Core Vocabulary Selection and Its Use in Determining Language Development


December 8-10, 2015, Pittsburgh, PA


This focus of this two and a half day seminar will be on providing learners with a theoretical and practical foundation for the use of core vocabulary as it pertains to language and vocabulary development for augmented communicators as well as how to integrate the use of core vocabulary as a primary strategy for targeting communication and language in home and academic settings.  Our guest presenter will focus on core vocabulary selection and its use in determining language development.  Here presentation will be taught in two parts. The first part will be devoted to vocabulary selection and to the importance of using core vocabulary vs. fringe vocabulary.  Hands on practice will be provided in determining both fringe and core vocabulary and then demonstrating the effectiveness of using core vocabulary over fringe vocabulary.  The second part will demonstrate how proficiency in use of core vocabulary can be documented using Language Acquisition Monitor (LAM) and Realize software.  Growth and proficiency in the use of core vocabulary will then be used to demonstrate language growth using Brown’s stages of language development and other tests of early language development (e.g., Assessment, Evaluation and Programming). 


Bruce Baker, PhD

Meher Banajee, PhD, CCC-SLP

Deborah Laurent Witkowksi, MA, CCC-SLP

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Explain why core vocabulary, not extended vocabulary, should be emphasized in AAC intervention.
  2. Describe the relationship between the use of core vocabulary and normal language development.
  3. Describe the difference between a needs-based communication display and a language-based communication display.
  4. Discuss the impact of motor automaticity in the successful use of AAC devices.
  5. Determine the process for core and fringe vocabulary selection.
  6. Determine the importance of incorporating both core and fringe vocabulary.
  7. Determine a process for identifying baseline for intervention while using core and fringe vocabulary.
  8. Learn how to write goals and objectives for intervention for expanding the use of core and fringe vocabularies.
  9. Determine a process for documenting progress while using core and fringe vocabularies.
  10. Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.
  11. Discuss strategies that enable students who use AAC to demonstrate learning to demonstrate learning within the components of Bloom’s Taxonomy.


This activity is offered for up to 1.9 CEUs (18.50 hour of instruction). To register for CEUs:
  1. Download, and complete the following forms.
  2. Save the files names: 151210_SCS_Attendance Form-Lastname-Firstname.xls
  3. Send both files to
  4. CEU certificate will be sent after submitting the two forms

Note: If any difficulty is encountered in using this form, write to to request an alternative file format.