Increasing Language Skills of Students from Low-Income Backgrounds: Practical Strategies for Professionals

Second Edition

Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin

Details: 480 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-497-7

© 2013 | Available

For Instructors

Request 90 Day Exam Copy


Add to Cart

This book, now in its second edition, is a practical resource that helps speech-language pathologists, educators, and other professionals understand how poverty affects children's developing language and provides strategies that support these children and their families.

The author, a university professor and part-time itinerant speech-language pathologist in the schools, balances research and practical, "Monday morning" strategies for professionals who want to help low-socioeconomic status (SES) students from preschool through high school succeed in school and, eventually, in society.

The text presents up-to-date information about the "culture of poverty" and background information on factors impacting low-income children's language skills. It goes on to provide practical strategies for nonbiased assessment, intervention, structuring the school environment, and working with families.

Helpful new features in the second edition include:

  • Chapter highlights at the end of each chapter
  • References to many new research studies
  • Content grounded in principles of evidence-based practice
  • Practice recommendations based in research from a variety of disciplines, such as social science, speech-language pathology, neuroscience, and education
  • New case studies of the author's actual clients

The second edition includes much more information about serving homeless students, including mitigating the effects of chaos through increasing executive functioning skills. The author works directly with homeless people on the streets and therefore includes a broad-based (hands-on and research) perspective about meeting the unique needs of this population.

The second edition contains new information about using Response to Intervention (RtI) to serve low-SES students in general education classroom settings. Updated technology recommendations (e.g., using iPad and YouTube technology) are presented. The section on increasing the literacy skills of low-SES students has been expanded, as well.

In sum, the second edition of Increasing Language Skills of Students from Low-Income Backgrounds is a must-have for any professional who serves students and their families from low-SES backgrounds.


1. Introduction to Poverty: Variables Affecting Students' Performance

Definitions and Demographics of Poverty
Physical and Psychological Effects of Poverty
Prenatal and Birth Issues
Hunger and Malnutrition
Overall Brain Development
Basic Safety Issues
Access to Health Care
Environmental Issues
Instability and Chaos
Hearing and Vision
Emotional Atmosphere of the Home
Understanding Children and Families from Backgrounds of Situational and Generational Poverty
Chapter Highlights

2. Language Skills and Behavioral Characteristics in Children of Families of Low Socioeconomic Status

Factors Affecting and Characteristics of Oral Language Skills of Low-SES Children
The Research of Hart and Risley
Follow-up Research on Hart and Risley: Greenwood and Colleagues
Other Factors Affecting Oral Language Development of Low-SES Children
Job- and Environment-Related Communication Styles
Parental Attitudes Toward Oral Language Stimulation
Factors Affecting and Characteristics of Literacy Skills of Low-SES Children
Material and Psychological Resources
Phonological and Print Awareness Skills
Behavioral Characteristics of Some Children from Low-SES Homes
Chapter Highlights

3. Considerations in Assessment of the Language Skills of Students from Low-SES Backgrounds

Laws Affecting the Assessment of Children from Low-SES Families for Special Education
Response to Intervention Preliminary Components of the Assessment Process
The Case History
The Use of Standardized Tests
General Considerations in Using Standardized Tests with Students from Low-SES Backgrounds
Formal Test Assumptions
Sources of Bias in the Use of Standardized Tests with Culturally and ::Linguistically Diverse Students from Low-SES Backgrounds
Modifying Standardized Tests for Use with Students from Low-SES Backgrounds
Language Samples
General Considerations
Informal Evaluation of Language Use
Other Alternatives to Standardized Assessment
Legal Considerations
Dynamic Assessment
Portfolio Assessment
Assessment of Information Processing Skills
Chapter Highlights


4. Practical Strategies for Increasing the Oral Language Skills of Children from Low-SES Families

Stimulating Infant Language Development
General Principles
Using Books with Babies
Stimulating Language Development in Toddlers and Preschoolers
The Importance of High-Quality Preschool Experiences
The Importance of Appropriate Training for Early Child Care Providers
Practical Strategies for Increasing the Language Skills of Toddlers and :Preschoolers in Natural Settings
General Principles of Successful Language Stimulation with Young Children
Specific Incidental Learning/Milieu Teaching Techniques to Encourage Language :Development
Increasing Vocabulary Skills
Practical Strategies for Teaching Formal Language Register in Naturalistic Settings
Increasing Language Skills in Formal Register
Increasing Grammatical Language Skills in Formal Register
Increasing Pragmatic Language Skills in Formal Register
Chapter Highlights

5. Practical Strategies for Increasing the Literacy Skills of Students From Low-SES Backgrounds

Optimizing Book Reading Experiences for Young Children
Increasing Early Preliteracy and Literacy Skills: Evidence-Based Strategies
Basic Principles
Increasing ChildrenÂ’s Phonological Awareness Skills
Increasing Print Awareness Skills
Additional Strategies for Enhancing Early Literacy Skills
Enhancing Literacy Skills in the Elementary Years and Beyond
Increasing Vocabulary Skills for Reading Success
Providing Assistance for Students from Low-SES Backgrounds with Other Written :Language Challenges
Chapter Highlights

