Order the Updated SKILL Manual — 4th Edition with New Online Digital Materials

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The 4th Edition of Supporting Knowledge in Language and Literacy (SKILL) is an instructional program designed to improve critical language skills that are aligned with the core curricular standards

Please Note: If this order needs to be processed with a tax exempt number, please email skill@usu.edu for further processing.


As of December 2020, the SKILL Manual has been updated to a new edition (4th Edition).

Supporting Knowledge in Language and Literacy (SKILL) is an instructional program designed to improve critical language skills that are aligned with the core curricular standards.

Instructional lessons target knowledge necessary for meeting anchor standards related to Speaking and Listening, English Language Arts, and Reading Standards for Literature and Informational Texts K-5.

The program addresses the following anchor standards:

-identify main ideas and characters

-ask and answer factual and inferential questions about key details

-ask and answer questions about unknown words and words that highlight "feeling"

-retell and summarize stories with detail

-identify narrator, story elements (eg., character, setting, major events), character's goals and perspective

-compare and contrast stories

-understand and use questions words, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, coordinated and subordinated conjunctions, determiners, and elaborated noun phrases

-identify real-life connections between words and their use

The program has been used to improve language skills for children who are developing typically, who are at-risk for language problems, children with language impairments and/or who are learning English as a Second Language (ELL). Results of early stage clinical trials indicate that the program yields significant results when implemented in whole classroom, small group and/or one-one individual instructional contexts.

The program is well-specified and may be implemented by special educators, speech language pathologists, classroom teachers and ELL specialists.

5 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5

    Posted by Lorie Reese on Oct 21st 2019

    We have been implementing SKILL for several years district-wide with great success. We love the new SKILL-3 and its added features and materials. It is so reassuring as busy therapists to know we are providing contextualized, research-based, effective language intervention that directly targets core curriculum - with minimal prep time. We have found it to be far superior to older fragmented, decontextualized splinter skill approaches, which didn't tend to generalize or stick, resulting in less-effective therapy and frustrated kids and SLPs. We have also been thrilled with the unexpected positive treatment gains in related areas as a result of implementing narrative-based intervention: our students' writing, prosody, syntactic structures, vocabulary acquisition and retention, grammatical markers, and ability to engage in and remember longer and more complex narrative structures have all benefited greatly by learning cohesive language skills right in context. This framework highlights and reinforces the causal relationships between the story grammar elements, so students learn critical transferable skills like seeing patterns, making analogies and connections, and identifying sequential and causal relationships, all of which are essential to critical thinking skills across curricular subjects and life situations. This framework is supported by top-quality comprehension research, and yet is also very practical and easy to learn. Sandi Gillam has been extremely helpful and responsive in answering questions, helping with implementation, etc. as well which has been a huge benefit. As an SLP I always felt that when I pulled a student from their classroom setting, what I did should be at least as helpful as what they were missing out on, or they'd be even more behind when they went back. This approach gave me the confidence that I was really returning them to class better-equipped to access and participate in both their core curriculum and their daily interactions.

  • 5

    Posted by Alison on Apr 5th 2019

    I am really impressed by what I have seen in regards to the book and the extra resources available after purchasing this book. By adding videos it helps to clearly see SKILL in action. I can’t wait to start using it.
    Lovely people to deal with, and I get the impression that if I have any problems that I will get a response quickly.

  • 5
    Amazing program!!

    Posted by Sierra on Nov 5th 2018

    I love the new online material that is always available so that I am not ripping the pages out of the manual. I love that the instructions are easy to follow. The pictures are always fun and perfect for all of my students. I love that the lessons that be done one at a time if I have low time, or do several in a row!
    Also, having the goals for student IEP's based on the grade of the student is an amazing addition!

  • 5
    SKILL program

    Posted by Jennifer Gore on Sep 4th 2018

    Excellent detailed manual. Well researched. Great resource. Only thing that seems to be missing is the video resources referred to in the manual.

  • 5
    Strong program for narrative language development

    Posted by Amanda on Jan 11th 2018

    The program is a systematic and detailed approach to support narrative language development. All of the components (with the exception of some partner story books) are included within this book. I appreciate that each step is laid out, with specific language to use and recommendations for modifications/additional practice. The materials do take a little bit of time to organize in a useful way, but it is worth it to do! The included CD-ROM has materials that can also be loaded onto an iPad, which is exceptionally helpful for me, as I travel between multiple locations. I cannot provide extensive information about its success in implementation but there is research to support it!