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WRITING AND SPEAKING THROUGH PICTURES

Yvonne Gillette
The University of Akron
School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
Akron, OH 44325-3001
Voice: 330-972-6115
FAX: 330-972-7884
Internet: ygillette@uakron.edu

Jeri Lynn Hoffman
Innocomp
26210 Emery Rd.
Suite 302
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128
Voice: 800-382-8622
FAX: 440-464-3638
Internet: jerihoff@aol.com

Your learners can move beyond emerging literacy activities to using text in a meaningful way with systematic assistance. Logical Language: Pictures to Print (Innocomp) is a software product designed to provide such assistance. At first, learners can match pictures with words, then produce the words in print. Gradually, learners will begin to combine words into ideas and organize their messages into phrases and sentences. Logical Language:Pictures to Print also offers the possibility of more independent use of literacy by providing the learner with the opportunity to recognize and use the alphabet to create novel messages.

Logical Language: Pictures to Print offers a systematic scaffold to these literacy skills by combining dynamic screen and picture to print technology. The menu organizes a 1,000+ word vocabulary through category-letter cues. The learner accesses words through a two-step process. First, the learner clicks on the pictured category of the words (examples: animals, home, action).Next, the learner locates the word through alphabetically arranged pictures coded with letter cues. The second click produces the printed word in the text box. Clicking on the "Talk" symbol produces the word in synthesized speech. Pictures from Imaginart, Pick and Stick on Disk). Logical Language: Pictures to Print includes a standard set of over 150 integrated vocabulary screens as well as a screen creator that allows learning facilitators to customize the program.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM LOGICAL LANGUGAGE: PICTURES TO PRINT?

Learners who need assistance in producing written or spoken language can benefit from the program. Those with at least a three and a half year-old receptive vocabulary (approximately 1,000 words) or better can benefit the most from Logical Language: Pictures to Print. Those with motor impairments who have untapped literacy potential can use the program to access print through the scanning feature. Adults and children with mental retardation and developmental disabilities can use the program to move from pictures to print in systematic and creative ways. Those requiring cognitive retraining such as persons with traumatic brain injury or stroke will benefit from the highly organized framework for language the program provides. Those with hearing impairments will benefit from the visual display of language in Logical Language: Pictures to Print. The program also benefits young children working on early reading and writing skills as well as adults with literacy training needs. !

Those for whom English is a second language will also find the pictured screens and other language recognition screens useful as they learn to write and speak in English.

HOW DOES LOGICAL LANGUAGE WORK?

Writing and speaking through pictures is the key to the design.

Features that Facilitate Inclusion as well as Literacy and Communication

Various features of Logical Language: Pictures to Print make it possible to use the program so that learners of varied skill levels can learn to write and communicate together. This makes it easier to include learners with special needs in more classrooms.

Category Organization: uses the learner's daily experiences as a way of organizing language. Routines such as shopping (S), learning (L), and eating (E) form the basis of the menu-driven word access.

Alphabetical Organization: categories and words within categories use alphabetical organization to assist in locating words. Those with alphabetical knowledge can speed their access to words with this system. Those learning alphabetical organization will benefit from the incidental learning experience alphabetical organization provides.

Picture Symbols: make it possible for learners to use picture knowledge to produce and eventually learn print. The facilitator can alter the content and arrangement of any board using the screen creator and digitized picture sets. Bring up the board in screen creator. Once the board appears, you can cover the picture symbols with a blank button to erase a picture or to erase several if the board has too many symbols for an initial user. Later, you can reconstruct the board. Facilitators can add and replace buttons.

Symbol Labels: Logical Language: Picture to Print labels each picture symbol with a one or two letter code. The codes provide learners with the experience of matching first or first and second letters of the word with the picture. First-letter of the word spelling will later facilitate the use of word prediction systems to write. Initially, users can access words they want through the mouse and benefit from incidental exposure to initial letter(s) spelling. Later, learners can access words through the keyboard by typing in the symbol label. This provides practice in using initial letter(s) of the word spelling that successful use of a word prediction system will require.

