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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.

Check out other articles on Core Vocabulary in the Early Childhood Inclusion Classroom: