Speech, language and communication play a vital role in our lives. Without being able to talk to, and understand other people we can’t do things like:
- Communicate with our families.
- Buy things at the shops.
- Watch television.
- Build relationships.
- Go to work.
Fortunately, most children do learn to communicate. Children develop communication skills from birth. They rely on speech, language and communication to be able to learn at school and play with their friends. They need these skills to reach their full potential.
- Learn to understand words, sentences and conversations. This is often called ‘receptive language’.
- Learn how to talk using words and sentences. This is often called ‘expressive language’.
- Know how to use their language socially. For example, listening as well as talking, or talking to a teacher differently than to a friend. This is often called ‘pragmatic language’.
- Say speech sounds correctly so they can be understood by others.
Children begin to understand words before they can say them. They then learn how to say these words and how to put them together to make sentences.
Children develop speech, language and communication skills at different rates. Some develop quickly, while others may take longer.