There is a critical difference between speech and language which is important to understand.
Language – this is split into 2 big areas
Understanding of language: This is sometimes referred to as receptive language or comprehension of language and these words can be used interchangeably but all refer to the same thing – information going into the brain and how the brain processes/deals with it - input. There are many different aspects of understanding language, such as understanding words, having good links between words, processing sentences, understanding the written word, but they all centre on understanding.
Expressive language: This is about how we use language, so it is the words and sentences that a child can say. So where understanding language is about input, expressive language is all about output. Again there are many different aspects; linking words together, forming sentences, word order, tenses and plurals to name a few.
Speech: You will also see this called phonology and it refers to the way a word sounds. Can the child make a good k sound? Are all their words produced with a d?
There is often overlap between these areas. Most children who have a difficulty with understanding language are likely to have expressive language difficulties but not all. Some children with speech difficulties will also have difficulties with expressive language but again not all. It is important to understand the difference as it changes how you support the child.
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The Care and Support Jargon Buster is a plain English guide to the most commonly used social care words and phrases and what they mean. The definitions are plain English rather than legal, and were developed and tested by a steering group that included people who use services, carers, representatives from local authorities, information providers and key stakeholders from across the social care sector.
The Care and Support Jargon Buster won a Plain English Campaign Award in 2013.