October 25, 2019

Annual CAEDHH-BC Conference



2019 Topic:

Language & Literacy Development

in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Learners

        Deadline to register: Oct. 16

        Space is limited, register early!


Sandra Laing Gillam, PhD, CCC-SLP

Erin Finton, EdM 

Sandra Gillam is currently a Professor in Communication Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University. Her research interests include evidence-based practices, assessment and intervention for language and literacy impairments, multi-cultural populations and processes involved in text comprehension. She has written numerous articles in these areas and has presented widely in the U.S. as well as in Canada, Chile, Kenya, Australia and Spain.  Sandi received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Memphis  in 2005 and was named the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year for the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education at Utah State University in 2008 and 2009. Dr. Gillam currently serves as the Principle Investigator on a grant from Institute of Education Sciences in the US Department of Education to develop a narrative intervention program for children with language impairments and children who are learning English as a Second Language. 

Find out more about the SKILL Program: http://www.eejecerc.usu.edu/news/skill.php

Erin Finton is a doctoral student in the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. She earned an Ed.M. in Adult Education from the University of Toronto and before coming to Boston, spent six years teaching developmental English to Deaf and hard of hearing students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. She studies language deprivation in adult populations and specifically looks at bilingual L1/L2 acquisition in Deaf adults. She is particularly interested in researching and developing curricula and interventions to remediate the effects of language deprivation past the critical period for language acquisition.

Find out more about Projects by the LexLab Program: http://sites.bu.edu/lexlab/projects/


Burnaby Central Secondary School, Burnaby BC

Our conference will be held in the conference rooms available at Burnaby Central. See you at the registration table inside the front doors!


 Erin Finton 

Morning Workshop #1: Language Deprivation and it Effects in the Classroom

 Details coming soon 

Afternoon Workshop #2: English Grammar Instruction through a Lens of Language Deprivation

Details coming soon  

Title of Seminar Presentation: 

Morning Workshop #1: Narrative Language Assessment

Afternoon Workshop #2: Narrative Language Interventions

Learning objectives: 

At the culmination of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Summarize the three phases of the SKILL narrative language intervention program.
  2. Discuss the key elements of the program and why it has a positive effect on narrative comprehension and production.
  3. Have basic knowledge about how to implement the program & monitor progress for students with language impairment


Outline of Program

 This workshop will describe a narrative instruction program called Supporting Knowledge in Language and Literacy (SKILL). The fully-manualized SKILL narrative instruction program consists of three phases: Phase I: Teaching Story Structure and Causal language; Phase II: Teaching Strategies for Creating a Situation Model; and Phase III: Teaching Strategies for Integration into Long Term Memory (Gillam, Gillam & Laing, 2014). Phase I procedures were designed to assist the student in organizing and constructing a “textbase” of information contained in propositions or meaning units across a story. Phase II activities are designed to teach linguistic structures, concepts, and vocabulary in more elaborate, complex stories.  The procedures in Phase II were designed to stabilize the student’s textbase representation and to foster the creation of a situation model for later integration into long-term memory. Phase III contains 12 lessons that give students multiple opportunities to retell, create, tell, edit and revise their own spontaneously generated stories with and without icon and graphic organizer support. The major focus of Phase III is to provide students with opportunities to develop independence in their understanding and use of narrative structure and oral language relevant to coherent stories (connecting terms, causal language, mental state terms). Additionally, lessons were designed to foster meta-cognitive skills necessary for students to judge the adequacy of their own stories.


Original wordless books are used to teach text structure and oral language supporting comprehension and production of stories. After these introductory sessions for each lesson are completed, children’s trade books are used to facilitate generalization of newly learned skills. Lessons progress in each phase, resulting in the use of literature-based activities that are closely aligned to the rigorous texts used in general education classrooms. Key components of the SKILL program described in this presentation include 1) the use of story structure models, 2) graphic organizers that represent critical story elements, 3) explicit instruction that highlights the use of literate language in the context of complex narrative discourse (e.g., Tier Two vocabulary, adverbial clauses), 4) discussions about comprehension and memory strategies, and 5) practice answering questions about, retelling, and creating stories.


In a series of single-subject, multiple-baseline studies and in a small-scale RCT, these instructional strategies have proven to be beneficial to children with developmental language disorders, children learning English as a second language, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  We are currently conducting a three-year, multi-site RCT to test the outcomes of the intervention and potential generalization to reading comprehension and writing.




Disclosure: Sandi Gillam is the author of Supporting Knowledge of Language and Literacy (SKILL), which will be described in this presentation.

8:00 am – CAEDHH-BC AGM

(all members welcome)

8:30 am – Registration Open

9:15 am – Welcome

9:30 am – Workshop #1 

Sandra Gillam – Narrative Language Assessment

Erin Finton – Language Deprivation and its Effects in the Classroom

11:30 am – Lunch 

12:30 pm – Workshop #2 

Sandra Gillam – Narrative Language Interventions

Erin Finton – English Grammar Instruction through a Lens of Language Deprivation

2:30 pm – Awards, Announcements and Closing Address 

3:00 pm – Dismissal 

*you will not need to register for individual workshops ahead of time but can chose the workshop you would like to attend on the day. 

Please bring your devices to participate in the workshops and feedback.

Free Wifi will be provided.

Morning and afternoon breaks will be decided by the presenters and shared at the beginning of the presentation. 

Registration and Membership can be purchased on the day of the conference by cheque. Please arrive early for registration however, your place can be reserved by registering online now. If conference registration is full, this will be noted on our website. Please check back often.