Presenter: Trina Spencer, PhD, BCBA-D
– J.G., prior course participant
This course takes a deep dive into academic language and how to teach it in meaningful contexts. Academic language is specialized language, in form and function. It is oral and written. Success in academic domains such as reading, writing, science, and social studies depends on students’ oral language skills, as listening and speaking are the foundation of all learning.
The ASHA roles and responsibilities of school-based SLPs emphasize the need to support students’ academic needs that have an impact on their educational attainment. Unfortunately, only 12% of students with language disabilities meet grade level expectations in reading and writing. When SLPs concentrate their language intervention on the dimensions of academic language—namely vocabulary, discourse structures, complex sentences, morphology, and inferencing—more students achieve academic expectations.
Offered for 0.15 ASHA CEUs – 1.5 contact hours.
Course Overview – Run Time: 1:39:46
– K.C., prior course participant
The content of this online CE course does not focus exclusively on any specific proprietary product or service. Presenter financial and non-financial disclosures may be found in the Presenter & Disclosures area.
Video PowerPoint presentation with author narration & downloadable handout. Stop and re-start the course at any point. Learners retain access to course content after completion for ongoing reference and review.
"This is a topic I have been talking about for years in my clinical work and recommendations!! Dr. Spencer provided excellent examples of how to coordinate intervention with academic instruction - and a very well-developed reminder about how to set good goals. I LOVE LOVE the recommendation for read-aloud!" D.E. (Nov. 2023)
"The entire topic was beneficial. It teaches the core of what speech pathologists should be doing in school settings or not." C.S. (Nov. 2023)
"I liked the tiers of vocab and discourse." M.L. (Nov. 2023)
"I liked how practical and clear this course was. The website resource, the 5 components of academic language, and the way to write the objectives were beneficial." S.C. (Nov. 2023)
"I found how to teach academic language the most helpful." J.C. (Nov. 2023)
"This course was explained well, easy to follow with practical examples and resource suggestions. Learning how to integrate academic tasks using Narratives as the framework to work on the different areas of academic language was beneficial." T.M. (Sep. 2023)
"Suggestions for teaching writing. Course was easy to follow." L.S. (Sep. 2023)
"Speaker was very engaging and kept my interest. I liked the examples of goals." K.S. (Aug. 2023)
"I am grateful for Dr. Spencer's emphasis on the Dimensions of language. As a school-based SLP, I find myself flip-flopping back and forth on what goals to target with my LI students depending on the presenting problems described by the classroom teacher. The Dimensions gives me the road map to be an SLP when it comes to focusing on how to improve academic success and using my expertise as a SLP to support what I would say are the underpinnings of academic language." S.C. (Jul. 2023)
"This content was very specific to what I was looking for to bring back to my therapy practice with language impaired students in order to provide them with the skills and knowledge to improve academically." S.C. (Jul. 2023)
"Using the curriculum as the context for teaching and practicing target skills gives the biggest bang for the buck. I haven’t looked at this topic, academic language, in a while. It was a great review for me. I thought the through line from concept to goal development to intervention and reassessment was very helpful. Always great to get some new resources to use for free." S.P. (Jul. 2023)
"The core knowledge website will be extremely helpful. I liked the goal examples and information on where to find resources." R.L. (Jul. 2023)
"I liked the goal writing examples and resources related to curriculum. And the examples of resources that are available for school-based SLPs to implement with their students." A.S. (Jun. 2023)
"Goals that I can use for various interventions. I liked the pace, knowledge of presenter, and the resources." A.E. (Jun. 2023)
"I liked the presentation and the strategies to present academic knowledge." T.D. (Jun. 2023)
"Ideas for overcoming barriers. I liked the goal examples." J.F. (Jun. 2023)
"Helpful resource materials geared to the student's curriculum. The examples were very meaningful." B.R. (Jun. 2023)
"I liked the ideas on incorporating academic language into SLP therapy." B.K. (Jun. 2023)
"The connections between each area of academic language and how they can be integrated to target more than one area was beneficial to discuss. I enjoyed the inclusion of sample goal writing in each specific language area as well as the provided resources to access the curriculum in an easy manner." S.H. (May 2023)
"I liked that this course content was very familiar to me and reinforced the appropriateness of my therapy activities." D.B. (Apr. 2023)
