Importance of Adequate Language Skills
by Silvia Fuso and Adina Frid
Effective communication skills define an individual at any given age. From the time a child is born and throughout all of the developmental stages that follow, language plays a major role, which reveals the way people perceive the world and all of its components. It is through language, that a child translates such perception and establishes relationships with others. From the first spoken words that communicate basic needs, to the acquisition and expansion of language, the act of speaking effectively is crucial to develop effective communication skills in general.
Although most children acquire language naturally, a significant percentage of students present a language disability, being the most common an articulation deficiency. Such difficulty has a negative impact on communication, self-esteem, behavior and academics, if not detected and treated at an early age.
Identifying speech difficulties in our school population is essential as our learning community consists of dual language learners. Identifying and treating language and speech problems in the early learning stages will become the key to achieve the appropriate acquisition of a second language.
To achieve this goal, it is important to have assessment tools that are easy to give and score while being user friendly to both teachers and therapists. Once the students are appropriately assessed, then collaborative effort between specialist and teachers can take place, to provide a specific methodology and assertively approach students in need to succeed, through differentiated instruction.
Taking into account the great need for early detection and the importance of communication, we decided to take on the task of developing a tool called DETEKTO, an assessment tool to identify speech difficulties in Spanish-speaking children. Our interest is to provide schools with a resource to target and assist students who may be at risk
It is the first tool of its kind in Spanish. It tests all Spanish phonemes including blends and diphthongs and it also tests articulation in context. It gives an accurate diagnosis of the speech skills in children 36 months and older, determining the type of alteration, giving teachers and therapists all the information they need to develop an Individualized Educational program.
We look forward to hearing from you and happy to assist you on how to get DETEKTO in your school. We invite all of you to visit our web page: divertidilo.com.