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Preschool Language Part One: Academic Talk and Executive Functions

presented by Anne van Kleeck, PhD, CCC-SLP

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Anne van Kleeck receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Anne Van Kleeck has no non-financial relationships with the content of 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.

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Accreditation Check:

This course introduces academic talk and executive functions and reviews research that shows how critically important it is for speech-language pathologists to develop these skills at the preschool level. In this course, participants will learn about two distinct registers of oral language: academic talk and casual talk. Participants will be able to explain the relationship between parents' education levels and children's exposure to and skill in the casual talk and academic talk registers. Executive functions will also be defined.

Meet Your Instructor

Anne van Kleeck, PhD, CCC-SLP

Anne van Kleeck, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a Professor and Callier Research Scholar at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders in the School of Behavioral and Brain Science at the University of Texas in Dallas. She has taught courses and guided student research on children's language development and language impairments for several decades. Anne's research focuses…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. A Brief Introduction

In this chapter, participants will be introduced to academic talk, casual talk, executive functions, and will explore how each relates to preschoolers’ future academic success. The response to intervention (RTI) model will also be introduced.

2. How Language Works: A Functionalist Perspective

In this chapter, participants will be introduced to the functionalist perspective of language, including discussion of how cultural context and social context shape functions of language, which in turn affects language structures. This chapter will include discussion of two language registers--casual talk and academic talk--and the different functions these registers serve.

3. Broader Foundations for Supporting the Development of Academic Talk & Executive Functions

In this chapter, participants will learn about the broad foundations for supporting the development of academic talk and executive functions, which are both critical foundations for school success. This chapter will include discussion of positive emotional supports, contextual supports, and interactional supports, as well as the key role SLPs can play to support teachers in providing these interactional supports for preschoolers.

4. More about Academic Talk & Executive Function

In this chapter, technical definitions for academic talk and executive functions will be provided. Participants will learn more about the registers of academic talk and casual talk, and examples of each, including discussion of language features, will be provided. The relationship of executive functions to later reading comprehension and the language-based nature of executive functions will be discussed.

5. Developing Academic Talk & Executive Function Over Time

In this chapter, participants will learn how executive functions and academic talk skills are socially transmitted via a responsive cycle of adult language input, increasing child skill level and adult demands, all while remaining within the child’s zone of proximal development.

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