Language Development Exercises designed by Speech Therapists

The POPS Reading Scheme has been developed in conjunction with Speech Therapists. It targets the vocabulary a child with learning difficulties will need in their everyday life, based on the order in which children acquire certain words and the ability of the child to pronounce the words.

Every book contains scripted language development exercises unique to the story line, with easy to follow examples for teachers and parents. Designed by Speech Therapists they support the development of a child’s communication skills, help the child to comprehend the “meaning” in the story, promote conversation and improve memory and retention skills.

The main techniques employed are:

Asking QuestionsUse the illustrations to help the child comprehend the story line. Ask simple questions relating to and expanding on the text. Encourage the child to answer questions less directly related to the text.
Word AssociationsExpand the child’s vocabulary by developing associations with a word or event in the story e.g. explore the theme of a birthday – presents, parties etc.
Naming within a Category Encourage the child to give examples within a category used in the story e.g. identify the colour of Kal’s jumper and name other colours or relate to Bruno’s bath time by talking about the child’s own bath time.
Recognising Emotions Use the illustrations to reinforce the child’s ability to link the label of the emotion to the character’s facial expression. Develop an understanding of how we express an emotion by means of body language and gestures
Model and Expand If your child is unsure of the answers and is struggling with being asked open questions, then this technique can be used to build confidence. It also teaches the child that there can be more than one answer to a question. When you ask the question offer answers and encourage development of responses e.g. What did Dad put in the sandwiches – cheese, banana, peanut butter?
Prediction and Reasoning Use the illustrations to engage in the possibilities of the story line and encourage the child to anticipate what the outcome of the story might be. Encourage the child to think of possible ways of dealing with events in the story e.g. dealing with the situation of the lost keys.
Sequencing and Recall At the end of a story, encourage the child to retell it to you in their own words, helping them by signposting the sequence of events. All the POPS books have a defined start middle and end to the story. If the child is unsure of the order, help by beginning a sentence allowing the child to finish it.

Promoting Speech and Language Development
The following features are built into the reading scheme to promote language development

  • The child can easily relate the story lines in the POPS Reading Scheme to their personal experience. This builds on the child’s understanding of everyday actions and equips them with everyday functional words.
  • Each text page is accompanied by a brightly coloured illustration which closely corresponds to the accompanying text, giving lots of visual clues to decipher the text.
  • Natural language is consistently used in all books providing an opportunity for a child to practice saying sentences that they may be unable to generate spontaneously even though he or she can understand such sentences.
  • Using direct speech or oral language to model spoken language.
  • Reading activities are provided to encourage progress to longer utterances and improved grammar in speech.