How To Write a Great Speech and Language Goal

A great goal includes 8 components and should be structured as follows:

By (1. reporting date), given (2. conditions), (3. client name) will (4. observable behavior) with (5. accuracy)(6. level of prompting/cueing)(7. consistency)as measured by (8. measurement).

1.  Reporting Date– is simply the date by which the student/client/patient will complete the goal; usually stated annually.

2.  Conditions- describe the “givens” that will need to be in place for the goal or objective/benchmark to be completed.

Examples: When given a choice of specific activities OR When given a graphic organizer OR when given a series of pictures, etc.

3.  Client Name– is simply the client’s name.

4.  Observable Behavior– describe what the client will do to complete the goal or objective/ benchmark.

Examples: will point and verbally label the item/activity OR will write a 3 paragraph essay OR will say prevocalic r in sentences

5.  Accuracy– describes the performance accuracy of the behavior needed for the goal and objective/benchmark to be considered mastered.

Examples: with 90% accuracy OR with 80% accuracy OR scoring 3/5 on a rubric, etc.

A note on mastery level-although we can write goals to be attained at 100% accuracy level “mastery” does not have to be 100% accuracy and can be considered at 80-90% accuracy in many speech/language contexts; alternatively the lowest attainable accuracy goal should be a minimum of 60% accuracy; writing a goal for 50% accuracy is meaningless as it is basically the same as chance.

6. Level of Prompting/Cueing

Is the individual to achieve the goal independently or are they allowed a level of prompting and/or cueing to achieve the goal? Indicate whether one needs minimum, moderate, maximum prompts or visual/verbal/kinesthetic/gestural cues; may also been written differently, e.g. “no more than 2 prompts/verbal cues”

7.  Consistency– describes how many times the behavior must be observed for the goal or objective/benchmark to be considered completed.

Examples: in 3 consecutive trials OR in 5 consecutive trials; research has indicated that 3 consecutive trials are sufficient.

A trial means an attempt. 3 consecutive trials does not mean 3 consecutive weeks, otherwise the goal would be written for 3 consecutive weeks. Each trial can have a set or stand on it’s own.

Note: Please use consecutive trials and not 4/5 trials as this is in itself a percentageand therefore lowers your accuracy rating. (80% accuracy in 3/5 trials is 80% of 60%)

8.  Measurement– describes who is measuring the goal and how it is being measured

Examples: as measured by client work samples OR as measured by therapist charted data OR as measured by therapist observation, etc.


By June 12, 2015, when asked to name pictures with r words, Janet will say prevocalic r words (e.g., ring) in sentences with 70% accuracy in 3 consecutive trials when given no more than 1 prompt during structured speech activities as measured by charted data.

Ideas for Speech and Language Goals can be found at the following websites:

Last but not least, when writing a speech and/or language goal always keep the individual in mind and customize the goal for him or her!