Coined by B. F. Skinner, the concept of a verbal operant incorporates the principal communication skills developed by children to achieve specific goals at the early stages of their cognitive and behavioral development. As a rule, a child uses verbal operants to reach a very specific, concrete goal, such as obtaining a certain item or resource, such as a toy or food; therefore, verbal operants are used as tools for teaching children to ask for specific items to satisfy their immediate needs (Saracho, 2019). In order to teach a child to ask for a specific object that they may need, one should consider a simple verbal operant such as the following phrase: “I want a (specific item).” Alternatively, a sentence including a verb that indicates the desired action or the result thereof can be utilized for the described purpose: “I want to (a verb).”
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The phrases in question meet the requirements of a simple request modified as a verbal operant since they establish clear antecedents (for instance, in a phrase “I want a toy” the desire for a toy is stated), outline the behavior (verbal behavior states “a toy”), and the consequence with the direct reinforcement (the child receives a toy). Thus, the described model of verbal operants should be used to teach young children to ask for specific items that they need or demand the actions that will lead to the desirable results (Saracho, 2019). The specified verbal operants help to acquire the skills that are being taught to the target audience, particularly, the ability to voice their needs clearly. Therefore, the verbal operant under analysis will help young children to learn crucial communication skills swiftly.
Saracho, O. N. (Ed.). (2019). Research in young children’s literacy and language development: Language and literacy development for different populations. Routledge.