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August 28, 2017 | Author: licurici_love_pacifi | Category: Behaviorism, Reinforcement, Psychological Schools, Learning, Science
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Verbal Behavior Analysis Inducing and Expanding New Verbal Capabilities in Children with Language Delays

R. Douglas Greer Columbia University Teachers College Graduate School of Arts and Science

Denise E. Ross Columbia


Teachers College


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For related titles and support materials, visit our online catalog at www.ablongman.com. Copyright © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner. To obtain permission(s) to use material from this work, please submit a written request to Allyn and Bacon, Permissions Department, 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116 or fax your request to 617-848-7320. Between the time website information is gathered and then published, it is not unusual for some sites to have closed. Also, the transcription of URLs can result in typographical errors. The publisher would appreciate notification where these errors occur so that they may be corrected in subsequent editions.

ISBN 10: 0-205-45837-8 ISBN 13: 978-0-205-45837-0 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Greer, Robert Douglas Verbal behavior analysis : inducing and expanding new verbal capabilities in children with language delays / R. Douglas Greer, Denise E. Ross, p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-0-205-45837-0 ISBN-10: 0-205-45837-8 1. Verbal behavior. 2. Children—Language. I. Ross, Denise E. II. Title. BF455.G742 2008 155.4'13— dc22 2007011360

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Photo credits: p. 95: Photo by Mapy Chavez-Brown. Used with permission; p. 115: FOXTROT © 2004 Bill Amend. Reprinted with permission of Universal Press Syndicate. All rights reserved; p. 194: Photo by Lauren Stolfi. Used with permission; p. 229: Photo by Laura Dorow. Used with permission.

We dedicate this book to the memory ofB. F. Skinner and to the many children with language delays who have taught us about verbal functions and development. We hope that all children will benefit. Royalties for this book are dedicated to the Fred S. Keller School.




R. Douglas Greer is Professor of Education and Psychology and Coordinator of the Program in Behavior Analysis at Columbia University Teachers College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he has taught for 37 years. He is the author of over 120 research reports (27 on verbal behavior analysis) and conceptual publications in 25 different journals, 12 books, and he has sponsored 130 doctoral dissertations. Greer is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis and is the recipient of the American Psychology Association's Fred S. Keller Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education, The Association for Behavior Analysis award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis, the designation of May 5 as the R. Douglas Greer day for Westchester County by the Westchester Legislature, and Distinguished Contributions to the Fred S. Keller School by The Fred S. Keller School. He is CABAS® Board certified as a Senior Behavior Analyst and a Senior Research Scientist and has assisted in the development of CABAS® School in the United States, Ireland, England, and Italy. His research interests have included verbal behavior analysis, the development of verbal behavior, a learner-driven science of teaching and the organizational behavior analytic procedures to support that system, pediatric behavioral medicine, a behavioral psychology of music, and the induction of and applications of observational learning. He has served on the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Behavioral Education, In Segnare alV Handicappato, Journal of Early and Intensive Behavioral Interventions (Associate Editor), European Journal of Behavior Analysis, The American Psychologist, Verplanck's Glossary and Thesaurus of The Science of Behavior, The Behavior Analyst, American Journal of Mental Deficiency, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, and the Journal of Music Therapy. Greer has served as distinguished visiting professor at five universities in Spain (Cadiz, Almeria, Oviedo, Grenada, and Salamanca), a higher education program in applied behavior analysis in Norway, and has lectured at the University of Wales at Bangor. He has presented keynote addresses at conferences on behavior analysis in Canada, Israel, Nigeria, Japan, Spain, Ireland, England, Brazil, Norway, Italy, Taiwan, and Korea. Denise E. Ross is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Education in the Program for Applied Behavior Analysis at Columbia University, Teachers College. She completed her doctoral degree at Columbia University in 1998 and taught at Florida Atlantic University before joining Teachers College in 2002. Her research on verbal behavior and children with autism and other developmental disabilities has been published in several journals including Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, Research in Developmental Disabilities, the Journal of Behavioral Education, the Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and the Journal of Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions.