"I especially liked the sections on Discourse Structures and Inferential Thinking. I thought the visual icons were excellent for each of the sections and the principles within the sections. I appreciated the philosophy that sees language as an integral part of academics. Language therapy or intervention must be integrated with academics if it is to be relevant to the child, to the child's teachers, and to the parents." D.D. (Mar. 2023)
"Very much pertained to my everyday job and duties. I liked the examples of goals." J.E. (Feb. 2023)
"The review of adverbial clauses, transition words and elaborated noun phrases was beneficial. I am constantly asking my students, "Do you know what that word means?" as I am working with them. The resource of www.coreknowledge.org will be beneficial." A.E. (Jan. 2023)
"I work in the elementary schools. I try each year to use in my therapy sessions what the classroom teachers are using. I now have advice to request what I need from the teachers." A.E. (Jan. 2023)
"Voicing to academic staff that the foundation of reading and writing is listening and speaking. The charts were helpful to understand what the presenter was discussing." A.M. (Jan. 2023)
"All of the areas discussed in this course will be beneficial to my practice. The presenter was very knowledgeable about the subject matter, and I was able to gather information to use in my practice." M.H. (Jan. 2023)
"I liked the sample goals and online resources for materials. I love working on academic language, so I found this course very interesting." M.S. (Dec. 2022)
"The breakdown of parts of language that need to be taught during speech therapy to improve academic language was beneficial. I liked the core knowledge.org resource." J.L. (Dec. 2022)
"Good examples of goals for each dimension of academic language." D.A. (Dec. 2022)
"I liked the visuals on the dimensions of academic language. Good visual supports." J.H. (Nov. 2022)
"Liked the core knowledge resource and goal writing examples." T.D. (Nov. 2022)
"I liked the explanation of the tiered vocab and how the levels of academic vocabulary are integrated." L.B. (Nov. 2022)
"Easy to follow. I liked learning all of the new concepts from this course." M.W. (Nov. 2022)
"Good information!" S.K. (Oct. 2022)
"Understanding the importance of knowing the curriculum and what is being taught in the classroom to support academic language is beneficial for my practice." E.S. (Oct. 2022)
"The breadth of the topic; knowledge of the speaker; applicability to my work were good. I liked the ease of learning narrative structures over expository structures because they are already familiar." R.L. (Sept. 2022)
"I liked the examples and resources as well as the goal writing for complex strategies." J.E. (Sept. 2022)
"Detailed information on academic curriculum. I liked the format of the powerpoint slides and not feeling overwhelmed by information." K.H. (Aug. 2022)
"I liked the suggestions for classroom collaborating. Also, suggestions of the foreknowledge website!" R.J. (Aug. 2022)
"I liked the very practical examples, the resources, and the design of the slides. The design of the slides was exceptional and will prove to be a helpful reference to the content presented in this presentation. C.P. (Aug. 2022)
"Great speaker - clear and easy to follow. Evidence based ideas and suggestions. Helpful resources and examples. Great visuals. I liked the discussion and breakdown of academic language, including the justification for integrating academic language and contextualizing language intervention." A.K. (Aug. 2022)
"Learning exactly what "academic language" is; the importance of working with the curriculum; an organized model to frame how to approach therapy for students in the schools. The instructor was knowledgeable, gave great examples, very appealing and informative slides." V.J. (Aug. 2022)
"I always like practical information such as the core knowledge website." M.M. (Aug. 2022)
"Goals and how to teach it! Course was easy to follow. Good powerpoint. Pleasant voice. Excellent information." B.K. (July 2022)
"I enjoyed the variety of language that was covered that relates to school based language use. I liked the specific ideas for working within the curriculum." S.R. (July 2022)
"I enjoyed the entire presentation. It provided a great blueprint and resources for teaching academic vocabulary. The Power Point was clear and easily understood. I loved the inclusion of the CoreKnowledge website." B.S. (June 2022)
"The examples of how to integrate multiple dimensions of academic language into a session were beneficial for my daily practice. The course was very informative and covered a lot of info." B.F. (June 2022)
"I liked the practicality of the course and resources and actual direction of how to apply this knowledge." D.J. (June 2022)
"The information was organized with great examples and the resources are greatly appreciated." M.D. (June 2022)
"I appreciated hearing about multiple types of goals that could fit what we learned. It was information that I could easily use in therapy." C.B. (June 2022)
"Practical and specific targets to implement in therapy. I liked the goal writing." L.S. (June 2022)
"I found topics on morphological knowledge and inferential thinking most beneficial. I liked the examples of goal writing and how to apply it to all areas. I also appreciated the informational website filled with resources." D.B. (June 2022)
