Language Development

Understanding and using language is important to successful communication. As understanding develops, a child’s vocabulary grows, and they further develop their understanding of the world around them. The great their vocabulary, the more able they are to express themselves. Language skills are also important to literacy development. If a child struggles to understand and use language they are likely to find it difficult to read and write words and sentences.

Understanding language includes a range of different skills:

  • Understanding vocabulary and concepts
  • Understanding the structure of sentences
  • Understanding questions
  • Understanding stories (spoken and written)

A child with difficulties understanding language may:

  • Not respond appropriately to instructions at home or in educational settings
  • Not respond to questions or requests
  • Demonstrate poor attention and listening
  • Have difficulties keeping up with the learning in the classroom
  • Give unusual answers to questions
  • Need instructions to be repeated before being able to carry it out
  • Demonstrate disruptive behaviours

 Spoken language includes a range of different elements:

  • Vocabulary
  • Ability to join words together
  • Grammar
  • Sequencing of ideas

A child with difficulties with spoken language may:

  • Not use many spoken words
  • Not join words together
  • Miss words from sentences
  • Not use words in the correct order
  • Use incorrect word endings e.g. verb tenses and plurals
  • Use the wrong words for things

If you’re worried about your child’s understanding or use of language, please get in touch for a no-obligation telephone consultation. We are able to offer advice, assessment and therapy to children to support a range of difficulties with language development.


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