The Hierarchy of Prompting: Recasting and Extending

Prompting students with expressive language disorders is a great way to help them build their language skills.

Hierarchy of Prompting

But what are the best ways to prompt students to make the biggest impact without making it “a big deal” that they need the help?

It’s simple! It’s all about recasting and extending.

Recasting and Extending as Prompting Hierarchy

While there are a lot of complicated techniques and materials that can be used to help students with expressive language disorders, recasting and extending are two of the simplest, most effective strategies that can be used.

They require no prep and can be done no matter where you are when working with your student. They’re also easy enough that you can teach families how to implement them so that it becomes second nature to everyone who works with the child.

prompt hierarchy lead magnet

What is Recasting?

Instead of repeating exactly what a child says back to you, recasting is repeating the message but correcting it.

For example, if the child says: “Want pizza.” You would say, “I want pizza.”

Another example might be if the child says, “Dog got ball.” You would say, “The dog has a ball.”

In other words, you are repeating the crux of what the child is trying to communicate, but you are correcting it along the way.

This models how the statement should be phrased while also validating the comment and intention of the student’s communication.

What is Extending?

Extending is when you expand upon the thought that the student communicated. It adds additional language to extend and enhance the comment.

Using the examples above, if the child says “Want pizza,” and you respond with “I want pizza,” extending it might include “It is delicious!”

For “Dog got ball,” the recasting is “The dog has a ball,” and the extending is “He is very excited to play!”

Extending gives the student a model of additional thoughts that could go along with his original statement.

Why Use Recasting and Extending?

Unlike other strategies that require preparation and planning, recasting and extending allows teachers and families to use everyday authentic conversations as learning and modeling opportunities.

They support the student’s original thought and help build upon it so that the student feels heard, validated, and understood.

What are your favorite and most effective ways to prompt students with expressive language disorders? Share with us below! We would love to hear how you use recasting and extending or other prompting strategies!




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