Visualizing and Verbalizing -
For Language Comprehension and Thinking®
Princeton Speech-Language and Learning Center uses Nanci Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing For Language Comprehension and Thinking® Program. Nanci Bell has identified visualization as a primary factor basic to language comprehension and critical thinking. Language comprehension is the ability to connect to and interpret both oral and written language. It is the ability to recall facts, get the main idea, make an inference, draw a conclusion, predict/extend, and evaluate. It is the ability to reason from language that is heard and language that is read. It is cognition.
For many individuals, gestalts (defined as a complex organized unit or whole that is more than the sum of its parts) are not easily or successfully processed. Instead, “parts,” bits and pieces, facts and details, dates and names are processed but not the entirety of the concept. This language comprehension disorder underlies the reading process. The main idea cannot be discerned if only a few “parts” have been grasped. An adequate inference cannot be determined or an accurate conclusion drawn from “parts.” The gestalts are the entity from which the interpretive skills of identifying the main idea, inferring, concluding, predicting, extending and evaluating can be processed. It enables the reader or listener to bring meaning to what is read or heard.
If so critical, how does one create the gestalt? An answer: imagery. Readers or listeners construct mental models of the situation a writer or speaker is describing. This is the basis of language comprehension. There is considerable evidence in the field of both cognitive psychology and reading that supports imagery as a critical factor in language comprehension. For instance, Paivio (1971) demonstrated that imagery is one of two types of cognitive code. Also in the seventies, Kosslyn (1976) conducted a developmental study on the effects and roles of imagery in retrieving information from long-term memory. In two blocks of trials, first graders, fourth graders and adults were asked to determine whether or not various animals are characterized by various properties, first upon the consultation of a visual image and then without imagery. He reported that imagery provided the most opportunity for retrieval. The eighties gave us additional evidence when Wittrock (1981) stated, “…reading comprehension can be facilitated by several different procedures that emphasize attention to the text and to the construction of verbal and imaginable elaborations.” In a study of fourth graders, he noted “the generation of verbal and imaginable relations or associations between the text and experience increased comprehension approximately by fifty percent.” Anderson and Kulhavy (1972), Kulhavy and Swenson (1975), and Gambrell (1982) have found that “school-aged readers instructed to image while reading recalled more and made significantly more predictive inferences about the story events than did control group subjects.”
Many individuals have weak gestalt imagery that creates a commonality of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. They often display a range of symptoms including the following:
- Weak reading comprehension
- Weak oral language compression
- Weak oral language expression
- Weak sense of humor
- Weakness in following directions
- Difficulty with “cause and effect”
The Visualizing/Verbalizing® (V/V®) process is very powerful. Once developed, it enables the individual to: 1) image parts and gestalts form oral and written language, 2) recall and relate the imaged gestalts, and 3) reorganize and verbalize concepts, using the imaged gestalt as a reasoning foundation. This results in significant improvement in:
- Reading Comprehension: The Visualizing and Verbalizing® program enables the student to read material and comprehend it more than just recall. The student can generalize to the main idea, infer, conclude, predict, and evaluate from imaged gestalts.
- Oral Language Comprehension: The V/V® program enables the student to receive, organize and express language concepts. The student will respond to oral directions, humor, cause and effect relationships, and improve attention to oral language.
- Oral Language Expression: The V/V® program enables the student to receive, organize and express language concepts. The student is more able, organized, succinct and fluent in verbalization. Imaged gestalts are the foundation from which he or she verbalizes.
- Written Language Expression: The use of the V/V® program aids the student in writing skills. The student is more able to organize and structure the content of paragraphs and reports, due to improvement in oral language expression and awareness that writing creates images for the reader.
- Critical Thinking: The techniques embodied in the V/V® process aid in the development of critical thinking. The approach is based on inquiry. Once the student has developed an imaged gestalt for a concept, interpretive questions are asked regarding main idea, inference, conclusion, prediction, and evaluation.
Princeton Speech-Language and Learning Center is NOT Lindamood-Bell® learning Processes nor is it affiliated with, certified, endorsed, licensed, monitored, or sponsored by Lindamood-Bell®, Nanci Bell, Phyllis Lindamood or Pat Lindamood. Lindamood-Bell® - an international organization creating and implementing unique instructional methods and programs for quality intervention to advance language and literacy skills - in no way endorses or monitors the services provided by Princeton Speech-Language and Learning Center.
Let’s discuss how we can help. Schedule an appointment today. Call (609) 924-7080, email or contact us online.