You are here

Developing Communication Skills and Literacy Through the Use of AAC Strategies

Practice Report
  • Anna Conway (Lancasterian School)
  • Alli Gaskin (Lancasterian School)

This paper will highlight the correlation between speech & language therapy and teaching targets. It will focus on development of language skills for spoken language (using a VOCA) and for written language. Also, it will explore links with the development of reading skills; the correlation between spoken, reading and writing communication objectives for an AAC user; and issues relating to target setting and collaboration between SLT and teaching staff.


In this presentation we will explore the value of collaborative working between teachers and speech & language therapists to promote the development of communication and literacy skills. We will use a single case study approach to examine the close links between language learning and the development of literacy skills. As individual professions, we support the notion that literacy develops as language develops. We will discuss issues relating to joint target setting to ensure that consistency is maintained when developing skills. We will examine ways in which speech & language therapy objectives can complement ILP targets in all aspects of literacy: speaking and listening, reading and writing. Our teaching/therapy interventions will be discussed.


The outcomes of therapy/teaching input will be shared with examples of work from our chosen pupil. The importance of active participation within therapy and teaching activities has been fundamental to enable Pupil A to manipulate language to achieve specific communication/literacy targets.


Literacy skills are required throughout life and it is, therefore, important to provide our AAC users with the best possible chance to develop these skills for functional use. We have found that the development of communication and literacy are intrinsically linked. Pupil A has been able to develop his literacy skills through the development of his spoken language skills and vice versa.

Level of Session 
Age Group