Receptive Language (Understanding Words And Language)

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Without receptive language, we would not be able to speak to one another effectively. People who have specific mental or learning disabilities often find it difficult to communicate or understand what others say because this ability is impaired. 

In this article, we will be discussing exactly what receptive language is and why it is crucial. More so, we will mention a few building blocks that are absolutely necessary when developing receptive language. 

What Is Receptive Language?

In short, receptive language refers to the ability of humans to understand words. This ability revolves heavily around gaining information, meaning, and data from routine (For example, after breakfast, we always brush our teeth), visual surroundings (For example, turning the light off at night means that it is bedtime), sounds, words, concepts, and written text. 

Certain children who have difficulty understanding oral language may seem to understand what we are saying. This is because they can gather information on what we are saying in various ways, such as through hand movements and registering specific words. 

Why Is Receptive Language Important?

As we have already mentioned, we would not be able to communicate effectively without receptive language. Children who struggle with this ability often find it very difficult to understand commands and respond appropriately to questions. 

When it comes to the school environment, some children may misbehave or struggle to pay attention for long periods. More so, school requires plenty of communication – for this reason, the students who have receptive language issues may battle when it comes to understanding the school work. 

What Are The Necessary Building Blocks To Develop Receptive Language?

  • Attention and concentration – this includes completing an activity without any distraction. People should be able to hold this sustained effort until they get the task done. 
  • Pre-language skills – these skills involve ways to communicate without using actual words (For example, facial expressions, eye contact, imitation, etc.)
  • Social skills – these skills refer to people’s ability to communicate and ‘fit in’ with others. In other words, it includes following social norms. 
  • Play skills – these skills include activities that we do for fun or enjoyment. People often feel self-motivated while completing these tasks as they may be goal orientated.  

Concluding Thoughts

Receptive language refers to the ability of humans to understand and register words. Without this ability, we would not be able to communicate with each other. Many students who struggle with receptive language will battle to pay attention in class, misbehave and fail to understand what is being taught to them. 

The building blocks required to develop receptive language include social skills, play skills, pre-language skills, and attention/concentration.

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