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Skinner’s Verbal Behavior and its Relation to PECS 

1 hours, 45 minutes
2.0 BACB
Andy Bondy, PhD

“When I was in university, I asked my professor, ‘How do I teach language skills to kids?” and my professor gave me Skinner’s Verbal Behavior book. So, the answer is not exactly in the book, but it is ultimately in the book”

Andy Brody, PhD


Skinner looks at basic units of language and environmental relations in his book, Verbal Behavior. Understanding how these language units (verbal operants) are acquired helps learners master simple and complex parts of language. This course aims to describe core language functions, each defined by its functional relevance instead of a focus on form or mode of communication. Subtle changes in teaching complex verbal operants may result in significant differences in student learning, regardless of modality. Furthermore, Skinner’s analysis also shows why certain parts of language are so difficult for individuals with autism to learn which can be helpful with the application in the real world.   

Learning Objectives

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward 

  1. List and describe major characteristics of Skinner’s analysis of communication and language: 

  • Mand   

  • Tact  

  • Echoic  

  • Intraverbal  

  1. List and describe the key units of verbal analysis  

  1. List and describe pure and multiply controlled units  

  1. Analyze how Skinner’s analysis of private events and the subtle aspects of language help improve lessons for those with ASD   

  • The language of emotions  

  • Using the analysis in the real world   

  • For whom is verbal behavior helpful?  


This course is delivered through Florida Tech. Clicking "Enroll Now" will take you to Florida Tech’s website where you can Add to CartCheckout, and complete the course. Come back to our website for podcasts, blogs, courses, and content.


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