Improve sentence comprehension, and get better reading comprehension

Problems with syntax are common in students who struggle with language. They need to know how sentences are built in order to understand what they read.

SLPs need methods that are sensitive to the language learning challenges their students have.

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It’s hard to analyze a sentence
one word at a time

Traditional grammar instruction fails the students who struggle. It puts a huge strain on their brain’s built-in whiteboard: working memory.

Students’ internal whiteboards are only so big, so there’s a limit to how many words they can hold.

Memory goes hand in hand with understanding

Like disappearing ink, language fades from working memory in a handful of seconds.

When students lose words before they can work on and use them, their language gets all muddled up.

To teach sentence structure you have to keep memory in mind

Some grammar structures are known to be hard for students who struggle with language. They forget the words before they can work out their meaning.

We developed a way to teach these structures that lightens the memory load

Rather than teach students to memorize a zillion parts of speech, we show them how groups of words work together as a chunk.

They can see how the sentence is built and what each part means.

With a clear way to fuse grammar with meaning, students can unlock any sentence they read

Students make gains across instructional settings

With Unlocking Sentences, students make measurable gains in sentence comprehension that transfers to writing.

Small group speech-language instruction outside the classroom brought about statistically significant gains on standardized measures of syntax competence.

Classroom-based speech-language services combined with Tier One instruction in grades four and five brought about gains across all ability levels.

By the end of one year, all students were able to:

  • define what a sentence is
  • transform fragments into complete sentences
  • identify, classify, and write compound sentences with 7 coordinating conjunctions
  • identify, classify, and write complex sentences beginning with 7 subordinating conjunctions
  • use visual symbols to identify sentence parts and their functions

“It was so exciting to see students talk about what they saw in their sentences. They had a common language with teachers, and their metalinguistic skills just soared.”

Sue C., Director of Curriculum

With Unlocking Sentences, SLPs can have a huge impact on literacy — not just with their students, but ALL students,

Methods that bring you into the classroom

To: Bonnie Singer
Subject: Ahhhhhh!!!

I’m totally over the moon. I’m in a classroom right now and they are having a grammar lesson on what makes a sentence a sentence. I’m co-teaching it with the gen. ed. teacher, and the kids are getting it!! So amazing!

Whitney S., SLP

To: Bonnie Singer
Subject: Re: How’d it go??

This afternoon I met with the 6th grade Humanities teachers, and we talked about co-planning and how to integrate me more into teaching about sentences. Doesn’t get better!!

Whitney S., SLP

Learn Unlocking Sentences online with Dr. Bonnie Singer!

For SLPs who work with students in grades 2 – 12

Unlocking Sentences is a live and interactive class with tons of hands on practice. Class size is limited to 50, so don’t wait to register!

Choose your course and register now

Zoom $350:00 Sign me up!