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Speech and Language Definitions

Many parents assume that talking is all about the words that come out of their child's mouth. Actually, there is a lot more that happens before your child produces his or her first words. I'd like to clear up any confusion by defining some of the terms that are used with regard to speech and language development. Language is different from speech (

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a method of human communication (Oxford Dictionary) A system of communication; a formal system of signs and symbols that is used to carry information; does not have to be spoken: socially shared set of rules; including the meanings of words,

Expressive language

the ability to share thoughts, feelings, needs or ideas using a formal system

Receptive language

understanding the thoughts, feelings, ideas and needs of others using a formal system


the physical production of words; the verbal means of communicating; the ability to talk; pronunciation of words and sentences   

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