Can I teach grammar with Proloquo?

3 minute read

Grammar is an important part of language and communication. In this blogpost we explain how you can teach grammar with Proloquo®. As part of the “Proloquo explained” blog series, it is written for anyone who wants an in-depth explanation of the design of the new Proloquo AAC app.

Grammar and communication

Grammar is a key component of language and communication. Word order, tenses, and other aspects of grammar help convey meaning. However, even a single-word utterance, such as stop or different, can convey a lot of meaning, especially in a known context. Proloquo’s Crescendo Evolution™ vocabulary is flexible. It supports emergent users to explore and learn grammar. At the same time, it supports long, grammatically correct sentences.

Can I teach grammar with Proloquo 1
AssistiveWare Proloquo's Home screen

Word order

The Home screen is organized in the typical English subject-verb-object (SVO) sentence order. Pronouns and words that are often used as subject are in the first (orange) tab. The second and third (light and dark pink) tabs provide access to verbs. The last tab (yellow) contains the fringe words, which are often nouns and commonly used as object.

The two verb tabs allow the creation of more advanced sentences. The first verb (light pink) tab contains, among others, helper verbs that are used to modify the second action verbs (dark pink) tab. This makes it easy to, for example, create past and future tense sentences.

Verbs are typically followed by prepositions and other location-related words, or describing words, such as adjectives. These words are found, respectively, in the fourth (green) and fifth (blue) tabs. Question words come next, in the sixth (grey) tab. Interjections and other common chat words are in the seventh (purple) tab. These tabs ensure that all communicative functions can be expressed right from the Home screen.

The final (orange) tab provides access to conjunctions. The articles a and the appear at the bottom and are always available. Conjunctions and articles appear later in language development. They are difficult to represent with graphic symbols. These words are therefore not symbolized and are accessed on half-height buttons. They can be taught as sight words.

Word forms

Word forms, or grammatical inflections, are displayed in the right-most column for easy exploration. Users can select them one by one to hear what they sound like, and always return to the original form at the top. The word in the message window automatically changes when an inflection is selected. The suffix of each word form appears in bold to facilitate learning to recognize inflections.

A visual of the first page of the action verbs tab in Proloquo
The first page of the action verbs tab in Proloquo

Many words can represent multiple parts of speech, so Proloquo always provides access to all relevant inflections. You do not need to look for the button open to express the verb and another button open to use it as an adjective or adverb. Inflections are generally ordered starting with noun inflections (singular and plural) followed by verb conjugations (first, second and third person present, first, second and third person past, present participle, past participle, infinitive) followed by adjective inflections (positive, comparative, superlative, and adverb) followed by noun possessives. Which forms are shown will depend on the parts of speech of a word. Also note that forms are never repeated. So if the noun plural of a word is written the same way as the third person present singular, it will be displayed only once.