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All About Conjunctions in Speech Therapy

Updated: 17 hours ago

Hi friend!


This post is a quick overview of conjunctions and why they're important for tackling comprehension and expression goals in speech language therapy.


A conjunction is a word that connects parts of a sentence together.


There are different kinds of conjunctions:


Why should we utilize conjunctions in speech therapy

Before we jump into conjunctions, let's back up one step to identify why we need to be supporting syntax skills in our therapy sessions.


Syntax impacts a student's receptive language skills, specifically the ability to comprehend texts and utilize skills that rely on comprehension:


“The inability to comprehend key sentences in a text will undermine finding the main idea, drawing conclusions, making inferences, or answering many comprehension questions” (Balthazar & Scott, 2023).


Syntax also impacts expressive language skills that allow them to engage with others and explain their way of thinking:


“Students are expected to engage in oral discussion of topics and issues where complex ideas require complex sentences to explain, elaborate, and debate” (Balthazar & Scott, 2023).


Now let's get back to conjunctions:


Conjunctions are key components to target when supporting syntax skills, because they have an impact on goals like:


🌟 Produce grammatically correct sentences with 2+ clauses

🌟 Utterance expansion

🌟 Responding to wh- questions (e.g. Why did the house break? The house broke because....)

🌟 Formulating compound sentences

🌟 Formulating complex sentences

🌟 Retelling stories, narrative generation

🌟 Summarizing


COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS

A coordinating conjunction is a word that combines two words, phrases or sentences.


Using coordinating conjunctions:

  • helps to present information succinctly

  • supports summarizing skills

  • makes what you say less choppy

  • shows relationships between thoughts, ideas, actions, people


Coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. You can remember these (and help your students to remember them) with the acronym FANBOYS.


  • For - explains why

  • And - to make two similar points, to connect two items

  • Nor - to make two similar negative points

  • But - to show contrast

  • Or - to provide an alternative

  • Yet - to show contrast in spite of something

  • So - to show the result of something, to explain or give a reason for something


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SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS

A subordinating conjunction is a word or phrase that combines one independent clause and one dependent clause.


Using subordinating conjunctions:

  • provide an explanation

  • communicates time

  • gives more information about the sentences main idea

  • provides a cause and effect relationship

  • changes the time and place of 2 clauses


There are many subordinating conjunctions: after, although, as, as if, because, before, how, if, since, than, though, unless, until, when, where and while.


correlative CONJUNCTIONS

Correlative conjunctions are conjunctions used to illustrate how two words or phrases within a sentence relate to each other.


Correlative conjunctions always come in pairs. Here are some common ones:


table showing examples of correlative conjunctions that join words or phrases of similar weight

CONJUNCTIve adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs are transition words or phrases. Conjunctive adverbs are also called connective adverbs or linking adverbs.


Here are some common conjunctive adverbs and their purposes or uses:


  • Addition - additionally, also, besides, furthermore, moreover

  • Consequence - consequently, accordingly, therefore, thus

  • Comparison - alternatively, similarly, likewise

  • Contrast - if not, however, nevertheless, otherwise, conversely

  • Emphasis - certainly, definitely, indeed, of course, naturally

  • Clarification - for example, for instance, namely, i.e., notably


If you're looking for ideas on how you can target conjunctions using books in literacy-based therapy sessions, check out this blog post.


I hope this has been helpful! 😊


about the author Sarah. Sarah is a pediatric SLP and the creator behind Speechie Adventures.


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