Wednesday, 24 April 2013

#11 Working on Your Core Takes on a Whole New Meaning

It doesn't mean eating more apples...

or strengthening your abdominal muscles.

AAC users work on their core vocabulary in order to communicate.

What is Core Vocabulary?

Core vocabulary is a small set of simple words, in any language, that are used frequently and across contexts (Cross, Baker, Klotz & Badman, 1997). Core vocabulary contains all parts of speech - nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections and serves as a great medium for teaching language.

Core words are familiar and most of them are short - six letters or less. Only a few core words have more than six letters (for example, "sometimes" has nine letters).

From toddlers to seniors, core's simple words make up 80 percent or more of everyday communication and are the heart of language development. Action words like "want," "put," "get," nouns like "thing," "stuff," and "people," pronouns like "I, me, my, mine," and "he, she, it, them," form easy sentences with demonstratives like "this" and "that." Early adverbs like "here" and "there" enable all children to express themselves. "Put it here," "Get me this," and "I want that" are what little kids say when they are building their mean length of utterance (MLU). 

Data suggests that children with disabilities build early language three-word phrases with core vocabulary (Baker, Hill & Devylder, 2000).

*The above information is taken from the Minspeak website. Click here to read more.

With a few hundred words, a person can say over 80% of what is needed (Vanderheiden and Kelso, 1987)

For people who rely on AAC, appropriate use of core vocabulary is essential to effective communication (Yorkston, Dowden, Honsinger, Marriner, and Smith,1988; Fried-Oken and More, 1992; Baker, Musselwhite, & Kwasniewski, 1999). If use of core vocabulary is low, communication effectiveness is likely to suffer.

*The above information is taken from a paper by Katya Hill from the AAC Institute

Language is: asking, telling, commenting, correcting, directing, choosing, tattling, arguing...not just naming things. 

With core words, now we're talking!      Take a look:

Are you working on your core?

Photo credit: Pixabay Disclaimer: Views in the Not Being Able to Speak series are derived from my personal experience with Carter. I do not speak on behalf of others with complex communication needs. It is not my intent to minimize or disregard the power of expression that can be found through the use of augmentative and alternative forms of communication.

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