Choosing pictures for discourse sampling

Maria L. Munoz, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Founder and Contributing Author, Recipe SLP
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As Hispanic Heritage Month draws to a close, I thought I would highlight the work of Carmen Lomas Garza. Her paintings are beautiful depictions of scenes familiar to many Latinos. Scenes depicting family gatherings, community events, tamale making, pinata breaking, and healing practices will strike a cord with individuals who grew-up in traditional Latino homes.  I have often used pages from one of the “children’s book” to elicit narratives from our Spanish speaking adults with aphasia.

When choosing pictures to elicit discourse sample, it’s important to choose scenes familiar to the client. Familiar scenes tap long-term memory and engage established schemas thus providing cognitive support for language. Familiar scenes and themes result in richer language samples and will help you capture the client’s best efforts. If you aren’t sure about the client’s cultural experiences or interests, keep a set of pictures handy and let the client pick the one(s) that that he/she wants to talk about.


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