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7:00 am – 1:30 pm
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School-Based SLPs: Language Disorders vs. Language Differences for English Language Learners (Grades K-12)

Presented by Nancy Friday
Outstanding Educator and Presenter

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Specifically Designed for School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists Working with Students Grades K-12

  • Learn brain-based techniques to improve language acquisition outcomes for your English Learners
  • Sharpen your testing methods for distinguishing language differences vs. language disorders
  • Help English Learners on your caseload improve their academic language acquisition
  • Boost your home-school connection with non-English speaking families
ASHA CEUs Available

Practical Ideas and Strategies

Establishing if an English Learner is experiencing a language difference or a disorder is an ongoing discussion in schools. This seminar will leave you with many NEW and practical strategies to distinguish between a language difference vs. a language disorder. NANCY FRIDAY, an experienced Speech-Language Pathologist, will share her innovative ideas to expand your knowledge base for assessing and serving your English Learner (EL) students. Discover strategies to support EL’s in their process for developing phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, grammar, and pragmatic skills. Establish techniques to improve your impact with EL students in 1:1 therapy and teletherapy sessions and small groups. Step out of the seminar and into your therapy room with fresh strategies to determine language differences vs. language disorders as well as updated delivery systems you can use immediately.

Ten Key Benefits of Attending

  1. Explore Linguistic Differences While Establishing if a Language Disorder is Present … Practical Strategies that Apply to In-Person and Teletherapy Models
    Specific, clear methods for defining typical language acquisition variances vs. a disorder in ELs … Discover new ways to bridge the gap during the assessment process and establish a stronger foundation when therapy is recommended
  2. Refine Your Definition of a Language Difference Versus a Language Disorder
    Learn valuable assessment strategies to better define and explain language differences vs. language disorders … Discover the benefits of dynamic assessment techniques to support the complex challenge of assessing and supporting your English Learners
  3. Broaden Your Scope of Practice to Include More Effective, Non-Standardized Assessment Techniques
    As SLPs, we are faced with the challenge of using standardized measures that are rarely normed on EL students … Expanding your toolbox of non-standardized assessment techniques can provide a more effective approach to assessment
  4. Explore the Benefits of Intervention Supports Prior to Speech-Language Assessments for English Learners
    Response to Intervention (RTI) support can be an important method for making initial connections with EL students … Learn how to use this process to help determine if a language assessment is necessary
  5. Boost your Speech-Language Strategies for Engaging EL Students
    Discover tips and tricks to enhance overall engagement and active participation to establish a solid foundation for language-based therapy and teletherapy
  6. Build Your Students’ Confidence with Expressive Language in Your Therapy and Teletherapy Sessions
    Learn innovative, research-based methods for building language skills for English language learners and practical strategies you can use tomorrow
  7. Expand Your Intervention Strategies to Heighten Engagement During Language Sessions
    Develop methods to effectively challenge students to process and use language throughout your language sessions and beyond … Maximize your use of visual support and tactile connections to enhance your therapy and teletherapy lessons
  8. Increase Your Students’ Language Acquisition and Overall Success
    Our role as SLPs reaches beyond language intervention … Boost student success by infusing positive self-talk and recognition of the skills students have acquired in the school environment beyond language expression
  9. Improve School-Based Supports for the English Learners on Your SLP Therapy and Teletherapy Caseload
    Examine the connection between Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and the impact BICS can have on student development of semantic and pragmatic skills
  10. Receive an Extensive Digital Resource Handbook for School-Based SLPs … Language Disorders vs. Language Differences for English Language Learners Grades K-12
    Each participant will receive an extensive Speech-Language Pathologist Digital Resource Handbook specifically designed to give you quick access to strategies for assessment and support of all the English Language Learners on your caseload

Outstanding Strategies You Can Use Immediately

  • Updated information to support what SLPs need to know about distinguishing language differences and disorders for all the English language learners on your caseload
  • Warning signs that indicate a language disorder as opposed differences related to acquiring English
  • Myths vs. facts regarding second language acquisition
  • Examples of accommodations to support English learners in the classroom setting
  • Language building activities to increase Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)
  • Embracing cultural diversity and the impact it has on the confidence of ELs in the classroom
  • Recognizing how teaching morphology supports English acquisition
  • Visual supports for supporting engagement during language therapy
  • Powerful syntax strategies to increase your support of language proficiency
  • Strategies used during Response to Intervention support to help determine if a language assessment is necessary
  • How to use Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) to develop semantics and pragmatic language
  • Methods to embrace the whole child and support language confidence with ELs
  • New ways to use observation to evaluate a language disorder and establish treatment for an English language learner

A Message From Your Seminar Leader

Dear Colleague:

Establishing whether a student has a language difference vs. a language disorder is one of the most complex assessments we are faced with as SLPs. When completing assessments with English language learners, we are tasked with determining if a student’s path of language development is typical or necessitates special education support. As a school-based SLP, I have found that these evaluations require an extra set of tools. The extra tools that I use have helped me refine my expertise when making recommendations at the IEP table and have helped improve my outcomes for English learner students on my caseload.

My experience working with large, diverse populations has helped me develop a collection of techniques that serve as my foundation for supporting my English Learner students. I have learned that the most critical part is developing a solid assessment process. At the heart of this assessment process is a deep interest in learning more about the culture and language of the student I am assessing. Building rapport is critical not only for the assessment process but also for any therapy plan that is developed after the IEP is completed. I am excited to help expand your therapy and teletherapy to include the foundational aspects and specific elements related to identifying a language difference vs. a disorder.

Please join me for a fast-paced, productive day, focused on specific ways you can assess and serve English Learners regardless of your therapy setting. My goal is to extend your knowledge base and empower you with fresh ideas on how to better evaluate and serve your English Learner population.

Nancy Friday, M.S., CCC-SLP

P.S. The emphasis of this seminar will be on practical strategies, techniques, ideas, and methods proven to be successful in unraveling the complex issue of distinguishing a language difference from a language disorder.

Who Should Attend

School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists Working with Students Grades K-12

Special Benefits of Attending

Extensive Resource Handbook
Each participant will receive an extensive Speech-Language Pathologist digital resource handbook specifically designed to give you quick access to strategies that support your English Language Learners. The digital handbook includes:

  • Specific, clear methods for defining typical language acquisition variances vs. a disorder in ELs
  • Resources to support gathering information and alternative assessment options
  • Developmental norms for language acquisition and practical, language therapy techniques
  • Ready-to-use visual supports for therapy sessions, classroom use, and teletherapy
For in-person seminars, registrants will also receive a printed copy of the resource handbook as long as their registration is received in the BER office at least 15 calendar days before the event.


CEU Info

ASHA-Required Disclosure Statement for Nancy Friday:
Presenter for the Bureau of Education & Research and receives honorarium compensation.
No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

Semester Credit Option
UMASS Logo Up to four graduate level professional development credits are available with an additional fee and completion of follow-up practicum activities. Details for direct enrollment with University of Massachusetts Global, a nonprofit affiliate, will be available at this program.

Meet Inservice Requirements
Participants of both the Live Online Seminar and those completing the Recorded Version online can receive a certificate of participation that may be used to verify five continuing education hours. State CEUs are available for both versions of the course. For specific details, visit www.ber.org/ceus.

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