"Information regarding the Core Knowledge website will be very helpful! Course was well organized and engaging. I will be able to utilize a lot of the information." H.H. (June 2022)
"It was to the point and easy to follow. I liked the use of narratives and academic language to help students." S.M. (June 2022)
"In depth discussion about Academic Language! I liked how she explained and provided specific examples of academic tasks that integrate multiple dimensions of academic language (storytelling, informational writing, reading). I also like how she provided specific examples of how to integrate academic language into specific subjects (science, social studies, etc)." H.P. (June 2022)
"Easy to listen to and she went at a good speed. I liked all the resources." A.P. (June 2022)
"It covered a broad spectrum of the academic language content." K.Q. (May 2022)
"The specific topic of vocabulary will be the most beneficial to my daily practice. I liked that sample goals and activities were given at the end of each dimension of academic language." J.C. (May 2022)
"I enjoyed hearing how effective using discourse and curriculum topics is for students as well as how to touch on multiple language areas. This course was very informative, research backed, with example goals and example therapy, and resources provided." K.C. (May 2022)
"I liked the link to language dynamics group, and that I was able to pause the video to take notes." C.T. (Apr. 2022)
"I liked the specific goal writing examples, as well as the three activities that help with conceptualizing academic language." M.C. (Apr. 2022)
"The sequence of teaching will be helpful. I've been teaching vocab in context, but not in the framework, and have been frustrated by lack of retention." K.G. (Apr. 2022)
"The topic was quite relevant to the work I do. The presentation was thorough and practical." J.A. (Apr. 2022)
"Very easy to follow, extremely helpful, short and sweet and addresses something seen in the schools very often. I liked examples of the goals written out and I liked the resources provided." A.A. (Mar. 2022)
"I really enjoyed the treatment goals and how she explained everything in a clear, concise manner. " S.B. (Feb. 2022)
"I particularly enjoyed the different intervention examples and the specific goals provided. Presenter was well spoken, knowledge, and provided succinct information that I felt was functional." K.B. (Jan. 2022)
"The course gave specific examples of parts of language SLPs typically teach (morphology, vocabulary, etc..) and how to teach those within academic content rather than as isolated entities (via worksheets, skill lessons, etc...)." K.W. (Jan. 2022)
"Helpful reminders about how essential it is to provide contextual opportunities for learning vocabulary and the use of academic language." C.B. (Jan. 2022)
"It was very helpful to learn about the importance of academic language and including the lessons in my sessions. The course was clear and I was able to follow along with the slide show." C.L. (Dec. 2021)
"Coreknowledge.org vocabulary resource discussion is something that can be utilized nearly immediately. It is a great beginning course to talk about the tier 1/2/3 vocabulary framework, narrative/expository frames, and complex sentences. I completed "Creating Complex Sentence Competence: Evidenced-based Treatment to Improve Receptive and Expressive Syntax Skills" before this course. I wish I had completed this one first, and followed with the more in-depth CEU course. This is a great precursor course to the other." S.B. (Dec. 2021)
"I found the website suggestions and the sample goals to be very helpful. I loved the framework for academic language and the way inferencing ties it all together." L.B. (Dec. 2021)
"The information about making vocabulary relevant to academics and how to address academic vocabulary and the statistics mentioned which support the importance for focus on academic relevance are beneficial for my daily practice. A lot of helpful information about why and how to address vocabulary relating to academic materials and the website resource." K.T. (Dec. 2021)
"Information regarding academic language and how to teach it in the classroom will be beneficial in my daily practice. I liked the presentation of information." M.S. (Dec. 2021)
"I liked the goal writing tied to core curriculum requirements. Everything that Trina presented could be immediately utilized in the school setting." J.G. (Nov. 2021)
"I liked that the presenter was concise and provided a clear framework for a lot of material." J.T. (Nov. 2021)
"Lots of examples of practical activities and ways to integrate multiple goals." M.M. (Nov. 2021)
"I found the information regarding the skills that I teach my students, and how they can be incorporated into the academic curriculum most beneficial. I hope more SLPs utilize academic language within their sessions with their students. It definitely provides teachers, parents. and most of all students with a better understanding of Speech/Language services. What I liked best about this course was how easily the content can be connected to everyday Speech/language goals and therapy, with meaningful outcomes." I.G. (Nov. 2021)
