Eliciting language using sabotage

I know what you’re thinking…sabotage?! While the word sabotage is negative in nature, when used to promote language it can be a light and positive tool for professionals. Sabotage is a language strategy where the professional deliberately creates a problem or difficult situation for the student. Now that there’s a problem, the student has an immediate need to use language to make a comment or request. Your student can catch you making a mistake and get a kick out of telling you what to do! In order for sabotage to be lighthearted, try it out in situations where you know your student can be successful. View our latest Quick Tip video for more information on how to use sabotage in your classroom and then leave a comment below to tell us how it went!


Emily Humphrey served as a classroom teacher in the Anabeth and John Weil Early Childhood Center at CID – Central Institute for the Deaf. She also worked as a parent educator in the CID Joanne Parrish Knight Family Center (coaching caregivers of children ages birth to three with hearing loss).

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