Verbal Behavior Analysis and Verbal Development


Introduction to Verbal Behavior Analysis


Relation between Verbal Behavior Analysis and Basic and Applied Behavior Analysis


Protocols for Inducing New Verbal Capabilities


Selecting a Verbal Topography: Linguistic and Verbal Behavior Contributions 10 Research in Verbal Behavior Analysis


Developmental Milestones in Verbal Behavior Summary Endnotes


24 25

Teaching and Learning Verbal Operants and Verbal Developmental Capabilities: Definitions and Measurement


Selecting Verbal Forms and Functions for Instruction Conducting and Recording Probes 29 Probe Mastery Criterion, Data Collection, and Graphing 30 Presenting and Measuring Learn Units Presenting Learn Units 33


Recording and Graphing Verbal Behavior 36 Teaching Graphs 40 / Generalization Graphs 42 Providing and Measuring Accurate Instructional Decisions



Research Based Tactics for Intervention 46 Generic Tactics 46 / Generic Pre-Listener-to-Speaker Tactics 47 / Generic Tactics for Children with Reader-Writer Capabilities 48 / Generic Tactics for Teaching Teachers, Parents, and Behavior Analysts 48 Learn Unit Context and Learn Unit Components


The Decision Protocol: An Algorithm for Analyzing the Source of Learning Obstacles 5 0 Identification of Decision Opportunities 50 / Trend Determination Learn Unit Context Analysis 51 / Selection of the Tactic 52 / Implementation of the Tactic 52



Details of the Analytic Algorithm 53 Strategic Questions to Ask about Motivational Conditions and Setting Events 53 / Strategic Questions to Ask about Instructional Histories and Prerequisite Repertoires 54 / Prerequisite Stimulus Control 55 Measuring and Recording Developmental Milestones


Defining Verbal Milestones 59 Pre-listener Components 59 / Listener Components 61 / Speaker Components 62 / Speaker-Listener Exchanges with Others 63 / Speaker-as-Own-Listener 63 / Early Reader Repertoires 64 Summary




Learning to Listen: Induction of the Listener Repertoire of Verbal Development 68 The Listener Role in Verbal Behavior


Instructional Sequence for Teaching Listener Repertoires


Basic Listener Literacy 73 Developing Initial Instructional Control: Five Basic Attentional Programs 73 Protocol Description for the Five Basic Attentional Programs 74 The Five Attention Programs: Attentional Control to Teacher 74 / The Listener Emersion Protocol to Develop Vowel-Consonant Control for Listener Responses 76 Other Prerequisites to Basic Listener Literacy 82 Establishing Visual Tracking through Conditioning Eye Contact to Stimuli 82 / Sensory Matching or Establishing the Capacity for Sameness


across Senses 83 / Conditioning Voices as Reinforcers 85 / Auditory Matching of Words 91 / Auditory Matching Steps 95 Inducing the Listener Component of Naming Summary





Basic Teaching Operations for Early Speaker Functions 112 The Behavioral Functions of the Speaker Parroting and Echoics


Establishing Operations and Mands Tacts




Similarities and Differences between Mand and Tact Instruction 119 Echoic-to-Mand Procedures (Level 1 of Mand Instruction) 124 Mand Function Procedures (Level 2 of Mand Instruction) 125 Echoic-to-Tact Procedures (Level 1 of Tact Instruction)


Tact Function Procedures (Level 2 of Tact Instruction) 127 Autoclitics with Mands and Tacts


Alternative Procedures for Teaching Echoic-to-Mand and Echoic-to-Tact Responses 135 Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure 135 / Rapid Motor Imitation 139 / Speaker Immersion 144 Inducing Transformation of Establishing Operations across Mand and Tact Functions 145 Naming


Basic Visual Discrimination to Occasion the Advancement of Speaker and Listener Repertoires 153 Inducing Full Naming


The Importance of Tacts 158 Procedures for Rapid Expansion of Tacts through Direct Contact with Learn Units (Intensive Tact Protocol) 159 Summary



Inducing Advanced Speaker Functions and Correcting Faulty Vocal Behavior


Advancing Key Verbal Capabilities


Inducing and Expanding Tact and Intraverbal Capabilties Tact Capabilities 166 / Intraverbal Capabilities 167


Learning Tacts from Observation 172 Instructional Procedure for Teaching Observational Learning of Tacts (Developing Tacts by Observing Others Receive Learn Units) 173 / Pre- and Post-Intervention Evaluation Probes for Observational Learning of Tacts 174 / Yoked-contingency Interventions 174 / Joint Yoked-Contingency and Peer-Monitoring Protocol 179 Intraverbal Capabilities and Social Interaction


Conversational Units 184 Pre- and Post-Assessment for Conversational Units and Sequelics


Acquiring the Listener Reinforcement Component of Social Exchanges 193 General Game Board Description and Set-up


