For Parents

How will these videos help my child? 

These videos use a method often termed “Learning without Trying.”  It is a form of learning with the use of patterns. In this instance, specific language patterns that kids have trouble learning are taught by exposing them to words they are not accustomed to hearing. Research has also shown that consistent exposure of a specific type of examples increases the acquisition of these verb forms.  The videos provided here utilize high quality input, at high intensity, for easy and efficient learning.

Do these videos take the place of individual speech therapy?

No. They are best used in conjunction with a speech therapist. While the videos do implement the most effective and powerful learning principles utilized by professionals (ie. variability, statistical learning, auditory bombardment), research has shown that the collaboration between caregivers and professionals (also known as Parent-Implemented Interventions or PII) provides extremely effective results. (Roberts, 2011, et al.). 

How often should my child use these videos?

Because exposure is important, my experience has been at least twice a week for detectable changes in proficiency.  However, more or less may be needed, depending on your specific child and their needs.  

Have these videos helped other children?  

Yes. In my private and public school settings, kids have shown growth when given an opportunity to practice at least twice a week. Results will vary according to each child, but children who are able to use language in a variety of ways are good candidates for this intervention.

What language developmental disabilities will these videos help?

Kids with language disorder, language delay, developmental language delay (DLD), expressive language delay, Down syndrome, autism and mixed language delay can all benefit from using the videos. 

Are the videos boring or will my child want to watch them?

Kids love these videos. Videos are of real 6- and 7-year olds who are expressive and fun. In my experience kids have enjoyed watching their peers and often recognize and ask questions about them.

Why do these stories sound different?

High Variability.  Key to these exercises is that kids learn faster if they hear the language target with different nouns and verbs surrounding it. That is why, although sometimes sounding a bit strange, the stories each utilize a variety of words reducing the number of sounds being repeated EXCEPT the target.

Why past tense?

If you are a parent of child with a language delay, expressive language delay, developmental language disorder, autism, down syndrome you know that grammar is difficult for your child to learn. Often kids just use the present tense form (jump, close ) and this makes understanding what the kids are saying more difficult and it also makes them sound much younger than their age.  Using the past tense verb videos provides an efficient and fun way to learn past tense verbs quickly.

For Professionals

As an SLP myself I understand how hard our job is as educators and the challenges we face.  We all entered this field to make a difference in kids’ lives, but we are seriously burdened by paperwork and high caseloads.  Often it is hard to see the progress we wish would occur in the therapy we provide. To support this endeavor, I have created these videos and exercises, supported by current evidence-based research, to supplement what each of us are already practicing.  What’s more, the program appeals to kids, and really works well,  making a difference in their lives.

The past tense verb videos in combination with the sentence recasts and syntax stories provide an efficient dose of regular past tense verbs to kids in a variety forms they will enjoy.

Why is this better than past-tense verb cards or worksheets?

The videos and exercises are carefully crafted based on statistical learning. Which makes learning happen much more quickly.

What is Statistical Learning?

Statistical learning is a way that kids learn by recognizing patterns.  Often termed “Learning without Trying”, statistical learning is more efficient because kids learn patterns and not individual exemplars. Here is a professor of speech-language pathology, Dr. Mary Alt, explaining statistical learning.

Is there anything special about your verbs?

Yes. The verbs were selected and ordered based on the latest research by Van Horne, et. al.   Her research shows that if we provide examples of words that kids are not accustomed to hearing in the past tense (e.g., “rested,” “hummed”) then kids learn the grammar pattern more efficiently and with greater retention.

One Target at a Time

Not everything needs to be done in one session.  It is important to remember that kids with language delay, language disorders and developmental language disorders need to have focused therapy (Hassink and Leonard in 2010).  Be sure to not correct every grammar mistake a child makes, but rather focus on one type of error, e.g., past tense or plural ‘s’ or ‘ing’.  

1000 Exposures Recast Therapy

Kids with language delay, language disorders and developmental language disorders need between 300-1000 recasts before they make significant improvement (Van Horne, 2018). This can be time consuming, but the Past Tense Verb Videos provide an efficient manner to deliver that dose of exemplars. 

High Variability

Key to these exercises is that kids learn faster if they hear the target in lots of different contexts, with different nouns and verbs surrounding it. That is why, although sometimes sounding a bit strange, the Past Tense Verb Video sentences, syntax stories and videos all provide variability of input reducing the number of other words or sounds being repeated (Plante, 2014).

Auditory Bombardment

Repetition of a language target in sentences provides intense exposure to high quality accurate models. When kids hear the target grammatical form over and over they are better able to pick up on that language pattern (Plante, 2016). 

Syntax Stories

Stories loaded with the target syntactic frame. Most often read prior to focused stimulation. (Fey, Leonard and colleagues).