A Social Language Intervention: Video Modeling

Please welcome my guest authors, Cindy and Kristina from The Speech Ladies!

We were thrilled when Kim asked us to guest post on Activity Tailor! Thanks for having us Kim!

A few weeks ago I went to the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama convention. I always look forward to this convention, and I was really hoping to learn something that I could take home and immediately implement in my classroom the next week. You know how conventions go… sometimes you get practical ideas, sometimes you leave feeling like you need a PhD to decipher what you just heard.

Lucky for me, I went to a VERY practical session given by Libby Pittman, MS CCC-SLP and Tamara Green, M.S. CCC-SLP from the Social Express. I can sum up what I learned in 2 words: Video Modeling.

They began the session by talking about social stories. They really are a great resource. (In my opinion, Speaking of Speech is pretty much the motherload of social stories.) However, they can be over used and are not always effective. Video modeling is very much like a social story, just in movie form.

Video modeling – such a simple idea, yet I had not been using it with my students! Because many of our students are visual, it is easier for them to grasp a concept once they watch it play out. I tell my kids we are going to make a “movie” and then using the camera app on my iPad I record the video. (Stop by The Speech Ladies to see a tutorial.) They have a blast! You can view the tutorial at:   http://thespeechladies.blogspot.com/2013/04/movie-making-on-ipad.html

Ok, so what does a video modeling social skills look like? Generally, in my videos I do wrong behavior/ right behavior. If possible, I try to catch my student in a wrong behavior (i.e. not using eye contact when talking to peers) then I record typical peers showing the behavior in the right way (i.e. making eye contact while in conversation). These are candid videos and I typically catch students in the hall or during snack.  I show the students the videos back to back and discuss the differences we see. It is a great way to open up conversation with some students. And they can really observe the differences between how they act and how their friends act.

But don’t worry, I realize that no SLP actually has the time to follow a student around with a camera crew.  It can also work within the walls of your classroom! You can begin your therapy session by having students list right/ wrong behaviors for greeting friends. Then tell them you are going to make a movie about each. I even had one student who preferred to be behind the camera and direct me in the movie! (Think student saying “No Ms. Young! You have to look at his eyes when you talk to him!” Yes!)

I have one sweet 1st grader who had been working on shaking hands when entering or leaving a room as opposed to hugging his friends every time.  In fact, there is one particular little girl that always gets a big hug when he goes and comes from class. She has been very kind about it, but she did express that she wished he didn’t have to hug her all the time. So I had an idea to video her and another classmate to show how to shake hands when you see a friend and not hug them. She had so much fun making the movie for her friend and really felt like she was helping him! And the boy LOVED his video! He constantly asks to watch it. While watching he will tell you “shake hands”, “no hug Ms. Young!” For me, the best part is that he is consistently using this new behavior in the classroom! (Note: while we did see fast results after watching the video a few times, it also helps a ton that he has the most amazing and consistent aide who was on board with teaching the new behavior.) The girl even came to me later to ask to make another video on how to say hi to friends in the morning. I see a future SLP… how about you?

I have only been using this intervention for a short time, but have seen great results and feel that it is something my kids really connect with. Have you tried this with your students?

I had hoped to share some of my videos with you; however I ran into technical issues and am unable to do so. But I included some videos from You Tube that are similar to what I have done.  Click here to view. (Note from Kim, the video is too good to skip!)




This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. mtmarySLP

    As always a very timely post. I am just starting to use social express and video modeling for a couple of my students. Love this…thank you

    1. admin

      Mary, thanks for stopping by! I was excited to have The Speech Ladies propose the topic, and interested in the idea. Neat to hear you’ve been using this too. Kim

  2. Abby G

    I recently attended a conference on Building Social Relationships, presented by Scott Bellini and he was a huge proponent of video self-modeling. One thing he stressed though was focusing on the student seeing SUCCESSFUL behaviors (not examples of incorrect behaviors). If using self-modeling, you can provide prompts and instructions to the student while recording, but then edit those out so that the video the student sees is him/her performing the desired behavior successfully without prompting. Keep it positive and focus on success.

    He also mentioned video modeling for other skills – selective mutism, articulation, reading fluency, phobias, athletics, problem behaviors, etc. I can’t wait to incorporate video modeling into my sessions. Thanks for a great post!

    Schoolhouse Talk!

    1. admin

      Great ideas! Thanks so much for taking the time to add them! Kim

  3. Tamara Green

    Cindy and Cristina- Glad to hear that our presentation provided some practical strategies for you. That’s what we were striving for! Stay tuned to http://www.thesocialexpress.com. By Fall, there will be many new enhancements. Including new ways to use the software with groups, eBooks, and more.
    I like your ideas! Keep up the great work ladies. And email me if you have found any new ways to use The Social Express. I would love to hear about them.

    Tamara Green

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.