Print this Post

Tip of the Month – December 2017: Summer


Slip, slop, slap, and wrap.  Summer is officially here!

This month, we are sharing some ways to use core language; whether you are out and about enjoying the summer, school holidays, or simply some time together.


Core language here, there, and everywhere!

Make sure your child or client has access to core language here, there, and everywhere.

If they are unable to carry it with them while you spend time outside or play, you can laminate a core word board or low tech equivalent of their device.  These are easy to display around your garden or take with you to the park like these teams below have.

Make sure that where you position them, both you and your child/client can access these to model language and communicate with each other.

Ideas of ‘core words’ to model during play include:

Core language can be used to say things like: “I like this”, “I feel happy”, “my turn”, “your turn”, I want to climb “up/down/in/out”, I’m “going” on the “little/big” slide, “come look”, push me “slow/fast/up high”, give me a “big/little” push, to name just a few.

Core language is so versatile and can be used in many contexts and activities.  Spend some time thinking about ways you can use core words to say different things across other contexts too.


Communicating in the water

What could make swimming more fun?  That’s easy.  Communication, and lots of it!  Teams around the world are sharing great ideas for taking core language to the water.

It is important to consider how you can take your communication device(s) with you to the water.  Our clients need access to communication at all times.   Things to think about include:

  • Is your device waterproof? If not, can you make it waterproof, or make a waterproof version?
  • Will it float?
  • Can it be easily seen in/from the water?
  • Is there anything else specific to you or your child/client, you need to consider?

Some ideas include: wearing your communication system.  The team below are wearing t-shirts with the core board on, or keeping them at the side of the pool.  These t-shirts are so versatile and mean language is always within easy reach!  Plus it doesn’t matter if they get wet, either.

Core boards on t-shirts in action!

Source: http://www.aaccommunicare.com/single-post/2017/07/18/Language-Board-Swim-Shirts


Another idea is to float the language like these message buttons on a flutter board – one of them says “get my PODD” so Angela, from We Speak PODD, always has access to use as many words as she wants or needs to.

Mum Karen modelling language on a flutter board during swim time. 

Source: https://www.facebook.com/wespeakpodd/


Find a way that works for you and your team to communicate in and around the water.


Here are some ideas of ‘core words’ you can use when swimming:

Core language can be used to say things like: “Ready! Go” – you could use this when playing games in the water that your client enjoys e.g. blowing bubbles, splashing water etc.  You can also use “more” and “finished” with these activities or “go” and “stop”.   Take turns being the one to stop blowing bubbles and use “your turn” and “my turn.”  You can also use “in” and “out” – when you get in and out of the pool.  The weather might be “hot” when you get into the “cold” water and get “wet”, now we need to “dry” off.

Have fun with your language; be creative and find new ‘core’ words in your communication system to model around the pool.


Some scavenger hunt fun

While the sun is here and it’s warm outside, here is a fun way to use core language on a scavenger hunt!

This can be used as a special outing, anytime you are outside (and inside too), or travelling somewhere.

Thinking about things you might see while out and about, make a list (including visuals if they are appropriate) on a sheet of paper.   A quick ‘Google Images’ search provides lots of ideas and pre-made lists.

Take this with you on your walk and see how many you can find!


You can talk about your scavenger hunt with core language.  Here are some ideas:

Core language can be used to say things like: “come and look!”, “listen to this”, I found “some”, here are “some more”, “feel that” tree, “this feels…”, “ready, look”, “stop, look” what I found, “this feels different”, “this feels the same”, and many more phrases.

Have a think about some other core words you can use throughout the day both in, out, and around the home.



  • Modelling language during fun activities can be really motivating.
  • If you are starting out modelling a new communication system, spend some time on your own or with your family and team practising some fun phrases and conversations using ‘core language’.
  • Lastly, let your communication system guide your language, and have fun with it.


To download the December Tip of the Month, click here.

Created by Gabi Iseli (Speech Language Therapist) on 16/11/2017.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.talklink.org.nz/index.php/2017/12/01/summer/


  1. perfect resume

    The core language is absolutely fun! I suddenly remember, when I was in high school my friend gave me a letter and it was written in a core language. At first, I don’t get some of the core language written in the letter so, what I did was, I take time to learn and research the core language form to understand the letter that my friend gave to me. When I discover the core language I didn’t expect that it would be possible to communicate or to send a message to someone by using the core language. That is why core language is part of my childhood memories and I find it very sweet and interesting.

    1. Gabi Iseli
      Gabi Iseli

      What a neat idea. You can say a lot with core language, can’t you!
      Gabi, SLT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Donate Now