Students learn grammar through a progression of activities centered around meaningful scenes and pictures. The scripted stimuli are especially helpful for eliciting target grammatical structures.
- Learn pronouns, verb tenses, plurals, and question forms
- Develop listening, storytelling, and thinking skills
Busy clinicians rely on the SPARC series for:
- convenience and portability
- loads of pictures and practice opportunities
- systematic progression of activities
- no student reading requirement
SPARC for Grammar includes 20 units, each targeting a specific language structure including:
- pronouns (I, he, she, they)
- auxiliary verb (is)
- third person regular (e.g., rakes, walks)
- regular past tense (e.g., tripped, laughed)
- irregular past tense (e.g., sat, bought)
- possessive marker's (e.g., girl's, cat's)
- possessive pronouns (his, hers, its)
- copula verb (is)
- regular plurals (e.g., bowls, bananas)
- irregular plurals (e.g., men, feet)
- interrogative reversals (is, are)
- wh- questions
- interrogative reversals (do, does, did)
Each 8-page unit has four pages of picture stimuli and four pages of written prompts for the instructor. Six types of activities progress in difficulty and provide a wealth of opportunities for students to hear and use the targeted language structure. The activities are:
- identify targeted structures by pointing to pictures and/or repeating sentences
- auditory bombardment
- listen to and repeat sentences in response to questions, using a picture scene stimulus
- following directions/answering questions
- follow oral directions containing the targeted structure using a picture scene
- what's wrong
- practice new structures by identifying what's wrong in a picture scene in a different context than the previous scene
- thinking skills
- practice the targeted structure while responding to questions that require reasoning
- listen to, sequence, and retell a short story using the targeted structure.
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- Students need to understand sentence grammar and whole-text cohesion. They should learn phrasal and clausal structure and how to combine them to make complex sentences (National Curriculum for English, 2003).
- SLPs should scaffold their instruction of syntactic structures to help students express complex thoughts coherently (Nippold, Mansfield, & Billow, 2007).
- Students are unlikely to formulate and comprehend complex syntax unless such linguistic forms are included in their experiences and convey authentic, complex meanings (ASHA, 2001).
- Sentence analysis is a vital skill in understanding language. Developing sentence structures helps children understand the rules of grammar and how to interpret meaning (Grey, 2007).
SPARC for Grammar incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2001). Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists With Respect to Reading and Writing in Children and Adolescents [Guidelines]. Retrieved February 11, 2009 from www.asha.org/policy
Grey, D.S. (2007). Language in use. Cambridge, UK. Retrieved February 23, 2009 from www.putlearningfirst.com/language/06senten/06senten.html
National Curriculum for English. (April, 2003). Information flow: Sentence structure & importance. Retrieved February 24, 2009 from University College London Website http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/tta/sentstruc/teach.htm
Nippold, M.A., Mansfield, T.C., & Billow, J.L. (2007). Peer conflict explanations in children, adolescents, and adults: Examining the development of complex syntax. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 16, 179-188.