Setting Speech & Language Goals for the New Year: A Guide for Students

As we welcome the dawn of a new year, it's the perfect time for students to reflect on their progress and set meaningful goals for their speech and language development.

As my students get older, I like to start every session by asking them why they come to speech and what they are working on. This creates ownership and a better understanding of their goals so that we can work together toward mastery and eventually dismissal from speech services. The start of the new year is the perfect time for students to create their own goals for themselves. I am excited to share some insightful resolutions that can empower students to enhance their communication skills in 2024.

Communication Confidence

One key resolution for students is to build confidence in their communication abilities. Encourage them to actively participate in class discussions, ask questions, and engage in conversations with peers. By fostering a positive attitude toward communication, students can overcome inhibitions and develop the confidence needed to express themselves effectively.

Expand Vocabulary

Expanding one's vocabulary is a lifelong journey, and the new year presents an excellent opportunity for students to embrace this challenge. Encourage them to learn new words each week, explore synonyms, and incorporate these words into their daily conversations. A great place to start is by reading books or having parents read books aloud. A richer vocabulary not only improves communication but also enhances academic and professional success.

Practice Articulation in the Community

Refining articulation is a common goal for many students. Suggest targeted exercises and practice sessions to help them articulate sounds clearly at home and in the community. Emphasize the importance of self-awareness and encourage the use of speech tools, such as mirrors, to monitor and refine their pronunciation skills. 

Develop Active Listening Skills

Effective communication is a two-way street, and active listening is a crucial component. Challenge students to improve their listening skills by focusing on the speaker, asking clarifying questions, and summarizing information. This not only enhances their understanding but also strengthens their ability to communicate thoughtfully.

Utilize Technology for Speech Practice

In today's digital age, there are numerous apps and online resources designed to support speech and language development. Encourage students to explore these tools as a fun and interactive way to practice speech exercises, reinforce language concepts, and track their progress.

The new year is a blank canvas, offering students the opportunity for growth and achievement in their speech and language skills. By setting their own thoughtful goals and embracing the journey of communication development, students can pave the way for success — not only in their academic pursuits but also in their future endeavors. As Speech-Language Pathologists, let's support and guide our students in making 2024 a year of meaningful progress and accomplishment.


Author: Camryn Harwick, M.S., CCC-SLP

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. The content is based on the author's personal experiences, research, and opinions. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified professional or expert before making any decisions or taking action based on the information provided in this blog.

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