Word Finding Difficulties

Differential Diagnosis & Word Finding Intervention




Word Finding Intervention





Word Finding Intervention


Available from:
PRO-ED, Inc.
8700 Shoal Creek Blvd.
Austin, TX 78757

Word Finding Intervention Materials

Word Finding Intervention Program-Second Edition (WFIP-2)

The second edition of the Word Finding Intervention Program (WFIP-2) provides professionals with theoretically linked and research based interventions to address learners' Word Finding skills. The WFIP-2 uses a three-pronged approach to Word Finding intervention: Retrieval Strategy instruction, Self advocacy Instruction, and Word Finding Accommodations.

WFIP-2 highlights include:

  • Retrieval strategies matched to learner's Word Finding error patterns;
  • Lessons provided to teach mnemonic Retrieval Strategies and Metalinguistic Reinforcement to facilitate Word Finding in single word and discourse contexts;
  • Lessons for teaching self monitoring and self instruction;
    Word Finding accommodations for modifying clients' language environment to facilitate their retrieval at home, in the classroom, and at work;
  • Technology accommodations for learners' written language;
    IEP goals for all lessons; and
  • Thematic vocabulary lists already matched to Retrieval Strategies for immediate use with school age students.
Target Users: Speech and Language Pathologists and Special Education Teachers
Target Learners: School-age clients and adults with Word Finding difficulties.


A Comprehensive Intervention Program

Programming in Word Finding needs to be comprehensive with respect to its focus and its application. Effectiveness is dependent on teaching and learning of retrieval strategies, linguistic based accommodations of both school and home communication environments, and an understanding and self application of these strategies and accommodations by the learner. Therefore, a comprehension intervention program in child Word Finding would focus on three areas (German, 1993, 2005):

  • Retrieval Strategy Instruction
  • Self Advocacy Instruction
  • Word Finding Accommodation
Retrieval Strategy Instruction

Retrieval Strategy Instruction is directed towards improving students' retrieval of words that they know and have used before. Strategies are applied to new vocabulary after students have indicated that they recognize and know meanings of these words. Retrieval Strategy Instruction focuses on providing students with mnemonic retrieval strategies and metalinguistic reinforcement to aid Word Finding in single word and discourse contexts.

Steps include:
  1. Select appropriate retrieval strategies and teach using relevant thematic material.
  2. Apply strategies to aid retrieval of known words in sentences and in discourse contexts.
  3. Rehearse target words in meaningful discourse contexts, focusing on self application of strategies.
  4. Generalize Retrieval Strategy Instruction to recreation and academic activities.

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Self Advocacy Instruction

Self Advocacy Instruction helps learners develop their "executive system" around their Word Finding abilities. Learners are taught to advocate for themselves with regard to their retrieval skills. Specific objectives include:

  • Helping learners become aware of their strengths and weakness in oral retrieval through self-monitoring;
  • Taking responsibility for improving their retrieval skills through self-instruction;
  • Becoming aware of the Word Finding accommodations that they need.
Word Finding Accommodations

Word Finding Intervention also considers accommodations of oral and written language demands in the learner's academic work. Learners with Word Finding difficulties are often better able to express their understanding of studied material when they do not have to use their oral or written language to show their knowledge. Therefore, accommodations that reduce retrieval demands inherent in learners' academic and recreational environment are recommended. The objective is to remove barriers to learning brought about by tasks that focus on the student's ability to orally retrieve or write information. Recommended Word Finding Accommodations include:
  1. resource notebooks or cue cards to be used during exams
  2. open book or take home exams
  3. multiple choice and true-false frames in exams
  4. software applications
  5. discourse menus
  6. volunteer participation in oral classroom work
  7. teacher use of multiple choice during oral questioning in the classroom

Click here for a complete list of references.

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