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We Have to Talk About Something: Why NOT Talk About the Curriculum? A Guide to Embedding Language Interventions in Curricular Content.

PURPOSE: Children with developmental language disorder frequently have difficulty with both academic success and language learning and use. This clinical focus article describes core principles derived from a larger program of research (National Science Foundation 1748298) on language intervention combined with science instruction for preschoolers. It serves as an illustration of a model for integrating language intervention with curricular content delivery.

METHOD: We present a five-step model for a speech-language pathologist and other school professionals to follow to (a) understand the grade-level core curriculum objectives; (b) align intervention targets with the curriculum; (c) select a therapy approach that aligns with both goals and curricular content, and (d) methods for implementing the intervention; and (e) verify that both the intervention and the curriculum have been provided in accordance with best practices. We apply this model to the Next Generation Science Standards, a science curriculum popular in the United States, and to grammar and vocabulary interventions, two areas of difficulty for children with developmental language disorders, though it would be possible to extend the steps to other curricular areas and intervention targets.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude by discussing the barriers and benefits to adopting this model. We recognize that both speech-language pathologists and teachers may have limited time to implement language intervention within a general education curriculum, but we suggest that the long-term benefits outweigh the barriers.

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