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A Study of Two Graphic Symbol Teaching Methods

  • Laila Emms

This study was concerned with the teaching of graphic symbols to 14 children with cerebral palsy and little or no functional speech.

The primary purpose was to establish whether contrasting teaching methods had an effect on performance accuracy in the recall of graphic symbols. The secondary purpose was to establish whether the iconicity of symbols had an effect on performance accuracy. A direct symbol teaching method and a contextual symbol teaching method were investigated using a total of 72 Picture Communication Symbols.

The results showed that, averaging across all other factors, the direct teaching method produced better results than the contextual teaching method and that performance accuracy was greater with transparent symbols. Results also showed a significant interaction between the direct teaching method and translucent/opaque symbols. Further analysis of the descriptive data suggests that age, rather than educational or language ability, was a significant factor. Implications for augmentative and alternative communication practices are discussed.

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Topic of interest to people who use AAC