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Speech and Language Differences

After hearing different consultants talk about Speech and Language, there is a difference!  I never thought of it like this!

1.  Language is made up of socially shared rules like the following:

  • What words mean (e.g., when a child sees the McDonald’s sign or Burger King, for example, through visual repetition, they soon know it’s time to eat just by seeing the sign and it is like reading being taught.  It’s like putting two and two together.
  • How to make new words (e.g., after much repetition of seeing a stop sign, they are creating new words to say.  Babies learn that sounds mahm, and ee refer to feeding time.)
  • How to put words together  That’s a significant step because everything we say is really just a stream of sounds to the child. To make sense of those sounds, a child must be able to recognize where one word ends and another one begins. “I want a cookie” and “I want a chocolate cookie,” not “Want I a cookie” or “I want cookie chocolate.”
  • What word combinations are best in what situations (“Big balloon,” Shirt wet,” “More juice,” “daddy car,” “McDonald’s hungry!”

2.   Speech is the verbal means of communicating and consists of:

  • Articulation:  The dictionary states: “The act or manner of producing a speech sound.”  It is the adjustments and movements of speech organs involved in pronouncing a sound. (e.g., children must learn how to produce the “r” sound in order to say “rabbit” instead of “wabbit”).  Other examples: “wed” for “red,” “thoap” for “soap,” “dut,” for “duck,”  “p ay the piano” for “play the piano”, “g een nake” for “green snake.”
    Voice:  Use of the vocal folds and breathing to produce sound (e.g.,“pencil” can produce nasalized—sounds more like an “m”) for “pencil.
  • Fluency:  The rhythm of speech (e.g.,Being smooth and continuing without hesitations or stuttering).

Here are some ideas with Group Auditory Games:

1.   Each child is given a paper with some type of object drawn on it like a dog, horse, and body.  They are instructed to listen carefully and follow the directions coloring one area at a time like color the head blue.  The goals include manual dexterity, distinguishing colors, and following simple directions.

2.   Ear training with a piano, rhythm band instruments, or drums help to distinguish notes that are alike, loud or soft, and how are they different.

3.   Ask children to name the loudest and softest sounds they can think of like whisper, “hello” or “loud clap.”

4.  Find pictures that illustrate sounds sounds (car, bell, train).


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