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Talking Core with Different Levels of Communicators

A good teacher steers language instruction with core to support all students at their level. By grouping the students into three categories of language users, a teacher or therapist can design instruction accordingly. Core boards can be used within inclusive classroom by all students. Learn more about what is core here. 

  • Fluent: Children who fall within the typical range and are fluent language speakers
    • Utilize core boards to construct more complex and creative sentences
    • Develop strong foundational skills in grammar such as verb tense and sentence structures
    • Encourages slowing rate of speech and ensure listener comprehension
    • Apply their new knowledge to growth in early literacy


  • Beginning: Developing language skills, possible language impairments or English as a second language.
    • May not grasp the nuisances of core language
    • Benefit from the more focused instruction in areas such as multiple meanings, pragmatic language usage, prepositions, and varied sentence structures
    • Understanding how structure affects meaning: there it goes – it goes there
    • Board provides support for multiple communication intent: questions, comments, directions, etc.


  • Emerging: Emergent communicators with severe delays
    • Access to vocabulary for basic communication needs
    • Motivated to join their peers in communicating
    • Board simplifies communication: less demands on memory, less physical effort, immediate results
    • Authentic communication experiences
    • Facilitate construction of non-rote sentences
    • More independence – less prompting
    • When peers used the board, they became the recipient of a more comprehensive and intensive core program


To develop a quality language-rich program, a teacher or SLP should consider each category of language user and how to meet each of their needs. Core vocabulary instruction can support and enrich communication opportunities for all students.

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