"I really loved the examples and resources from coreknowledge.org. I also liked the easy to follow, good speaker, and the content aligned with what feels important to me professionally." A.L. (Nov. 2021)
"I currently supervise two wonderful SLPA's and I would like to share this information as it supports what I have been encouraging them to do in their therapy sessions. Trina is an excellent speaker and teacher. Her presentation was clear and detailed." C.D. (Oct. 2021)
"The speaker provided the listener with excellent examples." G.J. (Aug. 2021)
"Learning about the dimensions of language and how I can integrate them into functional academic activities for my students will be beneficial for my daily practice. The practicality of all the information was great." J.T. (Aug. 2021)
"The whole concept of academic language and the specific ways to integrate instruction will help my daily practice. Excellent course from start to finish." W.C. (Aug. 2021)
Trina D. Spencer, PhD, BCBA-D, is an associate professor at the Rightpath Research & Innovation Center in the Department of Child and Family Studies, University of South Florida. She is also affiliate faculty in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders. She earned a specialist degree in School Psychology and a PhD in Disability Disciplines from Utah State University with emphases in language and literacy and early childhood special education. She has been a board certified behavior analyst since 2001. Dr. Spencer has worked with culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse children as well as children with disabilities, their teachers, and their families for 20 years. She has published 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 5 book chapters, and 22 non-peer reviewed articles, briefs, or encyclopedia entries. She has two current Institute for Education Sciences (IES) funded projects related to academic language and literacy interventions for at risk students. Her publications and editorial service span a number of disciplines including applied behavior analysis, speech-language pathology, early childhood education, special education, applied linguistics, and school psychology. She serves as the chair for the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s committee on Clinical Research, Implementation Science, and Evidence-Based Practice (CRISP), leads a national network of early childhood researchers who study Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS), and serves as an editorial board member for Language-Speech-Hearing Services in Schools. Benefitting from strong collaborations with practitioners and other researchers, Dr. Spencer maintains a spirited research agenda to improve the academic and social outcomes of the nation’s most vulnerable students.
Financial — Trina Spencer is presenter of online CE courses sponsored by Northern Speech Services; receives royalties.
Financial — Trina Spencer is owner of Language Dynamics Group, LLC; ownership interests; Intellectual Property Rights.
Nonfinancial — Trina Spencer has no relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
This program is offered for 0.15 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level; Professional Area).
ASHA CEUs: NSS online courses are registered with ASHA and are offered for ASHA CEUs. The number of ASHA CEUs is noted above. Note that 0.1 ASHA CEU = 1 contact hour = equals 1 CEE.
ASHA CE Registry: During the enrollment process, if you select to receive ASHA credit for this course and if you provide your ASHA number, NSS will automatically submit your CEU information to the ASHA CE Registry after successful course completion (80% on post test). This submission happens once per month, during the first week of the month. For example, if you complete your course on November 7th, NSS will submit all November online course CEUs to ASHA during the first week of December. When ASHA inputs the information into their database, they will mark the course as completed on the last day of the month in which it was completed, so November 30th using this example. The certificate of completion available for you to print immediately, however, will reflect the actual completion date, November 7th in this example. Due to ASHA processing procedures please allow 2-3 weeks, from the submission date, for the course to appear on your ASHA transcript.
ASHA CEUs: Attendees must meet at least one of the following conditions in order to be eligible to earn ASHA CEUs:
If an attendee is not an ASHA member or CCC holder but meets any of the above criteria, they may inform the ASHA CE Registry of their eligibility by visiting this site.
Licensing Boards: Most state licensing boards DO accept CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some state boards do, however, place a limit to the number of credits that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any credit limits related to home-study courses prior to registering for this course.
Additional accrediting agencies by which Northern Speech is an approved CE provider:
Course Completion Timeframe:
You have unlimited time to complete our online courses. You may log off and log on as often as you’d like to in order to complete all sections of a course.
