An Interview with Diane Mautner, M.A., CCC-SLP: What are Word Flips -Spanish and what do we need to know about them?

Nov 23, 2012 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy –

  1. First of all, what exactly are “Word FLiPS” and who are they intended for?

Word FLiPS – Spanish is similar in format to other flip books.   It is a sturdy book cut into sections, in this case three sections.  Flip books are generally spiral bound to make them easy to use.  In the case of the Word FLiPS – Spanish book, it gives children the opportunity to say a target word three times, and then they flip the word cards over for the next word.

2.  I have Word FLiPS – Spanish in front of me – why did you construct this for Spanish-speaking children?

Super Duper Publications has a Word FLiPS book in English that has helped many children with their speech skills.  As a speech-language pathologist in California, my caseload consists mostly of Spanish-speaking children, and I saw a great need for a flip book with Spanish words.  The Word FLiPS – Spanish has already helped many of my students practice and say more.  For example, I work with one Spanish-speaking 2 ½-year-old client who has a vocabulary of about 8 to 10 words, but using the Word FLiPS – Spanish book, he produced 100 words in a one-hour session.

3.  You wrote and developed Word FLiPS – Spanish – tell me a little about your background and experience.

I am a speech-language pathologist with twenty years of experience as a speech and language specialist for the Los Angeles Unified School District.  My experience includes presenting on attention and memory at the California Speech and Hearing Association convention and presenting throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District on using music to increase language skills. I have written curriculum for both the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Disney English Language Learning Program, and I have created workbooks for the Cartoon Network and for Vox Box, Inc. I hold a certificate for “A” fluency in Spanish with the Los Angeles Unified School District, and for the last seven years, I have been providing in-home evaluations and intervention for young children.

4.  What ages is Word FLiPS – Spanish for?

Word FLiPS – Spanish is intended for 3-year-olds and above, but has been successfully used with 2-year-olds as well.

5. Why is it that some children have difficulty sequencing sounds?

There are many reasons why some young children have difficulty with sound production.  They may be slow to develop the coordination necessary for clear speech.   Other children may have articulation difficulties because of cleft palate/lip, Down syndrome, cognitive problems, or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

6. I see five tabbed word sections in Word FLiPS – Spanish – can you tell us about these five sections and why it is organized the way it is?

The five tabbed sections are used to organize groups of sounds according to how the first sound of each word is made in the mouth. Since speech sounds develop from the front of the mouth to the back, the words in the book are sequenced in that order. For example, the sounds for “b,” “p,” and “m” are called bilabial sounds, meaning the sounds are produced by the lips, so at the front of the mouth.  Linguidentals, “t” and “d,” are made when the tongue tip contacts the back of the top front teeth.   Alveolar sounds “s,” “n,” and “l” are also made with the tongue tip contacting the back of the top front teeth.  The sound for “s,” however, has a sustained release of air unlike “t” and “d” which are “stop and pop” sounds.  The sounds for “n” and “l” are also more sustained sounds. The sounds for “k” and “g,” which are also “stop and pop” sounds, are made when the back of the tongue contacts the back of the palate or roof of the mouth. The “ch” sound is also made with the tongue contacting the palate, but the sides of the tongue contact the insides of the molars. With this tabbed organization, the speech-language pathologist, teacher, or parent can have the child target very specific sounds.

7. Can a teacher or parent use this with their child?

Yes, teachers and parents can definitely use this book with their child.  Repetition is very important with children who have articulation, language, and/or phonological delays, and having teachers and parents reinforce skills is very important. Here in California, some of our local librarians are even using the book in their homework centers since the word is printed above each picture to reinforce vocabulary and reading in addition to sound production.

8. Can the book be used by children from or living in different Spanish-speaking countries?

Yes, it can.  The target words were carefully selected so that they had the same or similar meaning in a variety of Spanish-speaking countries.

9. Do you suggest particular strategies when working with young children using the Word FLiPS – Spanish book?

When working with preschool children, I recommend speaking slowly and using an animated or exaggerated presentation style when pointing to the picture and saying each word for the child.  Having older siblings or family members take turns with the child can also be very helpful when young children are practicing their sounds with the Word FLiPS – Spanish book.

Initially, have the child say each the same word three times. Once the child can say the same word three times clearly, the words can be “flipped” and mixed to go from repetition, like “Pepe, Pepe, Pepe,” to combinations with the same placement, like “Pepe, pie, puma,” and later to combinations across placements, such as, “Pepe, sol, Pepe” or “Pepe, sol, nene.” As always, consult with your child’s speech-language pathologist on appropriate strategies and sound combinations for your child.

10.  What have I neglected to ask?

For more information on Word FLiPS – Spanish, please visit www.superduperinc.com.  The Word FLiPS – Spanish product page includes samples from the book as well as a Show Me How Video with more information.

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