Production Program for Emission of Appropriate Talking 199 Replacing Echolalia and Palilalia with Functional Verbal Behavior 203 Fixing Improperly Learned Control of Echoic Responses 203 / Textual Test and Textual Stimulus Prompt Protocol 204 / Auditory Matching to Correct Faulty Echoic Responding 206 Replacing Vocal Stereotypy with Functional Verbal Behavior 208 Assessing the Function of Vocal Stereotypy 208 / Tact Protocol to Replace Palilalia 209 Summary




Reading and Writing: Print-Governe d and Print-Governing Verbal Behavior


Scope and Purpose of the Print Control Chapter


Book-conditioning Protocol 221 Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Training/Test Trials for Conditioning Stimuli as Reinforcers for Observing 221 / Probes for Conditioned Reinforcement for Observing Books 223



Word-Picture Discrimination and Matching 223 Tactics for Teaching Word-Picture and Matching Discrimination Using the Edmark® Reading Series 226 /



Reading Comprehension from Hearing One's Own Textual Responses 231 Multiple Exemplar Instruction Auditory and Visual Components of Reading Responses 231 Adding Print Stimuli to the Joint Control over Speaker and Listener Responding in the Naming Capability 233 Phonetic Reading for Textual Responding: Acquiring the Topography 236 Using the Auditory Matching Protocol in Solving Phonetic Reading Difficulties 236 Motivational Functions of Reading and Writing Establishing the "Need to Read"


Establishing the Topography of Writing Protocol: Writer Immersion Summary





Identifying and Inducing Verbal Development Capabilities 252 Problems in Verbal Development, Current Solutions, and a Trajectory for More Solutions 253 Foundations of Speaker and Listener Capabilities 253 When Attention to the Teacher is Missing 253 / When Attention to Instructional Stimuli is Missing 254 / When the Capacity for Sameness is Missing—Do the Sensory Matching Protocol 254 / When the Capability to be Reinforced for Attention to Adult Voices Is Missing 255 / When the Capability for Emitting Speaker Verbal Operants is Missing 255 / When the Capability to Match Consonant/Vowel Combinations of Spoken Words Is Missing or Speech Is Faulty—Do the Auditory Matching Protocol 255 / When Basic Listener Literacy Is Missing 256 / When There Are Few Tacts in Repertoire: Expand the Tact Repertoire 256 / When the Listener Capability of Naming Is Missing: Implement the Multiple Exemplar Protocol for the Listener Component of Naming 256 / When Capability for Observational Learning of the Listener Half of Naming Is Missing 257 / When the Capability of Observational Learning of Tacts Is Missing 257 / Fixing Faulty Echoic and Intraverbal Repertoires 257



Joining Speaker and Listener Capabilities


Speaker-as-Own-Listener 258 / How to Expand Tacts Before Naming is Present and to Continue Rapid Expansion of the Tact Repertoire 258 / Observational Learning of Tacts and the " Wh" Repertoire 258 / Expanding Observational Learning of Tacts and the Observational Learning Capability 258 / biducing Observational Learning if It Is Missing 259 Joining Print to Speaker-as-Own-Listener Capabilities 261 Stages of Verbal Development


A Note on Scientific Evidence


Some Suggested Areas for Further Research


Appendix A A Description of the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS®) Model Appendix B Sample Data Collection Forms Appendix C Sample Training Graphs Glossary


