Apps can be used for a variety of educational and non-educational purposes. I've previously listed some apps that lend themselves well to be motivators. The harder a task is the higher the motivator must be. Think of it from your own experience....if something is not easy for you, then you will probably avoid the activity. Same thing goes for your children. And lets face it, if communication was easy for them they would have developed it at the same rate (within a range of typical) as their same age peers. So we as your child's teachers need to find something highly desirable for which they are willing to "work."
This post will focus on using a language stimulation strategy called, Aided Language Stimulation, in tandem with fun and engaging apps (to be listed at the end of the post). Aided Language Input is an approach to vocabulary teaching created by Goossens, Crain, and Elder (1992). It was first used with individuals who use a assistive tech device (AT) or an alternative augmentative device (AAC). Although, it has been found to be useful for more than AAC learners. It can also increase the language of children and adults who are visual learners. "This technique provides the communicator with the opportunity to visually process words and symbols being concretely combined to form functional utterances within meaningful routines. Since the printed word accompanies each symbol on the display, Aided Language Stimulation also may assist some children in the development of reading skills. Aided language stimulation is primarily good verbal language stimulation (emphasis removed) with visual augmentation" (taken from Portland Public Schools website). Other names the strategy goes by include: focused language stimulation, partner assisted language, verbal language stimulation, aided language immersion, aided language, and aided language input. For the remainder of the post I will use the term aided language stimulation to describe this vocabulary teaching strategy for the sake of consistency.
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