Monthly Archive

Focus on Bilingualism: Using Storybooks in Therapy

By: Scott Prath, M.A., CCC-SLP, Bilinguistics
Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Bilinguistics
Kara Anderson, M. A., CCC-SLP, Bilinguistics
Many clinicians express frustration that there are not more materials designed for working with a Spanish-speaking population. A book is a great tool. Storybooks are beneficial to the work of speech-language pathologists from both an educational and a practical perspective. Book themes can be selected to allow students to explore fantasies, learn more about the real world, further students’ knowledge about current classroom subjects, and introduce new topics. Storybooks can be used with all ages and cultures to address a wide range of goals, including articulation, semantics, syntax, comprehension, pragmatics, and discourse skills.
Books provide a structure for teaching concepts while keeping the student engaged and interested. Story structure additionally assists in retention and retrieval of classroom concepts due to familiarity with stories, repetition, and formulaic patterns. Storybooks allow clinicians to work on a variety of levels depending on the client’s needs ranging from decontextualized discrete skills to skills that require more global processing, such as inferring meaning in stories, understanding characters’ feelings, and producing story sequence. Clinicians can use story themes and contexts to help students generalize skills learned in storybook reading to other settings. On the practical side, using sets of storybooks with activities increases the efficiency of the often busy SLP by decreasing preparation time once the materials have initially been created. Additionally, parents can easily become a part of the treatment process at home, which can greatly increase learning and retention of new skills.
One SLP recently commented that she felt like she was “cheating” when using storybooks because it felt too easy. Researchers consistently have found that students with language learning difficulties have benefited from literacy-based intervention techniques. Shared reading activities have been shown to aid in students’ overall development, including social- emotional, language, and academic development. Narratives have also been shown to provide a bridge between oral communication that contributes to social interaction and writing. This allows students to learn new information and promotes development in different areas that contribute to academic success.
Featured Authors; Scott Prath, Bilinguistics; Ellen Kester, Bilinguistics; Kara Anderson, Bilinguistics
We thank our authors for providing us with this article for our Monthly newsletter.
Scott Prath, M.A., CCC-SLP is Vice President of Bilinguistics, Inc.. Scott completed his master’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin in Communication Sciences and Disorders. He also completed his bachelor’s degrees at the University of Texas in Spanish and Communication Sciences and Disorders. His studies focused on second language acquisition and speech productions in Spanish-speaking children with cochlear implants. He has presented to Speech-Language Pathologists internationally and translates for the Spanish-speaking community in Austin.
Dr. Ellen Kester is a Founder and President of Bilinquistics, Inc., She earned her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Texas at Austin. She earned her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin. She has provided bilingual Spanish/English speech-language services in schools, hospitals, and early intervention settings. Her research focus is on the acquisition of semantic language skills in bilingual children, with emphasis on assessment practices for the bilingual population. She has performed workshops and training seminars, and has presented at conferences both nationally and internationally. Dr. Kester teaches courses in language development, assessment and intervention of language disorders, early childhood intervention, and measurement at The University of Texas at Austin. She can be reached at [email protected]
Kara Anderson, M.A., CCC-SLP, Bilinguistics. Kara earned her master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She focused her studies on language functions in the right brain in the Spanish-speaking population. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Kara’s favorite projects include developing creative literature-based materials for bilingual children. She has worked with the bilingual population in Early Childhood Intervention, public schools and rehabilitation centers.

PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.


Latest Jobs