Oral Language Delays and Disorders
Language difficulties can affect both adults, as in the case of adults suffering from aphasia following a stroke, or children with language delays or language learning disabilities. A basic definition of receptive and expressive language is provided here. Speech-Language Pathologists treating individuals with language impairments typically undertake extensive assessment to pinpoint strengths and areas of need. Treatment depends on the nature of the impairment, severity of the disorder, and developmental stage.
Expressive language Skills
Expressive language refers to how a person formulates and expresses themselves verbally. It encompasses vocabulary, syntax/grammar, linguistic concepts, word-retrieval and numerous other aspects of expressive speech such as intonation and word stress. By grade three, the educational system assumes children have acquired the basics of oral language and all instruction from this point forward uses language as the main medium for learning.
Receptive Language Skills
Receptive language skills describe the comprehension of language. Comprehension involves adequate grasp of linguistic concepts, vocabulary, syntax and morphology, intonation and emphasis and the ability to hear and process individual speech soundsAreas of receptive language skills include: attention, receptive vocabulary, following directions, understanding questions and statements made by others, and the ability to request clarification if a message is not understood.
Links for Receptive and Expressive Language Impairment
Social Communication

Social communication is the term used to describe the way we use language to interact with others. We need to be able to empathize, or possess a ‘theory of mind’ of our communication partners in order to interpret messages and interact successfully. Although social communication can vary depending on our communication partners: e.g. family, friends, co-workers, these skills are critical for the formation and maintenance of meaningful connections with others.