Understanding the Complexity of Vocabulary

Erin Riojas

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ASHA Course Number: ACEF0498
Course Credits: 0.3 ASHA CEUs (3 hours) Intermediate Level, Professional Area
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Speech pathologists in the public school setting have a challenging task when evaluating a student to determine if the student has a language impairment. Students arrive with varying experiences that shape their language, particularly in the area of vocabulary. How do we determine if a student has a disorder in the area of vocabulary? If the student does have a vocabulary deficit, how do we adequately address it in a way that makes the biggest impact on academic performance? This webinar will look carefully at those components of evaluation and treatment in the area of vocabulary.

Instructor Information

Melanie W. Hudson
Marva Mount, M.A., CCC-SLP has worked in a variety of settings in her 35+ year career, with school-based services being her most enjoyed work setting due to serving children who have the greatest need for services and the highest likelihood of educational success with intervention. Marva has presented at the state and national level on a variety of school-based issues. Marva is a chapter author/contributor to the Fifth Edition of Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology as well as a contributing author to ASHA Special Interest Group 11 and 16 (Supervision and School-based Issues) Perspectives. At the 2018 TSHA Convention, Marva was awarded the TSHA Hall of Fame Award for outstanding contributions to the profession. Marva was recently chosen to be a topic chair for Leadership and Professional Issues at the 2020 ASHA Convention in San Diego.

Financial Disclosure: Other than being paid as an employee of EBS Healthcare, Marva has no other relevant financial relationships to disclose.
Non-Financial Disclosure: Marva has no other non-financial information to disclose.

Learner Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe characteristics of typically developing vocabulary development versus atypical vocabulary development as it relates to academic performance.
  2. Explain how to support assessment results, when a language impairment in the area of vocabulary is suspected, by incorporating curriculum information and informal assessment results in full and individual evaluation reports.
  3. List at least two evidence-based tools/activities for teaching and supporting vocabulary development as it relates to educational performance.


  • 15 minutes: Introduction
  • 45 minutes: Vocabulary Acquisition: Typical versus Atypical
  • 60 minutes: What Information Do We Address in Reports to Adequately Support/Explain Our Diagnostic Findings?
  • 50 minutes: What’s In Your Tool Box for Teaching Academically Relevant Vocabulary?
  • 10 minutes: Questions and Answers
  • 10 minutes: Course Test