Institute for Educational Development

School-Based SLPs: Language Disorders vs. Language Differencesfor English Language Learners (Grades K-12)

NEW Seminar Presented By
Margo Kinzer Courter, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL

Speech-Language Pathologist, Author and National Presenter

Specifically Designed for Speech-Language Pathologists Serving Grades K-12

  • Powerful, current techniques for SLPs to determine a language difference vs. a language disorder with English Language Learners (ELLs)
  • Highly effective, practical treatment strategies for your SLP toolbox to help you better serve ELLs with language disorders
  • A wealth of practical school-based therapy strategies to boost language proficiency and academic success for ELLs
  • Receive an extensive language therapy resource handbook full of techniques, ideas and strategies you can use immediately in your therapy

Practical Strategies and Materials

As SLPs we are increasingly faced with the challenge of determining language acquisition, a language difference or a language disorder in students who are English Language Learners. Experienced speech-language pathologist, Margo Kinzer Courter , will share valuable, practical strategies and information unique to working with English Language Learners. She will assist you in determining what information you need to gather, regardless of students' first language, in order to more rapidly support English language acquisition.

Discover innovative ideas to expand your repertoire of strategies for ELLs struggling to acquire English morphology, phonology, semantics, syntax, grammar, and pragmatic skills. Explore highly effective treatment strategies that can positively impact students' receptive and expressive English language skills. You'll gain impactful strategies that can be utilized in classroom, small group or one-to-one therapy treatment settings to support acquisition of core speech and language skills.

You will leave feeling better equipped to determine language differences vs. language disorders with ELLs and armed with a toolkit of innovative, practical and powerful therapy strategies you can put to immediate use!

Ten Key Benefits of Attending

  1. Determine a Language Difference vs. a Language Disorder in ELLs
    Increasingly SLPs are faced with the challenge of determining language acquisition, a language difference or a language disorder with English Language Learners (ELLs) … Align your evaluation and ongoing clinical assessment with specific assessment tools that allow you to pinpoint language differences vs. language disorders for ELLs
  2. Build Your Toolbox of Highly Effective and Engaging Strategies for ELLs
    Discover numerous ready-to-use therapy materials and strategies to promote students' English language skills and academic success
  3. Increase Language Acquisition for English Language Learners
    Connect your language therapy with each domain of language to increase language acquisition and help students meet academic standards
  4. Problem Solve Language Differences to Bridge the Language Acquisition Gap
    Learn about key differences between English and native languages to help you select starting skills to more effectively bridge the gap between first and second languages
  5. Strengthen Your Direct Therapy or Tier III Services
    Utilize knowledge of linguistic differences to strengthen your therapy or MTSS/RTI Tier III services … Determine a difference vs. a disorder to more effectively provide direct therapy, to consult or provide services within multitiered systems of support
  6. Improve Critical Phonemic and Phonological Awareness Skills
    Learn powerful techniques to improve critical awareness skills needed to discriminate English sounds correctly for literacy development … Discover key concepts to emphasize in therapy to increase academic success
  7. Increase Vocabulary and Pragmatic Skills with BICS
    Explore Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and its impact on basic vocabulary and pragmatic skills … Discover ways to connect BICS with context embedded semantics and pragmatic language skills to help your ELLs
  8. Increase English Language Learners' Academic Success with CALP
    Explore the impact of Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) on the academic success of ELLs … Discover highly effective strategies for curriculum-based vocabulary instruction to enhance English vocabulary development
  9. Increase Collaboration and Consultation to Better Support ELLs
    How to build a more collaborative partnership among staff to better support English Language Learners
  10. Receive an Extensive Language Therapy Resource Handbook
    You'll leave with a detailed language therapy resource handbook packed with step-by-step activities, materials and resources designed to make your language therapy program more efficient and effective in working with ELLs

Specific Topics

Here's what you'll learn:
  • Current, most pertinent information SLPs need to know in determining language acquisition, language disorders, and language differences in ELLs
  • Five stages of new language acquisition and classroom accommodations for each stage
  • Characteristics that indicate a language disorder, language difference or language acquisition
  • Cultural diversity and its impact on classroom success and implications for your therapy services
  • Inflectional and derivational morphology and parallels to students' first language
  • Phonological awareness skills through phonemes that are similar in the first language and English
  • Syntax and strategies to gain proficiency
  • Interventions through Multitiered Systems of Support to determine language differences vs. language disorders
  • Strategies for semantics and pragmatic language through Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Visual supports for Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
  • Case studies to problem solve differences vs. disorders and next steps for SLPs
  • Ways SLPs can improve evaluation, treatment and management outcomes

A Message from Your Seminar Leader

Dear Colleague:

As SLPs we are increasingly faced with the challenge of determining language acquisition, a language difference or a language disorder in students who are English Language Learners (ELLs). When students struggle with English language acquisition due to a language disorder, their success in school can be delayed or greatly jeopardized. The good news is that we can play a vital role in helping ensure academic growth and success for ELLs with language disorders.

Through my many years of working as an SLP and specifically with ELLs who struggle with English language development issues, I have developed an extensive repertoire of time-friendly therapy techniques that I am excited to share with you. It is my goal to help you expand your own therapy and instructional options with these highly effective and practical language development techniques.

A few of the topics I will cover during our day together include:

  • Characteristics of second language acquisition and strategies for the classroom
  • Powerful techniques to target morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatic language skills for ELLs
  • How to align your language strategies to state expectations for language arts and determine areas that are behind due to language differences or disorders
  • And much, much more!

I am excited to share practical, timesaving ideas to help you better serve ELLs with language disorders. Our day will be fast-paced and focused on specific ways to increase and enhance your effectiveness as an SLP working with this unique and exciting population, whether in one-to-one, small group or whole classroom settings. I promise, you will leave with an expanded toolkit of ideas and a fresh perspective on how to better serve ELLs who are struggling with a language disorder.

Margo Kinzer Courter, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL

P.S. This seminar will be filled with quick, practical and easy-to-implement ideas that you can put to immediate use with English Language Learners!

Who Should Attend

Speech-Language Pathologists Serving Grades K-12


This course is offered for 0.50 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

ASHA Approved

Special Benefits of Attending

  1. Extensive Language Therapy Resource Handbook:
    Each participant will receive an extensive resource handbook specifically designed for this seminar. The handbook includes:
    • Each participant will receive an extensive resource handbook specifically designed for this seminar. The handbook includes:
    • Clear and precise ways to determine language acquisition, differences or a disorder in ELLs
    • Stages of language acquisition and practical therapy strategies for all language areas
    • Visual graphic strategies to implement in the classroom and in your therapy
    • Visual phonics program for phonemic awareness, sound-symbol knowledge and phonological awareness for English phonemes
    • Resources to make information gathering about the student's first language easier
  2. Meet and Share:
    This seminar provides a wonderful opportunity for participants to meet and share ideas with other SLPs interested in supporting ELLs with language disorders.
  3. Consultation Available:
    Margo Kinzer Courter will be available at the seminar for consultation regarding your questions and the unique needs of your own speech-language program.
  4. Semester Credit Option:
    Brandman University Logo Graduate level professional development credit is available with an additional fee and completion of follow up practicum activities. Details for direct enrollment with Brandman University, part of the Chapman University system, will be available at the seminar.
  5. Meet Inservice Requirements:
    At the end of the program, each attendee will receive a certificate of participation that may be used to verify hours of participation in meeting continuing education requirements.