Shape Coding is an effective system to help school-aged children improve their understanding and production of grammar. It was designed by Speech & Language Therapist Dr Susan Ebbels at Moor House School & College.

Originally it was developed for children and young people with language disorders but it also used elsewhere with younger children, children with hearing impairment, children with Autism, children with Down syndrome and adults with acquired aphasia to use grammar successfully to express themselves.

The system includes use of colours (parts of speech), arrows (tense and aspect) and shapes (syntactic and argument structure) to show the rules for how words are put together in a sentence, so that they are able to use grammar successfully to express themselves.

At Talk With Us, our therapists use Shape Coding frequently as part of therapy sessions to successfully teach children the following aspects of grammar:

  • Past versus present tense
  • Noun-verb agreement
  • Verb argument structure
  • Passive versus active sentences
  • Asking questions
  • Using conjunctions
  • Extending a child’s sentences
  • Teaching them vocabulary (such as naming words and verbs).
  • Developing their describing skills
  • Discussing feelings
  • Describing personality traits

The wonderful thing about Shape Coding is that it teaches the child without the child realising that they are learning the intracacies of language! The child can produce sentences in a variety of different ways. For example by discussing a picture, discussing a book read (in class or out), commenting on what they have heard or learnt in school and so on.

It is a similar system to Colourful Semantics but it is more extensive and detailed in the amount of complex grammar it can teach a child. Therefore it is usually taught instead of it or can be the next step up from Colourful Semantics.

For further information and to discuss whether this form of therapy would suit your child, please feel free to contact us.