Text Box: The text box produces text without the pictures whether the learner accesses the words through pictures or keyboard. This aspect is also inclusionary because the products of all learners look the same despite the input method used. The text box can scroll so that you can create a longer document than the two lines the text box reveals at once.

Grammar: learners who can benefit from more sophisticated forms of grammar have access to it. The left hand column of each page provides access to common verbs under the action symbol, (is, want, like), common prepositions (about, of, in), common pronouns under the people symbol (she, our), words that express number under the count symbol (any, more), other common words (not, yes, bye).

Verb Tenses: verb tenses, including auxiliary verbs appear immediately when a learner chooses a verb. Auxiliaries ("am", "is", "are", "was", "were", "will") and varied verb forms (as in "go", "went", "goes", "going". If the learner benefits from these aids, they become available. The present tense of the verb appears in a colored space to signal early learners to choose the simplest verb form, move on, and save refinement for later.

Access Methods: the learner can access the messages in Logical Language: Pictures to Print in varied ways depending upon their physical and cognitive needs. These include mouse access, TouchWindow (Edmark) access, and scanning access (visual and auditory. Codes make it possible to access words through first and second letter of the word spelling with the on-screen and regular keyboard. This practice with alphabet access helps learners move toward successful use of word prediction.

Voice Output: female or male voice output is possible. The learner can activate the voice by touching the "TALK" button on each screen or by pressing "ENTER". Once the user makes the message speak, the message will disappear once the user enters the first letter of the next message.

Print Output: appears in the text box as the learner creates a message through pictures. Function keys include a "HOME" key that allows for movement among the screens, "SPELLING" key makes letter entry possible, and a "DELETE" key erase the last entry.

SCREEN CREATOR

The screen creator allows the facilitator to design new screens or modify existed screens in cases where the learner would benefit from this customization. The facilitator can follow a simple process:

Facilitators who wish to create and modify their boards with graphics that match the program can purchase Imaginart's complete set of digitized pictures, Pick and Stick on Disk.

ADAPTABLE TO VARIED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Logical Language: Pictures to Print is designed to easily adapt to a wide range of learners and learning environments. Possiblities include:

LOGICAL LANGUAGE: PICTURES TO PRINT

Learners who use this program can be begin to understand and appreciate the creative exchanges literacy skills make possible. Picture knowledge makes it possible to produce print and spoken words. Facilitators can alter the program's features to fit the physical and learning needs of each child. The organizational scheme of the vocabulary helps the learners to organize language in a meaningful and literate way. Logical Language: Pictures to Print helps learner move from a preliterate and literate world.

REFERENCES

Beatty, H. (1992). Icons and the literate adult. Communication Outlook 13 (3), 8-9.

Beukelman, D.R. (1991). Magic and the cost of communicative competence. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 7, 2-10.

Chomsky, C. (1979). Approaching reading through invented spelling. In L.B. Resnick and P.A. Weaver (Eds.) Theory and Practice of Early Reading, Vol. 2. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.

Dyson, A. (1986). Transitions and tensions: Interrelationships between drawing, talking, and dictating of young children. Research in the Teaching of English, 20, 5-24.

Juel,C. (1988). Learning to read and write: A longitudinal study of 54 children from first through fourth grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 4, 437-447.

Koppenhaver, D.A., Coleman, P.P., Kalman, S.L., Yoder, D.E. (1991). The implications of emergent literacy research for children with developmental disabilities. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 1 (1), 38-44.

Light, J. & Lindsay, P. (1991). Cognitive science and augmentative and alternative communication. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 7, 186-203.

Stein, N. & Glenn, C. (1979). An analysis for story comprehension in elementary school. In R.

Freedle (Ed.) New Directions in Discourse Processing Vol. 2. Norwood, NJ:Ablex.

VanKleeck, A. (1990). Emergent literacy: Learning about print before learning to read. Topics in Language Disorders, 10(2), 24-45.

PRODUCTS

Logical Language: Pictures to Print (1998). Innocomp, 26210 Emery Rd., Suite 302, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128-5771, 800-382-8622

Pick and Stick on Disk (1995). Imaginart International, Inc., 307 Arizona St. Bisbee, AZ 85603-1501, 800-828-1376


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