Thursday, April 23, 2015

English as a Second Language

Ever since Liam was little, he's loved English as a second language sites.  The simplicity and repetition helped him to learn colors, shapes and letters well before preschool.  He even went the other way and learned the alphabet and number systems of several other languages and some simple words.  Here Liam uses his "Oobie" puppet to recite the Greek alphabet:


video

We were reviewing the online program that Liam likes, BrainPop, to see about buying a subscription to the next level, when we noticed that they had an English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

Like the other BrainPop programs, this one stars the robot, Moby and his new friend, Ben.  There are short movies with optional subtitles which play out scenarios in which the characters use different parts of speech naturally in a conversation.  After each movie, Liam can practice the new parts of speech and take a quiz and even play related games.  

He loves it (especially Moby, who only speaks in "beeps") and I've found him going to the site on his own to play games. He even seems to be grasping pronouns better since we started playing on the site.  The good thing is how easy it is to revisit each lesson.  With every viewing, Liam takes in more and more.  

I'm not sure if speech teachers working with Autistic kids have used this strategy, but it's really making sense to Liam.  I'm just glad we've found a fun way to fill in some of the gaps and help Liam expand his ability to take in and express bigger ideas.  

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