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Professional Background:

Language is a special area of interest for Beth, and she has spent much time attending professional development courses/trainings, and reading research and textbooks on language development. She has experience working on language with people of all ages.

What is “language” anyway?

In Speech Language Therapy, we refer to language as what you say, not how you physically say it (speech sounds). Language therapy can be divided into two broad categories: receptive language (understanding) and expressive language (what you can say). Receptive language covers the areas of understanding of concepts, vocabulary, sentences, stories, and instructions. Expressive language covers the use of vocabulary, sentences (including simple and complex sentences), storytelling, use of grammar, and social use of language (e.g. use of polite forms, using language to negotiate).

Why is language so important?

Language not only enables us to communicate and connect with others, it is also vital for learning, problem solving/reasoning, and reading and writing. There is also a strong correlation between language skills and behaviour difficulties at school.

Does my child have a language delay?

It can be difficult to know what is normal when it comes to language development. Much of the time, if a child is unable to use complex forms we will not hear any errors – we will simply hear the simple language forms, as the child will avoid structures which their language systems cannot yet handle. Luckily, Speech Language Therapists have a variety of tools to assess language skills, such as standardised tests, conversational observations, and informal tests to draw out target forms.

I have written a basic blog post on language development, which you can read here…

If you have any further questions about language development please call Beth on 0273794967.