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Language, Literacy, and the SLP

presented by Shari Robertson

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Shari Robertson receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.


Non-Financial: Shari Robertson has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
The recent emphasis on supporting literacy has created a set of new challenges for speech-language pathologists who work with children. Given that language problems are both a cause and a consequence of reading problems, SLPs are uniquely qualified to design and implement intervention that supports development in both domains. However, it is not uncommon for SLPs to have had no specific preparation related to literacy, creating a sense of uncertainty regarding their role in the development of written language. This course will explore the relationships between language and literacy, identifying the specific knowledge and skills that speech-language pathologists bring to the development of literacy. An overview of the skills identified as critical to reading success, and examples of how these relate to language learning, will also be provided as a guide for SLPS who wish to support both oral and written language development.

Meet Your Instructor

Shari Robertson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Shari Robertson, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, is a Professor of Speech Language Pathology and Dean’s Associate for Graduate Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Robertson spent 18 years as a school-based SLP and special education administrator prior to obtaining her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She recently served on the ASHA Board of Directors as…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. What SLP's Know About Reading

This chapter will cover the knowledge and skills SLPs bring to literacy development. Additionally, it will summarize the research that links oral language development (listening and talking) to written language development (reading and writing).

2. The Components of Language and Literacy

Central to the knowledge base regarding oral language development is the understanding that language is made up of form, content, and use. Each component must be present in order for an individual to be communicatively competent. Fundamentally, written language is made up of these components as well, with a few “extra” pieces such as writing conventions, spelling, etc. This chapter will compare and contrast each component in both the oral and written modes to further clarify the role of the SLP in literacy development.

3. Key Findings of the National Reading Panel Report

The results of a metastudy undertaken by the National Reading Panel identified five key skills/areas of instruction that consistently lead to reading success. Many of these skills have been a part of traditional intervention for children with language learning deficits and others can be incorporated into existing therapy to support development of both the oral and written modes of language. This chapter will provide an overview of the identified skill areas and how to use this as a framework for providing intervention that addresses both the oral and written modes for children with language learning deficits. Differentiation between the role of SLPs and that of classroom teachers and reading specialists will be addressed.

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