Expressive Language Difficulties
Expressive language difficulties can be complicated but you could notice that the CYP has difficulty making full sentences - they may find the word selection hard. the CYP may also find using the correct word endings with plurals and tenses and could find sequencing their ideas or chronological events.
Diagnosing Expressive language is usually done by a speech and language therapist; speak to the SENCo if you have concerns.
Seems immature with language
Repeat back what the CYP has said, modelling the correct pronunciation, word form or sentence structure. It is unnecessary to ask the CYP to repeat the correct form after you; what is important is that they hear the correct form.
Help CYP connect new words and information to pre-existing knowledge.
Use excessive gesturing to explain things
Encourage CYP to slow down and reduce hand gestures but do not discourage using them completely
Ensure that the CYP is aware of personal space
Slow to express themselves
Be patient when the CYP is speaking; not rushing a CYP who has expressive language difficulties will reduce frustration levels.
To facilitate CYP's’ speech intelligibility and expressive language skills, encourage them to slow down while speaking and face the person that they are communicating with
Omits words like ‘is’ ‘a’ ‘and’ word endings ing, ed and plurals
Repeat back what the CYP has said, modelling the correct construction, including the words omitted. It is unnecessary to ask the CYP to repeat the correct form after you; what is important is that they hear the correct form
Explicitly teach the past tense and make games from pronouncing them correctly
Ensure that the CYP does not omit these words when reading
Struggle to retell events in sequence
Use pre-planning strategies for oral and written tasks. Talk out the CYP's story or ideas first. Then help the CYP organise thoughts by creating a task outline. Write out the ideas the CYP wants to discuss in his or her story. Cue the CYP to look at the “outline,” to verbalise what they want to say, and then to write it down
Use visuals, symbols or photos to help CYP organise and communicate their thoughts
Practice sequences and the use of time order words / phrases or transitional phrases
Word retrieval difficulties
Help build the CYP's vocabulary by creating opportunities for focusing on language processing skills, such as sorting and grouping, similarities and differences.
Provide the CYP with choices of correct grammar, sentence structure or word choice to help them process the correct form or word to use. For example: “Is it a giraffe or an elephant?”, “If it’s a boy, is it he or she?"
Class discussions and group work difficulties
Use visuals to support expressive language skills
Pictures or written cues can be used to prompt the CYP to initiate a phrase within a specific situation or activity
Allow access to key words that may be needed
Provide descriptive feedback for CYP when the message is not understood. For example: “It wasn't slow enough, I didn’t understand where you said you were going after school.”
Allow CYP to self monitor - encourage them to see where the expressive language difficulties lie