Core vocabulary vs. nouns
Traditionally much of the language offered to young and beginning Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ACC) communicators has been comprised of nouns and descriptive words. This limits users to requesting and labeling when they have so much more to say.
Core words, comprised of a set of words we most commonly use, give AAC users access to a greater variety of words. This activity provides an experience to help you understand the importance of early access to robust core vocabulary.
“The average 18 month old has been exposed to 4,380 hours of spoken language at a rate of 8 hours/day from birth. We don’t expect them to be fluent speakers. Yet, if AAC learners only see symbols modeled for communication twice weekly for 20-30 minutes, it will take 84 years for them to have the same exposure to aided language as an 18month old has to spoken language.“
Jane Korsten, Speech-Language Pathologist
There are two communication boards for this activity.
1. Start with communication board labeled Board 1: Nouns. This is a type of board you might see in a typical preschool classroom.
2. Partner with someone at your table and have a conversation using this communication board.
3. One communication partner uses their voice while the other communication partner uses the communication board. Talk about your plans for the weekend, or just get to know each other.
4. After one minute switch roles so you can both experience being the communication board user.
5. After one more minute switch to the board labeled Board 2: Core and continue the conversation. This board contains the most common words used by toddlers.
6. Reflect on what you could or could not say using the two communication boards.
Board 1: Nouns
Board 2: Core
- We need to introduce AAC early
- We need to give lots of input in symbol language before we can expect output in symbol language
- Access to core vocabulary offers more combinations and flexibility in helping AAC users develop language
- Expect that they can