Frequently Used Speech and Language Terms – What is what?

Psychologist Helping Little Girl Speech Therapy Indoors

Receptive Language

Receptive language is a person’s ability to understand language. This includes understanding of words and sentences, understanding of basic concepts, following directions, and understanding stories. 

Expressive Language

Expressive language is a person’s ability to express thoughts and ideas. It includes vocabulary/types of words used, length of sentences, grammar, and the content of the message. Expressive language can be utilized in a variety of ways including: gestures, picture symbols, communication devices, verbal approximations, and verbal/mouth spoken words. 


Pragmatics refers to the social use of language, which involves the way we use language in our everyday routines to effectively communicate with others. 

Speech Sound production

Speech sound production refers to the process by which a person produces the sounds in words, sentences, and conversation to talk using their vocal system.This process involves the coordination of the respiratory, phonatory, and articulatory systems in order to create speech sounds.