2007-10-21

Teaching Opposites

The most-seen of my Scribd documents is by far the list of targets to teach "WH Questions". I am posting a new list, with targets to teach "Opposites" (also in PortuguĂȘs). These can be taught in several ways, to teach different skills or verbal operants. For example:

INTRAVERBALS - Verbal Antecedent - Verbal Response - Non-Specific (Generalized) Consequence. For example, the teacher can say: "Tell me the opposites...Hot and" and the learner says "Cold", and the teacher praises the learner and may deliver an additional reinforcer. In discrete-trials teaching (DTT) several trials of this contingency are repeated in close succession (but the intro "tell me the opposites does not have to be repeated).

TACTS - Non-Verbal Antecedent - Verbal Response - Non-Specific Consequence. For example, the teacher can show the learner an array of 3-10 pictures and ask the learner to tell him/her about the pictures. The teacher can give the first answer as a clue as to what about the pictures is being asked ("this one is old" while pointing to the picture of an old teddy bear), and the learner should continue ('this one is dirty" while pointing to the picture of a dirty shirt). It is important to have an array of pictures and not only a pair of, for example, dirty/clean, or the learner might respond with an intraverbal (teacher says "this one is dirty" and the learner does not even have to look and can say "this one is clean").

SELECTION - Selection-based verbal behavior, unlike topography-based verbal behavior, has no point-to-point correspondence between the antecedent and the response. Selection-based verbal behavior is traditionally referred to as receptive language. Teaching "opposites" as selection-based verbal behavior will look like this: the teacher asks the learner to select "which one is soft?" when presenting an array of items that are (actual objects) or show (pictures of objects) different adjectives, and the learner points to the picture showing something that is soft (let's say a stuffed animal). To make it more advanced, for those learners who are at this level, the task can involve, in addition, the learner selecting (pointing to) the item corresponding to what the teacher asked and also its opposite (two motor responses), or yet selecting the item, its opposite, and tacting the opposite ("this one is rough").

For more on verbal operants, you can click here to see the summary table by Tucci Learning Solutions, which I found in Regina C-Frey's amazing Verbal Behavior Wiki.