Word Retrieval Strategies/Suggestions
Below is a list of strategies to facilitate word retrieval skills. Suggestions are provided for both teachers and parents.
· Provide ample time for the student to respond.
· Use cuing strategies. A cue is a "hint" or "clue" as to what the missing word might be. The cues include the following:
o phonemic cue/phonetic - this cue is providing the first sound of the word the student is trying to retrieve. For example, if the student is thinking of the word "vehicle" you might say, "ohh you're thinking of a word that starts with a "vwvvvvvv...." (Make an extended /V/ sound).
o semantic cues - these cues are categories, background, associations, synonyms, antonyms, functions. For example, for the word "vehicle" you might provide the category name or features of the word: "This word is another word for car", or "This is an object that you ride in, has wheels, has a horn, people drive it to work, etc." Another example, for the word "horse", you might say "It's a farm animal". Background is what you know about the word/item. For example, if you saw this item at a car show, you might say "remember the time we went to a car show and I said the red corvette was a cool " (vehicle).
o cloze exercises - this cue involves saying a familiar phrase or a sentence and leaving the last word out. For example, "We played a game of "(Checkers, monopoly, etc.).
· When the child has a difficult time retrieving a word use the above cues. If you notice the student is still struggling then provide choices or just tell the answer. For example, "Is this a vehicle or an instrument?"
· Avoid interrupting or filling in a word. This could increase a child's frustration.
· Use a slower rate of speech. This encourages the child to speak slowly, which makes it easier for him/her to retrieve words.
· Encourage your child to advocate for himself or herself. Instead of a child saying "I don't know", the student could say, "I am having trouble thinking of the word", "I need extra time to think". "Wait I am thinking". "Could you help me?"
· In the classroom, provide word banks when possible, provide tests that incorporate multiple choice questions, provide cue cards to use during tests, implement take home exams, incorporate true/false statements on tests/quizzes.
by Sherri Shire-Susser