School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Barbara Jordan-White


Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Assistive Technology (AT), General Education Curriculum, Symbol Supported Communication App, Tablet


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research


The purpose of this study was to measure the influence of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with symbol-supported communication applications (apps) on stimulating kindergarten students to increase expressive language in the general education setting in an elementary school located in Washington, DC. The study sample size was 31 students. The research aimed to identify these tools as an effective strategy to assist kindergarten students in using more verbal language, thereby lowering the risk of communication frustration and increasing the expression of learned knowledge. Language data usage was collected by viewing speech acts as operators in a planning system, then integrating speech acts into plans by comparing the independent variable of the use of the symbol-supported communication app to the dependent variables of knowledge of words and word combinations, knowledge of grammar, supralinguistics (inferencing), pragmatics, and practical use without exposure to the AAC device with a dynamic display and symbolic symbols. The Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language tool measured expressive language growth. A quantitative quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest, nonequivalent comparison group design and a multivariate analysis of covariance using the pretests as the covariates measured the outcome. There was a statistically significant difference in the growth of posttest scores in the areas of knowledge of words and word combinations and knowledge of grammar. However, the students’ performance in the areas of supralinguistics and pragmatics did not experience any measurable growth. Future research should continue to validate and build upon the results of this investigation.