Agency as a construct for guiding the establishment of communication-friendly classrooms

Rebecca M. Alper, Karla K. McGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Educators face the challenge of creating classroom environments that are physically, socially, and didactically 'communication friendly' for children with diverse communication needs and differences. In this article we propose that (1) communication and the development of agency are bi-directionally linked and, therefore, (2) the promotion of agency through physical and social-didactic strategies will support the establishment of communication friendly classrooms. We draw upon evidence from the developmental and intervention literatures to illustrate the relationship between communication and agency. Further, we provide examples of specific strategies for promoting a child's agency through physical and social-didactic approaches in the classroom. These strategies are applicable to children with varying communication needs, differences, delays, and/or disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalChild Language Teaching and Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Agency
  • classroom
  • communication-friendly
  • scaffolding
  • speech-language therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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