Verbal Behaviour at The Avenue School ​​​​​​​

Verbal Behaviour (VB) is an approach to teaching language based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). In 1957 Skinner wrote the book 'Verbal Behaviour'. It is an analysis of language using behaviour analytic principals and considers the behaviour of the speaker and the listener.

It is proposed that language is behaviour and can be explained according to the same environmental variables that explain all other behaviours, considering antecedents, consequences and its FUNCTION. 

Verbal behaviour incorporates all forms of language and means a pupil does not need to be able to speak to develop a functional mode of communication. A mode of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) may be identified to support pupils to communicate. 

Why do we use this approach?

- It is evidenced based 

- It puts the individual at the centre of their learning 

- It focuses on making learning motivating 

- It supports pupils to become resilient, independent, skilled and most of all EXPRESSIVE.

How do we use Reinforcement?

Reinforcement is personal and can change moment to moment. If a behaviour is reinforced it is more likely to occur in the future.

'Behaviour goes where reinforcement flows' (Aubrey Daniels, 2000)

What does this look like at The Avenue School?

Motivating sessions - Staff spend time building positive relationships with the pupils, creating engaging sessions that follow their individual motivation and includes personalised reinforcement. 

Teaching - There is a focus on teaching skills that are functional for the pupil. These bespoke targets will be represented in their targets. 

Behaviours 'Responses' of concern - We aim to identify the function of a behaviour 'responses' and teach an alternative or replacement behaviour. 

Verbal Behaviour is implemented through specialist teaching procedures and multi-agency input from Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Teaching staff and Behaviour analysts.