Monday, 9 February 2015

Thinking of a Core Vocabulary


Even though I have yet to have continued our jump to iPad communication story yet and explained quite where we're at I would add in something of interest I recently discovered online.

As I am sure you have read in my previous posts about our communication journey, I label things, give them nouns and point them out to my son so hes aware that things have words associated with them.  This naturally leads to symbols and eventually awareness of symbols as a language.  Letters themselves are symbols, and those letters make up a word that we recognise as a word once we have learnt to read.  For kids like our son he may not understand words in the written form but he is learning to associate symbols of another form - pictures, and associate them with words.  I don't know if he really understands the letters form a word, but he definitely has learnt the associated symbol picture which is often just a photo of the object.  These pictures are often nouns, food items, clothing items, desirable things like TV Programs etc.  But they most definitely aren't a 'core word', like I, ME, HAVE, WANT, GO etc.  Hes started to learn those words have purpose on his iPad and uses them to make sentences.  Mostly thats because I have put desirable items within folders that have a core word like GO or WANT as their title.  So he simply goes to his WANT folder and within that he can find his FOOD folder and eventually his MUNCHOS button.  By this time he has created a sentence saying I WANT, FOOD, MUNCHOS, mostly without trying.  Hes learnt this over time and with modelling help from myself and other people in his life. But I have wondered for a LONG time how to teach him the concept words.  Words like LOVE, LIKE, HERE words that have meaning but no real associated symbol as such.  Can I get him to create a sentence like I LOVE YOU using just buttons on his iPad?  So I am in that phase right now trying to wrap my head around core word concepts and teaching my son how to use them.  Hes currently stuck in that choice level communication of wants and needs, and any elaborate sentence making is limited.  As I have chosen to be his iPad AAC Programmer I need to understand him and the concepts of language.  But returning to my original point of this post:

I read this facinating page: for-the-love-of-core-and-labels-labels-labels
and the concepts they discuss with labelling items struck me and made me re-evaluate my 'noun' based labelling around our house.  Now I think I will go around replacing my labels with more useful 'sentence' labels as this quote from the above link says " label things around the classroom or the home with core word phrases to help learners with delayed language acquisition gain additional exposure to functional core word meanings in the context of their play and learning environment."

So lets see where this leads in our ever changing journey!

Cheers, Vivien


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