Sunday, February 26, 2012

He said, She said---Learning Pronouns

  Here in Chapel Hill, we've had an influx of Burmese refugees from camps in Thailand.  The kids are totally delightful!  For them, however, the language and cultural differences make learning in American schools a bit difficult. A small percentage of the children also have exhibited developmental delays, so I work with one of these children on my caseload.  She has a long history of numerous health issues, along with a conductive hearing loss (better now due to tubes, but still a problem).  The health problems are ongoing and I'm not going to report on her entire history here.
    My role was to speed up her development of functional communication skills in English (after a few years in school here, she was still speaking in strings of single word messages with wonderful and complex intent--just no syntax to speak of, before I met her).   She and I have reached the point where she has learned how to use simple sentences, but still confuses pronouns---even the basics of 'he' and 'she'.  Maybe the Burmese language doesn't differentiate gender pronouns (? not sure really about this), but English does, so we took on this task of learning them--starting with He, She, and They.

 One tool I used was Tarheel Reader, where a very nice speech pathologist named AnnaSLP (that's as much as I know) created a pronoun book.  The book focused on He, She, and They, and, other than a few minor edits, was perfect for my student. I downloaded it, printed it, and she learned to read it and answer some questions about it.   To the left are sample pages.

 I was also able to make a copy of the book without most of the written words. I did leave some sentences on the initial pages, and a couple of pages with blanks where the pronoun would go.  We have worked on dictating and then writing the sentences to go with most of the pages using a present progressive sentence, and the correct pronoun.  The next step will be better generalization to conversation, but I feel my student now grasps the understanding of the three pronouns.  When given structured teaching and visuals, she was quick learner!

Writing the sentences

To get the pronoun book with words, go here.

To get the pronoun book without most of the  words,
go here.


  1. Thanks for sharing these great resources! I can't seem to download the pronoun book without most of the words...

    1. The link should be fixed now! Thanks for the feedback.