References Index







It is an interesting coincidence that this book is being published on the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Skinner's (1957) Verbal Behavior. His book and this one were many years in the making. We used early versions of research in verbal behavior in The Fred S. Keller School and other CABAS® Schools in the United States, Ireland, Italy, and England. Each time we set out to write the book, new sets of findings acted to postpone publishing. However, the amount of evidence that we now have, and the pressing need for it in the field, requires that we disseminate what we have learned to date. Over the last five years, we have had a watershed of findings that extended the role of the listener and the joining of the listener and speaker repertoires in a dramatic fashion. Some of the work we describe in the book is so recent that it is still in press or available only in dissertation form; however, a substantial amount is now published. All of the work has been replicated in both research and practice in our schools, and new findings are occurring on a regular basis in both our laboratory and others. We are confident in the findings, as least as much as is possible in any scientific endeavor. On several occasions Skinner proposed to the first author that verbal behavior was his most important contribution. It took several readings and the initiation of a program of research with children with language delays for us to appreciate the real magnitude of the importance of Skinner's treatment of language as behavior. First, we found out that it simply worked better in terms of what we would teach. As the findings grew, it became apparent that we had happened on a purely Skinnerian account of verbal behavioral development. Our verbal development scheme eliminated the need for a psychological agency or faculty. Here was a purely behavior-selection account of verbal development tied to experience rather than age. Here was an environmental account of productive or "generative" verbal behavior. Despite the criticism of those who said that productive verbal behavior could not be accounted for in terms of reinforcement history, the evidence is now overwhelming that Skinner's Verbal Behavior lay the grounds for an account of the source of productive verbal behavior. While much remains to be done, there is a strong foundation for future research and current practice. This book does not address the basic principles of applied behavior analysis— there simply was not space for doing so; readers will need to have a background in applied behavior analysis to use this text, or they can rely on one of the many excellent, currently published introductory applied behavior analysis textbooks. Instead, this book provides professionals with new and needed interventions to establish verbal developmental capabilities for children who need them. As the children acquire these new capabilities or developmental cusps, they can learn from their environment in ways they could not prior to acquiring them. We describe interventions or protocols to teach of the capabilities in detail. However, assessing existing and missing capabilities for each child is a critical part of



what is needed. In most cases, children will need to have the prerequisite repertoires and verbal capabilities in order to benefit from the protocols. The process of selecting the particular protocol needed for a particular child at any given point in their learning is as important to the success of the protocol as the accurate implementation of the protocols. In the early chapters we also describe how to monitor and ensure accurate professional interactions with children and how to make accurate professional judgments about what is needed. Contemporary applied behavior analysis requires that research findings that can address the moment-to-moment needs of a client or student, and there is a large body of research that has identified how to do this. Moreover, there is a scientifically-based decision process for when and what the responsible practitioner should do to change tactics for teaching repertoires within each child's developmental capabilities and to introduce protocols for inducing new developmental levels. We have described these developmental levels in the early chapters. They are necessary steps to the success of any applications of behavior analysis for building new operants or higher order classes. Understanding the sequence of capabilities is a key part of providing successful interventions. A child who does not attend to the voices of others is not likely to be ready to acquire naming, and there are several difficult steps that must be achieved before inducing the components of naming. Similarly, children who are not reinforced by social attention will need particular protocols if their tact repertoire is to expand. We suggest that the reader learn the sequence of capabilities before proceeding to the instructional protocols. The capabilities are what the child needs to progress in one or more realms. The protocols, described in detail according to listener and speaker capabilities, are the means to induce new capabilities for children who are ready for them. First, follow the probe procedures to find which capabilities the child has and which capabilities are missing. Second, identify which new ones are possible for a particular child at this stage in his or her development. Third, do the protocol that is needed while ensuring that the protocol is done accurately, that learn units are present, and that new tactics are used to move the child through the various components of the protocols as determined by the decision protocol. In many cases the emergence of a new capability is built on teaching children several component repertoires in such a way that a new capability emerges hrom a new relation between responses and stimuli—a higher order operant. Providing appropriate education for children within their existing repertoires must continue as you work to progress them through the verbal capabilities. For example, when children have the capability for emitting mands and tacts, or basic listener literacy, teach the various educational standards that use these capabilities. The curriculum should expand educational repertoires at each developmental cusp. When the child is ready for the next capability, as described in the text, you then introduce the relevant protocol to induce the next capability. The book can also be read as a description of a tested and purely behavioral account of verbal development. The identification and induction of verbal capabilities and a sequence of verbal capabilities sets forth an empirical and inductively derived account of verbal development—a data-driven developmental scheme that proscribes relations between experiences and the emergence of new capabilities. Thus, the book



sets forth an account of the sources of the listener and speaker capabilities and the joining of those capabilities in ever expanding and more complex behavior. As such, the book sets forth an agenda for new research as a means to expand the basic science of verbal behavior. Thus, this book provides two contributions. First and foremost, the text provides new and necessary procedures to use to radically expand children's verbal potential— what, when, why, and how to do the procedures for children who need them. Secondly, the book expands the foundation of the science of verbal behavior. A reviewer for one of our research papers asked, "Is this research applied or basic?" The same question can be asked about the book. The answer is that the book is about both—applied issues and basic science issues. The applied problem was the source for the research and was driven by Skinner's perspective. However, addressing the applied problem simply led to basic science questions that, in turn, led to conducting research that was both basic and applied science. While .the j?s£92rh w^s
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