6. Structuring the School Environment for Optimal Performance of Students from Low-SES Backgrounds

Current School Conditions and Attempts at Reform
Attempts at School Reform
Current Conditions in Low-SES Schools
Teacher Preparation and Developing Professionalism
Integrating Schools by Students' Socioeconomic Status
School Enhancement: Providing Supportive Programs and Relationships for :Students from Low-SES Backgrounds
Parallel Education Systems
All Day Kindergartens
Implementing the Arts
Providing Supplemental Programs
Opportunities for Schools to Connect with Community Resources
Serving Gifted Students From Low-SES Backgrounds
Chapter Highlights

7. Practical Strategies for Enhancing Learning, Motivation, and Self-Esteem in Low-SES Students

Enhancing Learning: Optimizing the Environment
Practical Strategies for Enhancing Whole-Brain Learning
Reducing Stress
Increasing Memory Skills
Contextualizing Language for Children from Low-SES Backgrounds
Children from Low-SES Families and Language Learning in School
Increasing Contextual Cues to Enhance Learning
Dealing Constructively with Students from the Culture of Resistance
Enhancing Self-Esteem and Motivation: Providing Appropriate Learning Incentives
Increasing Student Independence and Self-Direction
Basic Principles
Implementing the Equity Game
Emphasizing Effort Over Ability
Utilizing Multiple Intelligences
Chapter Highlights

8. Poverty and Highly Mobile Populations: Mitigating the Impact of High Mobility and Chaos

Chaos: Definition, Characteristics, and Impact on Students
Characteristics and Impact of Disorder
Characteristics and Impact of Turbulence
Chaos: General Impact on American Children
High Mobility and Chaos: Specific Impact on Schools and Classrooms
Special Considerations in Serving Migrant Students
Serving Students Who Are Homeless
Introduction and Demographic Data
Specific Characteristics and Needs of Homeless Students and Their Families
Practical Strategies for Supporting Homeless Students and Their Families
Increasing Executive Functioning Skills in Highly Mobile Students Impacted by Chaos
Definition and Basic Facts
Practical Strategies for Increasing Executive Functioning Skills of Highly :Mobile Students
General Strategies
Developing a Sense of Structure, Routine, and Time Concepts
Learning Classroom Routines and Scripts
Self-Reflection and Planning: Taking Responsibility for Choices and ::Consequences
Chapter Highlights

9. Considerations in Working with Families of Students from Low-SES Backgrounds

Low-SES Families: Cultural and Social Capital
Low-SES, CLD Families: Special Considerations in Service Delivery
Some General Considerations
Providing Services for Students and Families from Immigrant/Refugee ::Backgrounds
Language and Literacy Practices in CLD Families: Facilitating an Optimal ::Language Learning Environment for Children
Facilitating Overall Involvement of CLD Families in Children's Education
Possible Value Conflicts Between Low-SES Families and Middle-SES Professionals
Facilitating Foundational Support Services for Low-SES Families: Practical :Suggestions
Supporting Low-SES Families in Meeting Basic Needs
Supporting Children from Homes Characterized by Abuse or Neglect
Helping Caregivers Provide a Supportive Home Atmosphere
Chapter Highlights

10. Some Words of Encouragement


Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin

Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, received her doctorate from Northwestern University. She is a Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at California State University, Sacramento. Dr. Roseberry is also currently a part-time itinerant speech pathologist in San Juan Unified School District, where she provides direct services to students from preschool through high school. She has worked in educational and medical settings with a wide variety of clients ranging from preschoolers through geriatric patients. She serves homeless persons in her community through direct work on the streets.

Dr. Roseberry's primary research interests are in the areas of assessment and treatment of culturally and linguistically diverse students with communication disorders as well as service delivery to students from low-income backgrounds. She has over 70 publications, including 15 books, and has made over 300 presentations at the local, state, national, and international levels. Dr. Roseberry is a Fellow of ASHA and winner of ASHA's Certificate of Recognition for Special Contributions in Multicultural Affairs. She received the national presidential Daily Point of Light Award for her volunteer work in building literacy skills of children in poverty. She lived in the Philippines as the daughter of Baptist missionaries from ages 6 to 17.

Learn More

Improving Educational Outcomes of Vulnerable Children

First Edition

Floyd D. Beachum, Festus E. Obiakor

Details: 287 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-982-8

© 2018 | Available

Improving the Vocabulary and Oral Language Skills of Bilingual Latino Preschoolers: An Intervention for Speech-Language Pathologists

First Edition

Vera Gutierrez-Clellen, Gabriela Simon-Cereijido, M. Adelaida Restrepo

Details: 136 pages, B&W, Spiral Bound + CD, 8.5 x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-519-6

© 2014 | Available

Language Disorders in Bilingual Children and Adults

Third Edition

Kathryn Kohnert, Kerry Danahy Ebert, Giang Thuy Pham

Details: 375 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-189-6

© 2022 | Available

Culturally Responsive Practices in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Second Edition

Yvette D. Hyter, Marlene B. Salas-Provance

Details: 448 pages, B&W, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-650-1

© 2023 | Available

Grammar and Syntax: Developing School-Age Children's Oral and Written Language Skills

First Edition

Monica Gordon-Pershey

Details: 383 pages, B&W, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-94488-355-3

© 2022 | Available