However, completion dates are based on Eastern Standard Time. Therefore, if you need your CEUs by a certain date, be sure to complete the course test before 11:59pm EST on that date. For example, if you need CEUs before January 1st, you will need to complete the course test before 11:59pm EST on December 31st.
Access to course materials and content does not expire, even after completing the post test. You may continue to review course material by logging into your NSS account, clicking the My Online Courses tab, and then viewing your desired course.
Certificate of Completion:
On successful completion of the post test (80%), a certificate will be immediately available for download and/or printing. This certificate will include your name, date of completion (based on Eastern Time Zone, USA/Canada), and number of contact hours (CEUs / CEEs). Please note that CEUs are awarded on the date of successful test completion, not the date of course enrollment. Please ensure that you successfully complete the post test prior to any licensure renewal dates.
ASHA CE Registry Submission:
During the enrollment process, if you select to receive ASHA credit for this course and if you provide your ASHA number, NSS will automatically submit your CEU information to the ASHA CE Registry after successful course completion (80% on post test). This submission happens once per month, during the first week of the month. For example, if you complete your course on November 7th, NSS will submit all November online course CEUs to ASHA during the first week of December. When ASHA inputs the information into their database, they will mark the course as completed on the last day of the month in which it was completed, so November 30th using this example. The certificate of completion available for you to print immediately, however, will reflect the actual completion date, November 7th in this example. Due to ASHA processing procedures please allow 2-3 weeks, from the submission date, for the course to appear on your ASHA transcript.
Purchase orders are currently not accepted for online orders, if you wish to submit a purchase order please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 888-696-9655.
What is an Online Course?
Our Online Courses consist of video, audio, and/or text content and are offered for ASHA CEUs. Unlike a webinar, which requires participants to be logged on and at a computer at specific times, our Online Courses are available to you at any time, from any device, via your NorthernSpeech.com online account. You may work at your own pace and start and stop your course as you wish. Your course will conclude with a short post test. On successful completion of the post test (>80%), a printable certificate of completion is presented to you.
Northern Speech is an ASHA CE Provider and our online courses are registered with ASHA and offered for ASHA CEUs. Please note that successful completion of the online post test is required prior to the awarding of CEUs. Please contact your state licensing board for acceptance policies related to CEUs earned online. Please note that courses offered for university students are not applicable for CEUs.
Registering for an online course:
You may browse all online courses by clicking the Continuing Education tab above, then Online Courses. Once you find a course, click Enroll Now, and you will be asked to either log into your existing Northern Speech account or create a new online account. Once you’ve entered your account information and provided your credit card payment, your course will be immediately available to you.
Accessing your purchased course or returning to a purchased course:
You will be able to access your online course by logging into your Northern Speech account and then clicking the My Online Courses tab on your profile screen. Click the course you would like to start or to resume. From there, proceed through the course sections until you are ready to complete the post test. You do not have to complete your course all at once. You may log on and off as you wish.
Each online course concludes with a post test consisting of multiple choice or true & false questions. Scores of 80% or greater are required for successful course completion and awarding of CEUs. You may revisit course materials and retest as needed to achieve a passing score.
Number of CEUs offered:
We offer courses from 1 to 21 contact hours. Each course will note the number of CEUs offered. Please note that 0.1 CEU = 1 contact hour = 1 CEE.
State licensing boards and online CEUs:
NSS is an ASHA CE Provider and most state licensing boards DO accept ASHA CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some boards do, however, place a limit to the number of CEUs that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any CEU limits related to home-study courses prior to enrolling in an online course.
Our course formats include: text, audio, video, and PowerPoint with author narration. Each course will note the format on the course description page. Most courses include closed captioning.
Most of our online courses provide a link to download the accompanying handout as a PDF file.
Groups of 3 or more are eligible for a 20% discount on each registration on most of our online courses. To receive this discount, registrations need to be processed together via the "Group Rates" tab on the Online Course of your choice.
For our online courses to function best, we recommend that you update your computer to include the newest version of your Internet browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, etc.) and newest version of your computer's operating system. Also a high-speed Internet connection is recommended (cable or DSL). Speakers or headphones will be required for many of our courses as many contain audio components.
Course Cancellation Policy:
A purchased online course can be exchanged, refunded, or transferred to another individual if contact is made with NSS (via phone or email) within 30 days of purchase and the course materials have not been viewed or downloaded.
Please click here for any special needs requests, and we will do our best to accommodate them.
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