The Verb Networking (VNeST) workbooks

These two workbooks are based upon the VNeST (Verb Network Strengthening Treatment) approach developed by Dr. Lisa Edmonds, PhD, CCC-SLP. The goal is to activate verbs and their noun associates, emphasizing the connections between a verb and nouns that can serve as its agent (the one who performs the action) and theme (the one upon whom the action is performed).

SentenceShaper provides an excellent platform for this kind of treatment, because it helps users to construct full sentences, correcting and expanding them and playing them back as needed.

The 15 verbs used here are from other SentenceShaper workbooks, along with some light verbs like “have”*. For each verb, the user (1) creates three transitive sentences; (2) expands one with information about where, why, and when; (3) remembers and re-records the three sentences. Suggested subject and object nouns are played on the vocabulary cue buttons along the side of the screen.

*NOTE REGARDING “LIGHT” VERBS: We diverge from standard VNeST protocol in one respect: we include light verbs (such as “have” and “take”), and include less concrete usages of other verbs (for “catch”, possible objects include not just “the ball” but also “a cold”). This is because light verbs can play an important role in word-finding with SentenceShaper. The vocabulary cue buttons include several such verbs, because they can be used for circumlocution and, in specific contents, can help to suggest noun arguments. For example, the verb “make” does not have strong object associations, but in the context of food preparation for Thanksgiving, “make” may suggest “the turkey” or “cranberry sauce”. More generally, effective use of the program includes, for many people, a bootstrapping process in which they play a light verb or preposition on the side buttons and “listen for” word associations appropriate to the context.

The two workbooks are identical in all respects except one: in Level 1, the user sees the TEXT of the suggested subject and object nouns played by the vocabulary cue buttons. In Level 2, the text is hidden. Level 1 is provided for those users who need the additional support of visible text, but if it seems too easy then that user should start with Level 2.