Expressive and Receptive Language

  • Language


    The best way to improve receptive and expressive language in young students is through READING!

     Improving literacy skills will improve language skills, and vice versa; Improving language skills will also improve literacy skills.

    Here are some ways to increase literacy and language skills with your child:  


    1. Read to your child every night, or as often as possible.

    2. Stop after every page and TALK!

    3. Use our helpful bookmark checklist and sentence strips!

    4. Read through the file at the bottom of this page to find helpful hints on improving language skills durng everyday situations.


    What do I talk about?

    - TALK about what is happening and what is going to happen.  


    - ASK QUESTIONS: For additional practice of WH questions Click Here!

    Expressive: Ask your child who, what, where, when and why questions. Encourage your child to form a complete sentence using 3-5 words. If they have difficulty forming a sentence or using the appropriate grammar, model it for them and have them repeat what you say.

    Receptive: Ask your child who, what, where, when and why questions. Have them point to the appropriate pictures.


    - Improve VOCABULARY:

    Expressive: Name everything you see in the pictures.

    Receptive: Have your child point to things you name.


    - Improve undertanding of CONCEPTS/DESCRIBING skills:

    Expressive: Choose a word to describe, especially if it is a new word or one that your child is not familiar with. Describe the color, shape and size. Describe the feel and function (what does it do? or what do we do with it?). Describe where we find it and what parts it has.

    Receptive: Describe a word or object (from the pictures) to your child, and have them point to the word/object you described.


    What if my child has difficulty with these tasks?

    - Start with the receptive activities first. These are often easier than expressive activities.

    - Have your child look at the pictures to help find the answer.

    - Give your child a choice between 2 answers and see if they can choose the correct answer.

    - Model the correct answer for your child and have them repeat what you say.


    **Watch for grammar errors and model the correct sentence for your child. For example,

    Child: "Her is walking."

    You: "No, she is walking. You say it like me."

    Child: "She is walking."

    You: "Yes, she is walking."




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