Speech and Language

Alternate Eligible Content for the Speech Language Pathologist

by Sharon Leonard

Alternate Eligible Content is the new conversation between teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities. Have you heard of it? If you haven’t, you probably want to tune in to get to know more about it! If you have heard about it, let me take a few minutes to make sure you have a deeper understanding. The impact and connection of this content with language and vocabulary should be a part of any student’s speech and language programming if the student is eligible for the PASA. Have I got your attention? I hope so. Let me share a few important facts and ‘look fors’ that can assist you as you develop and support language goals for students who meet the criteria I mentioned above.

As part of the adoption of the PA Core Standards in March 2014, there needed to be addressed the alignment of a set of reduced depth and breadth standard statements for students who are eligible for Pennsylvania’s alternate assessment. As a result of multiple stakeholder input, the alternate eligible content was born. Visit our PaTTAN website to learn more about the alternate eligible content

Why is this important to you as a provider of speech and language services?

  1. The content is specific in regard to vocabulary in literature and Informational text
  2. The content contains vocabulary that aligns to the eligible content and PA Core Standards thus resulting in the need to consider core (i.e, high frequency vocabulary) or frequent familiar vocabulary for each student, as appropriate, to assure access to learning the content (Math and ELA/Reading)
  3. Classroom teachers will need your partnership and expertise to examine ways to make the content accessible through a language ‘lens’
  4. The content can be used as a foundational piece of IEP goal writing

What else should I know?

  1. The content can be reduced further in depth and breadth through a process called essentialization
  2. Pennsylvania provides two glossaries as vocabulary resources, one in Math and one in ELA.

For more information about the alternate eligible content and its impact on your work, view the special one hour webinar designed in regard to communication and language and the alternate eligible content: Increasing Academic Expectations with the Alternate Eligible Content: Increasing Communication/Language Expectations
For additional information on alternate eligible content and essentialization, view additional webinars and resources found at the alternate eligible content link above. It is exciting to consider the possibilities of student outcomes as your expertise with speech and language connects students to a whole new world of learning through language and vocabulary acquisition using the Alternate Eligible Content!

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