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New Perspectives - Feb, 1993 Issue #20 

Paul Worthington-Research & Development
San Luis Obispo, CA

Lindamood-Bell specializes in working with students who have learning based difficulties. It is a growing organization with centers currently in Sacramento, Kent City, San Luis Obispo and San Diego. Their focus is on changing language processing skills through intensive work in Reading & Oral Language Comprehension, and in Expressive Language in students. Addressing psychological, emotional, and/or social/environmental problems is not part of their specialization, and they often refer out students who also need emotional growth.

They have developed procedures to successfully treat two functions basic to literacy: auditory conceptual (reading and spelling), and concept imagery (comprehension). As Nanci Bell said in a presentation at the American Imagery Conference, "The Visualizing and Verbalizing program develops imagery from one word and extends through sentence by sentence processing to whole paragraphs and pages of text." 

"Images are used to create gestalts from language. Individuals are then able to develop the skills of identifying the main idea, drawing inferences, predicting, and evaluating. They are able to verbalize their images using 'structure words' such as size, color, and background to direct their expressive language.".... "Once the individual becomes able to image automatically, from both oral and written language, significant gains occur in reading comprehension, oral language comprehension, oral language expression, and paragraph writing."

"This language comprehension/expression weakness may generate a range of symptoms. Individuals may exhibit poor auditory memory, difficulty following directions, or behavior problems. Although not all behavior problems can be attributed to language comprehension weakness, it is a factor to consider in many cases. Individuals who cannot grasp or create gestalts from language generally have difficulty with the concept of 'cause and effect.' If they are connecting to parts they are not able to comprehend the whole of a given situation. They may not appreciate the consequences of their actions and become frustrated with intervention that usually begins with language. The 'talking to' by parents or teachers may often be misunderstood."

Not only are the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes expanding their work with students directly in their four centers, they are available to help schools and programs develop ways to effectively work with learning difficulties within academic and/or emotional growth programs."

Copyright 1993, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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