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No-Glamour® Language Middle School
Ages: 10-14   Grades: 5-9

This book uses curricular content and middle-school lesson formats to help students transfer language learning to the classroom and meet testing requirements.


  • Improve language-based classroom and testing performance
  • Respond accurately to a variety of questions
  • Comprehend and use more complex forms of grammar and vocabulary in an academic context
  • Understand multiple-meaning words and figurative language
  • Develop reasoning skills needed for middle-school academic requirements
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*The CD contains the complete book.  All pages are printable.
** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

The language lessons teach students to associate and apply information to a variety of contexts and respond to academic/testing questions accurately.  Students learn 1,555 words from the social studies, science, language arts, math, geography, political science, and history curricula.  Age-appropriate articulation lessons with a language approach are included for the r, s, z, l, and th sounds.

The book targets eight essential language skills:

  • Vocabulary – using context to determine meaning, testing words, curricular vocabulary, and more
  • Comprehension – identifying flag words, identifying and understanding sequence words, identifying passive voice sentences, and more
  • Expression – asking questions, relating events, using complete sentences, and giving directions
  • Grammar & Syntax – irregular plural nouns, past tense verbs, and comparatives; subject and verb agreement; whose vs. who's; and more
  • Multiple Meanings – words, phrases, and sentences
  • Figurative Language – identifying, explaining, associating, and using figurative language
  • Reasoning – comparing and contrasting, analogies, general vs. specific terms, inferencing, and more
  • Language Skills & Articulation – synonyms, antonyms, prefixes, and parts of speech


Copyright © 2002

228 pages, answer key

I have been purchasing materials from LinguiSystems for years now, and they've never let me down!  The materials are high quality and very functional.  My favorite series is the "No-Glamour" series.  No-Glamour Middle School is wonderful.  The book covers many skill levels with many fun and interesting activities for each level!

Kathleen Anne Smith, SLP
Urbana, OH

  • Effective vocabulary instruction strategies actively engage the student and require higher-level cognitive processing. These strategies include using new words in novel sentences based on connections to prior knowledge, identifying synonyms and antonyms, analyzing word features, and using visual aids (Kester-Phillips, Foote, & Harper, 2008).
  • Dockrell, Lindsay, and Connelly (2009) found that adolescents with specific language impairment (SLI) showed limited growth in their written language abilities in the middle school years which is associated with limited oral vocabulary development.
  • Spoken and written grammatical abilities were found to be quantitatively different in school-aged children with SLI in comparison to age- and language-matched children.  Judgment of syntax was a language measure continued in weakness despite other language measures improving within the SLI population (Gillam & Johnston, 1992).
  • Five components of instruction needed to address older students who are struggling to read include word study, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and motivation (Roberts, Torgesen, Boardman, & Scammacca, 2008).
  • A study by Feng and Powers (2005) found that grammatical mini-lessons targeting students' error patterns resulted in improved short- and long-term accuracy.

No-Glamour Language Middle School incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


Dockrell, J.E., Lindsay, G., & Connelly, V. (2009). The impact of specific language impairment on adolescents' written text. Exceptional Children, 75(4), 427-446.

Feng, S., & Powers, K. (2005). The short- and long-term effect of explicit grammar instruction on fifth graders' writing. Reading Improvement, 42(2) 67-72.

Gillam, R.B., & Johnston, J. (1992). Spoken and written language relationships in language/learning impaired and normally achieving school-age children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 35, 1303-1315.

Kester-Phillips, D.C., Foote, C.J., & Harper, L.J. (2008). Strategies for effective vocabulary instruction. Reading Improvement, 45(2), 62-68.

Roberts, G., Torgesen, J.K., Boardman, A., & Scammacca, N. (2008). Evidence-based strategies for reading instruction of older students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 23(2), 63-69.


Catherine E. Keeney


Catherine E. Keeney, M.A., CCC-SLP, has been a speech-language pathologist for 13 years.  She has worked in rehabilitation hospitals, long-term care facilities, and in public schools.  For the past three years, she has worked with middle school and high school students in the Joplin, Missouri school district.

She earned her bachelor's degree in education from Missouri Southern State College with majors in elementary and special education.  Her academic credentials also include a master's degree in communication disorders from Southwest Missouri State University.  Language has always been an area of interest for Catherine, and she feels that the adventure of raising three children—Michelle, Abbey, and Paul—provided a great deal of hands-on experience in the observation and nurturing of language development.

Catherine is an avid reader and lover of nature and animals.  Her other interests include cooking, baking, gardening, listening to bluegrass music, and writing the occasional poem.  No Glamour Language: Middle School is Catherine's first publication with LinguiSystems.


Many of the activities in No-Glamour Language: Middle School were written over a period of time in response to specific needs which I saw in students on my caseload.  Other activities were written with an eye to what I perceived to be more general needs in language skills for students at this age level.

In public education, the trend continues toward the use of standardized tests to assess student knowledge and progression in the direction of established objectives.  Increasingly, these tests require students not only to respond to objective-type questions such as multiple-choice, but to associate and apply information to a variety of situations.  Students have a strong need to develop skills that allow them to understand exactly what a question is asking and how to respond to a variety of types of questions.  They also need to develop the ability to use language as a reasoning tool to assist in academic endeavors, as well as to help prepare them for life in a complex world.  In addition to providing activities that reinforce basic skills, I have attempted to provide activities addressing the above areas and needs in this book.

In my own practice, I believe in maximizing therapy time by addressing multiple skill areas whenever possible.  Some students at the middle school level still have speech articulation goals for sounds they have yet to master or carry over consistently.  I like to incorporate language skills into articulation therapy activities for these students.  Chapter 8 provides exercises containing target sounds /r/, /s/&/z/, /l/, and /th/.  These exercises also provide practice with vocabulary, synonyms & antonyms, prefixes, parts of speech, sentence formulation, and story construction.  Of course, these exercises may also be used with any students needing practice with these language skills, regardless of their articulation abilities.

I hope that the activities in No-Glamour Language Middle School will help you in your very busy and important job of fostering acquisition of essential skills in your students!