This course is a podcast episode

You can listen to this course for free on most podcast players (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, etc.). Once you have listened to the episode / course you can access the post-test and earn your certificate / ASHA CEUs using the links above.

Course Description and Learning Objectives

This just in! Students do better when they are engaged and motivated! Okay... maybe that’s not a newsflash for you, but perhaps you haven’t yet thought about the role of engagement and motivation in academics, specifically writing endeavors for students who struggle with language. In this week’s episode, Dr. Robin Danzak of Emerson College in Boston floods the podcast newswaves with her expertise on the role of “authentic” student writing intervention in school-based SLP practice. Tune in to discover why you should be thinking about writing (specifically “authentic” writing) as an SLP and how you can join forces with your fellow educators to integrate meaningful, dual-purpose, curriculum-based, writing interventions into your assessment and support practices. Got any comic book or video game fans on your caseload? You’ll get some great tips to further bolster your existing strength as an SLP in customizing interventions to meet your students’ unique needs and interests while fostering growth in language and literacy, simultaneously. As with many thought-provoking episodes in the Nerdcast library, you won’t take your ear off this one, and I guarantee you’ll leave inspired to weave writing into the fabric of your language intervention, and to spread the news across the virtual or physical break room!

Learn more about Robin here

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the value of “authentic writing” to promote student engagement, motivation, and sociocultural-linguistic identity. 

  2. Analyze a student writing sample for microstructural vs. macrostructural features.

  3. Connect writing goals to language and speech outcomes, as well as to grade-level curriculum and learning standards.

Course Presenters

SLP/BCBA; SLP Kate Grandbois (she/her) & Amy Wonkka (she/her

Kate and Amy are co-founders of SLP Nerdcast. Kate is a dually certified SLP / BCBA who works primarily as an "AAC Specialist." She owns a private practice with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, augmentative alternative communication intervention and assessment, and consultation. Amy is an SLP who also works as an "AAC Specialist" in a public school setting. Amy's primary interests are AAC, typical language development, motor speech, phonology, data collection, collaboration, coaching, and communication partner training and support.

Robin Danzak, Ph.D.

Robin Danzak, Ph.D., explores multilingual language, literacy, and the relationships among writing, culture, and identity of bilingual adolescents and adults. Through collaborative, qualitative/mixed methods, Robin engages participants in authentic text composition to promote language and literacy skills, self-expression, and participation. Robin is an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at Emerson College, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Speaker Disclosures

Robin Danzak Financial Disclosures: Robin is an employee of Emerson College.  Robin Danzak non-financial disclousres: Robin is a member of ASHA and the corresonding SIG 14. 

Kate Grandbois financial disclosures: Kate is the owner / founder of Grandbois Therapy + Consulting, LLC and co-founder of SLP Nerdcast.  Kate Grandbois non-financial disclosures: Kate is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children. She is also a member of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT), MassABA, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the corresponding Speech Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis SIG. 

Amy Wonkka financial disclosures:  Amy is an employee of a public school system and co-founder for SLP Nerdcast.   Amy Wonkka non-financial disclosures: Amy is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children.


Collins, G., & Wolter, J. A. (2019). Morphological awareness strategies to promote academic success at tier 1 through interprofessional collaboration. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 4, 781-789.

Danzak, R. L. (2011). Defining identities through multiliteracies: ELL teens narrate their immigration experiences as graphic stories. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 55, 187-196.

Harris, R. K. (2008). Powerful writing strategies for all students. Paul H. Brookes.

Kamhi, A. G., & Catts, H. W. (2012). Language and reading disabilities (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Moll, L. C., Amanti, D., Neff, D., & González, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into Practice, 21 (2), 132–141.

Schuele, C. M., & Boudreau, D. (2008). Phonological awareness intervention: Beyond the basics. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 39, 3-20.

Ukrainetz, T. A. (2015). Telling a good story: Teaching the structure of narrative. In T. A. Ukrainetz (Ed.), School-age language intervention: Evidence-based practices, pp. 335-377. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed. 

Westby, C. (2014). A language perspective on executive functioning, metacognition, and self-regulation in reading. In C. A. Stone, E. R. Silliman, B. J. Ehren, & G. P. Wallach (Eds.), Handbook of language and literacy: Development and disorders (2nd ed.), pp. 339-358. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

ASHA Position statement on Reading and Writing in Children and Adolescents:

Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD):

Comic Life Software:

Time Ordered Agenda:

10 minutes: Introduction, Disclaimers and Disclosures

20 minutes:  Descriptions of “authentic writing” to promote student engagement, motivation

15 minutes:  Descriptions of microstructural vs. macrostructural features

10 minutes:  Descriptions of writing goals to language and speech outcomes

5 minutes: Summary and Closing


The contents of this episode are not meant to replace clinical advice.  SLP Nerdcast, its hosts and guests do not represent or endorse specific products or procedures mentioned during our episodes unless otherwise stated.  We are NOT PhDs, but we do research our material.  We do our best to provide a thorough review and fair representation of each topic that we tackle.  That being said, it is always likely that there is an article we’ve missed, or another perspective that isn’t shared.  If you have something to add to the conversation, please email us! Wed love to hear from you!