Core words dominate everyday speech for people of all ages and abilities. Every language has a small set of words that make up most of what we say. In English, for example, 50 words account for 40-50% of what we say, 100 words account for 60%, and 200-400 words account for 80% of all words used in typical conversation across all ages. So quick access to core words is a powerful tool for efficient and effective communication.
In order for AAC users to communicate clearly and effectively, they need easy access to these core words. To do so, keeping words in consistent locations on all pages of an AAC vocabulary is very important. It enables the user to quickly locate the words he or she wants to use, no matter where they are in the vocabulary. Keeping frequently used words in consistent places also takes advantage of one of the ways we learn how to do things - motor planning.
In order to provide a solid research-based vocabulary that supports language development it is important to ensure core words stay in a consistent location throughout the vocabulary, not only in the pre-programmed folders but also in folders that are newly created. One way of doing this is with templates. A template is a set of buttons in a fixed layout that can be used on multiple folders. Starting with Proloquo2Go 4 we offer several categories of templates:
|Example of one of the available Templates - Food|
Each of the templates in these categories are designed to match the home page at each grid size of the Crescendo vocabulary as closely as possible. That means that any word that appears at a particular grid size on both the home page and a template will be in the same location on both.
The templates contain Template Buttons, which cannot be moved or changed, unless the template itself is edited. This is to ensure core words stay on the same location across the vocabulary. One of the unique and most powerful aspects of the Proloquo2Go templates is that they are live templates. A user can make a change in one of the templates, and that change is automatically applied to all folders that use the same template. This allows users to make small changes to the templates to better suit their needs instead of having to manually modify every single page.
An activity specific page is a page with vocabulary for participating in a specific activity, like meal time or a science lesson. Most activity specific pages have historically consisted of a few sentence starters and a predominance of nouns with a few verbs and adjectives that are highly specific to the particular activity at hand.
These kind of pages enable non-speaking students to make choices during the activity and answer questions to show knowledge of the curriculum, but they do not contain the vocabulary needed to develop more general communication skills outside of a particular lesson. These activity specific pages tend to disappear once the activity is over, so even if the specific vocabulary was useful to a student outside of the lesson, it may be difficult for the student to find it again.
|Example of an Activity Template - Create|
We wanted to help people make activity specific pages that could be related to a core word system they would eventually move to, so that the learning they did on the activity pages would still apply to their longer-term system. We did this by creating templates for activities that are based on our core word home pages. Each template includes Template Buttons with core words that are useful for the template’s activity category. These words are in the same location as they are on the home page.
In addition to Template Buttons, the activity templates also include Placeholder Buttons. These buttons provide suggestions on what kind of vocabulary to add. You may for example see buttons with the label “verb 1”, “adjective 1”, or “noun 1”. The person creating the activity can then decide what kind of verb or adjective are relevant for the specific activity. By following the suggestions, you can create an activity specific page that has good balance of different kinds of words and can be used to develop language skills.
Besides the benefit of having core words on consistent locations throughout the vocabulary, Proloquo2Go’s templates also save teachers, parents and SLPs - who usually customize the vocabulary - tons of time! Simply select one of our templates and automatically get all the relevant core words in the right place without needing to be an expert on vocabulary design.