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Liven your sessions with voice-over practice!


Are you looking for a new activity to roll out in your social cognition sessions? Something to grab your students’ attention in those weeks coming up to everyone’s much-needed winter break? Conversation in Real Time (CRT) is a lively and effective way to work on conversation – and all the complexities that conversation includes.


The great thing about true conversation is that it is organic and spontaneous. We never really know where it will go, so we have to be flight of feet – ready to pivot if (when) our partner says something we didn’t expect. Conversation also incorporates timing, intonation, suprasegmentals, emotional expression, language formulation and discourse, affect-sharing, nonverbal communication and much more. But all that is wonderful about conversation also makes it challenging for many students with language and social cognitive challenges. CRT allows students supportive, confidence-boosting practice to build conversational competence.


All it takes to bring CRT into your sessions is a terrific animated video without dialogue! Start by watching the story and discussing feelings, thoughts, problems, solutions, and interactions between characters. You want students understanding the story before they step up to show their acting skills, so be generous using those stickie notes and thought bubbles! Then, explain to the students that they are going to make up what the characters might be saying. Assign roles. Remember, you don’t have to do the entire video – just a bit, or a favorite part is a good place to start. Then, turn down the sound (distracting) and hit record (students love to watch their efforts afterward) and then push play. Record the students as they attempt to provide that entertaining dialogue. Just remember – no script ahead of time. This is about spontaneity. Errors are to be expected, as is laughter.


It’s okay to use an animation with only one character. Then, the CRT will be about inner language. Listen for those MSV!


Here are some recommended animations to get you started – I suggest starting with some that are slower-paced, making it easier to keep up:




Whatever you are celebrating this season, I wish you all health and good cheer as 2021 transitions into 2022!


Do well. Be well.


Coming Up:


If it’s almost time for turkey, it’s almost time for ASHA! Whether you are attending in person or virtually, I hope you make time to watch my presentation with Maryellen Rooney Moreau (of Story Grammar fame and a real idol of mine!) Our presentation: Play. Pause. Think! Animations for Social Learning and Narrative Language & Thought will be available on their virtual platform. Maryellen and I always have fun together, so I hope you join us as we talk quite a bit about MSV.


https://convention.asha.org/schedule-and-program/program-planner/


Be sure to sign up for the live CPPEV Discussion and Q&A on Dec 11th! Purchasing? Remember your CONVERSATION coupon for 35% off


Looking Ahead to Early 2022:

I have 4 presentations coming up through Video Continuing Education, and 3 at CSHA – this year in-person (!) in Pasadena. Join me as we talk about:

  • It’s organic. It’s spontaneous. It’s complicated, It’s CONVERSATION!

  • Play2Practice: A Therapeutic Role-Playing Game as a Portal to Social Growth

  • Conversation in Real Time: Convo Practice Using Animated Videos

  • The Thinking Side of Social: The Role of Mental State Verbs in Social Success

  • Maca & Roni – Sharing Laughter & Social Learning with Superstar Characters

  • Helping Students Find Their Flex to Reduce Anxiety & Build Social Connections

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