20 Vocabulary Goals For Speech Therapy: Practical Examples For Learning

When creating vocabulary goals for speech therapy, it can be tempting to create a checklist and begin practice drills. The very best approach however, exposes learners to vocabulary practice in everyday life, and gives them strategies for communicating in real life scenarios.

20 Vocabulary Goals For Speech Therapy:

Evidence Based Strategies To Strengthen Vocabulary Skills

Research shows that a child’s vocabulary skills increase over time and exposure.

Varying the therapeutic techniques we use can help increase the overall exposure to and retention of vocabulary words. Here are the top 5 research based recommendations to help increase vocabulary mastery:

  • Encouraging the learner to use the vocabulary word expressively
  • Multiple exposures to the targeted vocabulary words (Hadley et al., 2018)
  • Providing explicit, learner-friendly definitions (Hadley et al., 2018)
  • Making connections between known words and new words (Stahl, 2006)
  • Writing the word and also, seeing it written in a sentence (Kucan, 2012)

While I have never met a child who didn’t want to master vocabulary, there are several factors that contribute to difficulties. One of the greatest challenges is in the lack of natural exposure to the words themselves.

20 Vocabulary Goals For Speech Therapy:

Techniques For Practicing Vocabulary In Speech Therapy Sessions

In order to help the learner within the context of a speech therapy session, it is important to encourage the learner to interact with a new word in as many modalities as possible.

Various techniques for practicing a new vocabulary word and determining vocabulary goals include:

  • Thinking about other words that mean the same thing
  • Discussing why the word conveys a deeper meaning than other synonyms
  • Using the word in a silly sentence
  • Write the word
  • Draw the word in a picture
  • Trace the word with fingers in sand or with raised, dotted paper
  • Hear the word said in the course of several sessions
  • Read the vocabulary word in differing materials
20 Vocabulary Goals For Speech Therapy:

Vocabulary Goals For Speech Therapy: Practical Examples For Learning

These sample goals allow for increased learner engagement with target vocabulary words:

  1. Learner will use synonym or antonym based context clues as a clue to the meaning of a word and define the word 70% of given opportunities.
  2. Learner will demonstrate understanding of words, including math vocabulary terms, by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms) in 80% of opportunities.
  3. When given a cue, Learner will define a vocabulary word while using a complete sentence in 70% of opportunities.
  4. Given one verbal prompt, learner will explain a multiple meaning word using context clues in 70% of opportunities.
  5. Learner will show ability to define age-appropriate vocabulary words using synonyms, antonyms, and by completing practical activities with 80% accuracy.
  6. Given example words from school curriculum, learner will state the meaning of 10 different prefixes or suffixes.
  7. Learner will use 2-3 critical features to describe the object or picture with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.
  8. Learner, when given an object or picture, will identify synonyms with 80% accuracy.
  9. Given an object, picture, or word, Learner will demonstrate the ability to identify antonyms with 80% accuracy .
  10. Given 10 words with visual cues, Learner will define the word correctly with 80% accuracy.
  11. Learner will provide a synonym or antonym with 80% accuracy when given 10 identified words in complete sentences.
  12. Learner will identify previously agreed upon vocabulary words as part of reading practice with 80% accuracy.
  13. Given an object, picture, or word, Learner will identify synonyms with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.
  14. Using an emotional expression picture or story, Learner will clearly describe the feelings, ideas, or experiences using vocabulary words with 80% accuracy.
  15. Learner will match 10 opposite pictures in pairs with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.
  16. Given an object, picture, or word, Learner will identify the opposite with 80% accuracy.
  17. Learner will describe an object or picture by naming the item, and demonstrating ability to identify attributes, function, or number with 80% accuracy.
  18. While reading, Learner will define unfamiliar words using context clues with 80% accuracy.
  19. Learner will define prefix and/or suffix with 80% accuracy.
  20. Learner will define a practiced vocabulary word using a complete sentence with 80% accuracy.

Take a look at some of these goals in action in this helpful video:

Additional Resources For Speech Therapy Goals

Looking for more support in creating appropriate goals for speech therapy?

You’ll find goals for the following:

  • Expressive Language
  • Receptive Language
  • Fluency
  • Articulation
  • Voice
  • Social Pragmatic Language

all in this related post – Speech Therapy Goals: A Step By Step Guide

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