Language

Language is the process of communication that allows the processing and understanding of verbal and written information as well as the ability to formulate and express one's needs, feelings, ideas and information in order to interact with others. Communication may be verbal, nonverbal (including body language) or quite often, a combination of both.

Language is probably the largest disorder area in which the speech/language clinician works. It is an area of concern for a large variety of students. Those students who may be delayed in initially developing their language skills, students with learning disabilities who may also have language deficits, students with cognitive delays who may have language learning deficits, students with neurological impairment who may also have some language deficits, as well as students who may have language difficulties resulting from a head injury or trauma.

Language can be divided into receptive language and expressive language. Receptive language is what is comprehended or understood. Expressive language is what is said or written. A language disorder exists when a person has significant difficulty in their receptive and/or expressive language abilities. A language disorder of comprehension and/or use of spoken, written and/or other symbol systems can involve one or more of the following language systems:

- FORM of language: phonology (sounds), morphology (word formation) and/or syntax (sentence formation)

- CONTENT of language: semantics (the meaning of a word or set of words, word relationships)

- FUNCTION of language in communication: pragmatics (social use of language - e.g. turn-taking, body language...)