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What is language?

Receptive Language

Receptive language is the ability to understand or comprehend spoken or written language.  Children who have difficulty in receptive language might struggle to follow directions, identify items, or respond to questions.

Expressive Language

Expressive language is the ability to use spoken or written language.  Children who have difficulty in expressive language might struggle to use the correct vocabulary, formulate sentences, use correct grammar, or tell a story.

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The 5 Domains of Language

A student with a language disorder could present with difficulties in one or more of these areas.


Phonology is the study of "phonemes," or speech sounds, and the rules or patterns  used when combining them.


Morphology is the study of morphemes, which are the smallest parts of words that carry meaning, and how they are put together.


Syntax relates to the rules for formulating sentences.


Semantics relates to the meaning of words and combinations of words.


Pragmatic language refers to social communication, or how we change the way we communicate based on the setting, communication partner, and reason we are communicating.

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Language Resources

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