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Working with Bilingual AAC Users

by Liliana Diaz February 05, 2019

Working with Bilingual AAC Users

Working with a Bilingual AAC user for the first time could be a little overwhelming, especially if you are not quite sure where to start. Perhaps you have questions about language choice, modeling, or how to incorporate both languages with your student’s system. Do not panic, here are some helpful tips to remember when working with bilingual AAC users.

  1. All AAC modeling rules still apply. This means that you will still model language for your student and anyone working with the student should continue to provide models throughout the day.
  2. Aided language stimulation still applies. You will still need to be using the AAC system and “touching” the system while you are communicating with the student.
  3. The chain of cues will still apply as well. Use whatever cues work best for the student.
  4. We must remember that adding another language to a student’s device will not confuse the student.
  5. If we want the the student to be a successful AAC user across all environments and with all communication partners then we must embrace the student’s method of communication in all its forms. Yes, that means using both languages in therapy.
  6. Utilizing the student’s home language during your therapy sessions is important in order to teach carry-over of skills into all settings. Otherwise, how will the student’s family communicate with the student if they are speaking another language other than English?
  7. It is important to realize the sociocultural and communicative nature of literacy. This means that you will have to use both the home language and English in the student’s pictures for low tech users or have another language page on if the student is utilizing a dynamic device


Liliana Diaz
Liliana Diaz

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