18 Important Social Pragmatic Goals In Speech Therapy And How To Track Progress Toward Them

Who Needs Social Pragmatic Skills?

Everyone’s experience with one another relies on human interaction, and more specifically, social pragmatic skills.

Or, in other words, the social use of language and of how individuals interact with others.

18 Important Social Pragmatic Goals In Speech Therapy And How To Track Progress Toward Them

Sometimes there will be learners who may struggle with such things, but the good news is that there are things you can do, whether as a speech therapist, or in a teaching or alternative role, to help a learner in this regard.

Very young learners need to have a good grounding in these skills if they are to go forward in life. And similarly, there may also be older learners who struggle with articulation, and social cognition.

Coming Up

In this article, we’ll quickly go through the nature of different social pragmatic skills, before moving on to discuss how you can use social pragmatic goals, in order to systematically track and record the gaining of such skills in learners.

And of course, we’ll also provide you with a list of suggested social pragmatic goals that you can use as required (the more, the better we feel), and how to build conversational skills.

And without further ado, let’s get straight to it!

The Nature Of Social Pragmatic Skills

Sometimes, a message or response is more easily conveyed, or sometimes often, or solely conveyed, by body language, eye contact (or lack thereof), facial expression, tone of voice, and more.

Or, in other words, through non-verbal communication as well as through words themselves.

So it is important that the skill of understanding this, and of understanding appropriate conversational exchange, is steadfastly developed in the learners who are yet to have mastered the art.

How To Use Social Pragmatic Goals With Learners

There’s more to social pragmatic skills than many people realize. It’s not just about familiarity with certain words.

It also entails such things as non-verbal cues, everyday greetings and appropriate responses, using the correct sentence structure, and more.

As with every endeavor, it always helps to have set goals to work towards in the field of social pragmatic skills, in order to assess progress over time, to evaluate the teaching of these skills, and to determine a suitable action plan as and when necessary.

By far, one of the easiest ways to go about this is to copy and paste your chosen social pragmatic goals for the learner, and make it into a chart by adding columns on the right-hand side.

In each of these columns, you can write the date that you assess this skill at the top, and simply give a score for each goal at the dates indicated at the top of each column.

You can also add any extra comments.

18 Important Social Pragmatic Goals In Speech Therapy And How To Track Progress Toward Them

18 Of The Most Important Social Pragmatic Goals

(The following social pragmatic goals aren’t listed in any particular order.)

Basic Social Pragmatic Goals

  1. The learner can point to a face representing a specific emotion.
  2. The learner can identify feelings on faces in real life.
  3. The learner can express feelings with the aid of pictures.
  4. The learner knows how to respond to certain emotions.
  5. The learner knows that people take turns to speak.
  6. The learner can follow cues for when it is their turn to react.
  7. The learner can wait for the other person to finish speaking.
  8. The learner can listen to the other person without interrupting.
  9. The learner can identify emotions in pictures.
  10. The learner can take turns to play games.

Conversational Skills Goals

  1. The learner uses the right words to express their emotions.
  2. The learner can maintain a conversation with someone.
  3. The learner can maintain a conversation by asking relevant questions.
  4. The learner will respond to a teacher’s comments with a suitable response.
  5. The learner can tell when someone is getting bored with a conversation.
  6. The learner can describe their feelings with an emotion word when prompted.
  7. The learner uses the most appropriate words for different intentions, for example, for greetings or asking questions.
  8. The learner can stick to the topic being discussed for the duration of a short conversation.

Building Conversation Skills For Learners

As with many things, the best route to sufficiency in any given skill is simply to practice, practice, practice.

You should encourage these learners to talk with you and to one another. 

The goals for this practice include for the learner to be able to: talk about their various thoughts and feelings, make observations about the world around them, express their opinions, and their wants and needs, ask questions to find out more about things, and to listen to any responses and convey that they can comprehend them.

A fun way to get learners talking is by using conversation starters, such as questions about someone’s favorite color, or how they are feeling, or what they like to do for fun.

Wrap Up

I’m sure that now you’ve read through the article, you feel suitably confident in tracking the progress of your learners towards important social pragmatic goals.

Wishing you luck!

Helena Waters

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