The High-Frequency Verb Library

A treasury of sentence-level functional verb resources with verbs in past, present and future tense forms

The High-Frequency Verb Resource Library

28 no-preparation, verb-based workouts using high-frequency verbs in present, past, and future tense at the sentence level

The more research we read, and the more we work with families, the more we find ourselves focusing on verbs (words like “put”, “do”, “make”, “fall”, “sleep”, “find”, “see”, "know", "break", "write", "throw" etc).

Some key facts about verbs (and why they are so important)
  • Verbs emerge later than nouns and are harder to acquire. Early nouns refer to concrete entities (e.g. "bear", "Mum"). But verbs are often about transient events (e.g. Gleitman et al., 2005).
  • Compared to children without language disorders:
    • late-talking toddlers have problems learning, remembering and using verbs (e.g. Widfuhr et al., 2002);
    • late-talking toddlers use dramatically fewer verbs – an average of about 3 compared with almost 46 for typically developing toddlers (Ellis Weismer et al., 2001); and
    • older children with a history of language disorders have problems using verbs correctly. For example, they often struggle with regular past tense verbs (e.g. “jumped“), irregular past tense verbs (e.g. “drew”, “fell”, “broke”, “went”) and auxiliary verbs (e.g. “have”, and "does") (e.g. Leonard, 2014).
  • Two-year olds with only a few verbs in their vocabulary are at an increased risk of language disorders (Olswang et al., 1998).
  • Verbs are essential for many word combinations and all sentences. A lack of verbs means late-talking two-year olds are less likely to combine words than 16-month olds with the same size vocabulary (Ellis Weismer et al., 2001).
  • Knowledge and use of different kinds of verbs may kick-start grammatical development (e.g. Tomasello, 2005). Researchers talk about verbs having a “privileged” role in sentence production (e.g. Bock & Levelt, 1994). A lack of verbs can prevent children from making complex sentences. This is why some therapy programs actively target verbs as a goal of speech-language intervention (e.g. Earle & Lowry, 2015).
  • Typically developing monolingual children should have around 26-29 verbs at 21 months; and 81-87 verbs at 30 months (Dale & Fenson, 1996, Jorgenson et al., 2010, Hadley et al., 2016). If a child has: fewer than two verbs at 24 months; fewer than 10 verbs at 27 months; and fewer than 46 verbs at 30 months, he/or she has a verb inventory smaller than that of children in the 10th percentile and may be at risk of a language delay (Hadley et al., 2016).
  • At 21 months, girls tend to have more verbs than boys. But boys tend to catch up by 30 months (Hadley et al., 2016).
  • Verb diversity can predict later grammatical complexity. A child’s spontaneous production of verbs at 24 months is a good predictor of the types of sentences he or she will be able to say six months later. Specifically, the diversity of verbs used is a better predictor of grammatical outcomes than common noun diversity (Hadley et al., 2016).
The High Frequency Verb Resource Library - available for instant access
Past, present and future. This Resource Library contains everything you need to start working on verbs in sentences with late talkers, preschoolers, young school-aged children and children with language and other learning disorders. Featuring Plain English research overviews of some of the latest research on verbs, as well as 28 fully scripted, no-preparation resources targeting high frequency verbs, this library can be downloaded or presented on electronic devices.
More than 650 pages of resources! No subscription needed. The whole library is yours for an affordable, one-off payment of US$75 - less than US$3 a resource!
In our busy speech pathology clinic, we use these tried and tested resources every day.
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Your Instructor

David Kinnane
David Kinnane

Known to many as Speech Bloke, David is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist, Lawyer, Author and Father. He is based in Sydney, Australia, where he helps adults and children with communication issues to speak for themselves.

David manages a busy private speech pathology clinic, and a publishing company for speech pathologists in private practice. He is the founder of Banter Speech & Language, and Speechies in Business. He is passionate about ethical practices and consumer rights and regularly guest lectures to speech pathology students and others on legal issues affecting the profession.

David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean's Scholar, ranking first in his graduating year. He is admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Hong Kong, and lived for 8 years in Hong Kong. David is a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification. He is a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the PreLit early literacy preparation program by MultiLit, the Spalding Method for literacy, and Voicecraft for voice issues.

Prior to becoming a speech pathologist, David was a senior lawyer at a US Investment Bank and, before then, worked for global law firms in Hong Kong and Sydney. He knows what it takes to communicate professionally and to compete in a globalised workforce.

Course Curriculum

  High Frequency Verbs
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