someextent, reading fluency– Written language

Interventions Any interventions for oral expression or listeningcomprehension should be anchored incurriculum Measures of improvement should be linked toacademic progress monitoring

Language and LiteracySpeech/Language AreasLiteracy Areas raphophonemicGraphemicText Type, Genre, andText StructureKucer, S.B. (2005). Dimensions of literacy: A conceptual base for teaching reading and writing in schoolsettings. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Pre-Literacy/Early Literacy SkillsPhonological AwarenessPhonemic AwarenessRhymingPrint AwarenessLetter RecognitionLetter-Sound FluencyVocabulary25

Difference between Phonological Awareness,Phonemic Awareness, and PhonicsPhonological awareness refers generally to theawareness of words, syllables or phonemes(individual speech sounds).Phonemic awareness refers only to theawareness of individual sounds in words.Phonics – relationship of letters to sounds; if youneed to have the lights on , it’s a phonics task26

egmentation& BlendingOnset-RimeBlending &SegmentationBlending &SegmentingIndividualPhonemesRhymingSongsMORE COMPLEXACTIVITIESLESS COMPLEXACTIVITIES27

Phonemic Awareness– Phoneme isolation: e.g., “Tell me the first sound in car.”versus “Tell me the first letter in the word, car.”– Phoneme identification: e.g., “Tell me the sound that isthe same in bee, ball, bell.”– Phoneme categorization – recognizing the word withthe odd sound: “Which word does not belong? fall, fun,bug28

Phonemic Awareness, cont.– Phoneme blending – listening to separately spokensounds and combining them to form a recognizableword: “What word is /d/ /i/ /g/ ?”– Phoneme segmentation – breaking words into soundsby tapping out or using markers to count the soundswhile pronouncing. “How many phonemes in top?”– Phoneme deletion – recognizing what word remainswhen a phoneme is removed. “What is left when youtake /s/ away from smile?- adapted from Ehri et al., 200129

Interventions:Pre-Reading/Early Reading Skills Rhyming: Have fun with nursery rhymes, silly poems, books with rhymes.Have children generate rhyming words: fat -- cat sat, bat. Have childrenidentify/sort pictures of words that rhyme. Strengthen phonemic awareness skills: tap out words in a sentence giventhem; tap out number of parts (syllables) heard in 1-3 syllable words; gamelike activities to identify initial sounds Letter Identification: learn to recognize letters in own name; letter games Letter-Sound Matching: quick, fun activities to strengthen knowledge of“letter name” versus “letter sound” (“b” vs. /b/)30

General Considerations When Selecting Interventions: Research/evidence-basedTargeted to student needsSensitive to cultural differences ELLLevel of acculturation and stage of Englishlanguage acquisition ELL31

Narrative Skills Sequencing activities such as arranging picturecards to illustrate a story and then providing thelanguage of the story Re-tell Summarize Create narratives with explicit scaffolding provided ifneeded for beginning, middle, and end Learn the language and vocabulary of storygrammars32

Teacher Read Aloud Students listen to spoken content and learn to extract theimportant information. (listening comprehension) Students learn to visualize the information & candescribe/draw what they heard (listening comprehension) Effective teacher implementation of read alouds: Pre-teach vocabulary (comprehension and expression) Have students draw, write, or respond orally to what isbeing read (comprehension and expression) Ask questions about the content being read(comprehension and expression) Make connections to prior knowledge and experience(e.g., picture walk) (comprehension and expression)33

SLD & SLI: Considerationsin Determining PrimaryDisability34

When determining primary disability (SLD orSLI), the team might consider Has the student received appropriate intervention toimprove oral expression or listening comprehension?What does the progress monitoring data show? Which areas of academic performance are beingmost impacted by language difficulties? Has the student received appropriate intervention toimprove any academic skill deficit? What does theprogress monitoring data show?35

When determining primary disability (SLD orSLI), the team might consider What prescriptive/diagnostic speech-language oracademic assessments were conducted and what werethe results? What is the severity and nature of needs? Is the concern about access or the need for alternativeinstruction? Is intensive specialized instruction in one or more specificacademic skill areas needed?36

Final Determination Which disability category is the strongest match withthe student’s greatest areas of need?The final determination of primary disability is madeby the multidisciplinary eligibility team and is basedon the body of evidence.37

Even if the primary disability is determinedto be SLD .A child with a disability, as defined in Section 2.08 ofthese Rules any disability , shall be entitled toreceive speech-language pathology services asspecially designed instruction if the child’s IEP Teamdetermines that the child needs speech-languagepathology services in order to receive a freeappropriate public education.[ECEA Rules section 2.43 (1) (b) (i) (F)]38

Websites (American Speech Language Hearing Association) (language development (social stories) (National Center for Learning Disabilities)39

Colorado Department of Education Guidelines for Identifying Students with Specific LearningDisabilities (CDE 2008) & other SLD .asp Speech-Language .asp Response to Intervention (RtI): A Practitioner’s Guide toImplementation (CDE 2008) & other RtI resources Language, Culture and Equity Unit , CDE (formerly ELA) english/index.htm40