Unit 3: Assessment of Language & Communication

3.1 Communication: Concepts and types(Linguistic vs Non Linguistic)

3.2 Receptive and Expressive Language: Concept, Types (verbal and manual) and Structure

3.3 Developmental milestones in typically growing children; Impact of deafness on Communication and language with reference to clinical (type, degree, onset) and environmental (parental participation, access to language early intervention services) factors

3.4 Assessing communication and language: Developmental checklists, Scales, Standardized tools and assessing language samples using parameters of measurement (productivity, complexity, correctness and communicativeness)

3.5 Identification of needs related to communication and language









3.1 Communication: Concepts and types (Linguistic vs Non Linguistic)


The English word ‘communication’ is derived from the Latin communis, which means common sense. The word communication means sharing the same ideas. In other words, the transmission and interaction of facts, ideas, opinions, feelings or attitudes. Communication is the essence of management. The basic function of management (planning, planning, staffing, supervision and management) cannot be done effectively without effective communication.

Communication is a two-way process which involves transferring of information or messages from one person or group to another. This process goes on and includes a minimum of one sender and receiver to pass on the messages. These messages can either be any ideas, imagination, emotions, or thoughts.


Communication is a Latin word which means “to share”. There are different modes of communication available today. These include emails, chats, WhatsApp, skype (conference calls), etc. Effective communication makes people’s work easier and smooth. 


Communication Process

Communication is an ongoing process that mainly involves three components namely. sender, message, and recipient. The components involved in the communication process are described below in detail:

1.     Sender:

The sender or contact generates the message and transmits it to the recipient. He is the source and the first contact

2.     Message:

It is an idea, knowledge, opinion, truth, feeling, etc. produced by the sender and intended for reference.

3.     Encoding:

The message produced by the sender is encrypted in a symbolic way such as words, pictures, touches, etc. before transfer.

4.     The media:

This is how the coded message is conveyed. The message can be conveyed orally or in writing. 

5.     Recording:

It is a process of modifying the signals sent by the sender. After recording the message is received by the recipient.

6.     Recipient:

You are the last person in the chain and the message you sent was sent. If the recipient receives the message and understands it correctly and acts on the message, only then the purpose of the communication is achieved.

7.     Answer:

Once the recipient confirms to the sender that you received the message and understood it, the communication process is complete.

8.     Noise:

Refers to any restrictions caused by the sender, message or recipient during the communication process. For example, incorrect telephone connection, incorrect coding, incorrect recording, careless recipient, incorrect understanding of message due to discrimination or inappropriate touch, etc.


Types of Communication

Verbal Communication and Non-Communication

Verbal communication: 

Communication occurs through verbal, verbal or written communication that conveys or conveys a message to others is called oral communication. Verbal communication is the use of language to convey information verbally or in sign language.Verbal communication is important because it works well. It can be helpful to support verbal Non-verbal communication Any non-verbal communication, spoken words, conversation and written language ​​is called.


Non-verbal communication: 

It occurs with signs, symbols, colors, touches, body or facial features. Insignificant communication is using body language, body language and facial expressions to convey information to others. It can be used both intentionally and deliberately. For example, you may have a smile on your face when you hear an idea or a piece of interesting or exciting information. Open communication is helpful when you are trying to understand the thoughts and feelings of others.


Mode Of Communication

·       Formal Communication:

Formal Communication refers to communication that takes place through legal channels in an organization. That kind of communication takes place between managers or employees of the same class or between high and low and vice versa. It may be oral or written but a complete record of that communication is kept in the organization.


·       Informal Communication:

Informal communication is defined as any communication that occurs outside of the official channels of communication. Informal communication is often referred to as the ‘vine’ as it spreads throughout the organization and on all sides regardless of the level of authority.


Defining Language

The use of gestures, symbols, vocal sounds, and other signals to communicate does not, in and of itself constitute language.

The use of gestures, symbols, vocal sounds, and other signals to communicate does not, in and of itself constitute language. Communication and language are different but strongly related. Language is the "communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols," (American Heritage, 2000).  When we say a person is using language, we mean that he is using in a rule governed communication system to represent his thoughts and feelings to members of his community that share his language.

Communication and language are different. Language helps you to communicate. Language enables the mind to compress and efficiently manage thoughts, then it serves as a vehicle to transport those thoughts out of the mind and into the world.

Communication is a broader concept than language. The purpose of language is to provide one of the essential elements needed for communication, but communication is the goal. (Finnerty, 1991) Language is a vehicle, communication is the destination.

As language may not always be used to communicate, so also communication may be possible without necessarily using spoken language. For example sign language. Deaf and dumb people have their own non-linguistic code (gestures and hands signs) to express themselves or to communicate with one another. The linguistic key is the tone, manner or spirit in which an act is performed. Linguistic communication differs from non-linguistic communication. For communicating linguistically, the whole language is available. Sometimes one can communicate in even more than one language, whereas the choices are limited for a non-linguistic communicator, such as, facial expressions, signs and gestures, movements of hands etc. An interesting point here is that even linguistic communication is accompanied by certain elements of non-linguistic communication. While talking a speaker often uses facial expressions and hand movements to convey his message with greater force or more elaborately. This also gives the listener an idea about the speakers mood and attitude.



We mostly use language in order to communicate with others. Here we shall analyze in detail some of the components of communication.

The participants (speaker and listener)

In every communicative situation there have to be at least two participants, the speaker, (sender of the message) the one who transmits a message and the listener (the receiver of the message). There are indeed events which have only one human participant e. g. in prayers. However, these are unusual situations and do not come within the purview of normal linguistic communication.

Channel or medium of communication.

Channel means the medium of transmission of speech” which includes written, semaphore, telegraphic etc. lira situation where the Speaker and the listener are talking face to face, the sound waves produced by the air, act as the channel or medium of communication. But this is not always the case. Sometimes the speaker and the listener are at a distance from each other, they are not at the same place, e.g. they may be talking on phone. In such a case the sound waves are not travelling through the air Instead telephone wires arc carrying the message. In case of a written message it is the paper on which the message may be recorded.

Setting and Topic of Communication.

Setting and topic play a vital role in the communication process and decide the mood and the kind of language to be used. For example, consider a person visiting someone for the sake of condolence. This setting (situation) and topic will demand seriousness on the part of the speaker as well as the listener. Similarly, a person visiting his friend or relative in hospital would use topics to encourage and boost the morale of the patient. A person in a mosque will speak in a low volume/tone. The setting, thus, affects the stylistic mode.         .        ‘ ”

Message form

Just as a message can be conveyed through different channels of communication such as air, paper, wire etc, similarly there can b6 different forms of message such as written, verbal, telephonic etc. These different forms of conveying a message depend on the setting, time, status of the participants, code etc. For example, if the setting is an over-crowded place, street, railway station etc,The sender will have to be loud in order to be audible as compared to a place which is quiet and peaceful, such as a lecture room, library, hospital etc. These settings demand a low volume.


If the sender of a message is in a hurry he will make his message brief and may even cut short what he has to say. In case there is enough time the message can be detailed and in elaborated form.


The message will be more formal in case the receiver is senior or not very friendly with the sender or if the message is ‘official. It will be less formal in case it is delivered to a friend or young receiver. Similarly, the tone of the message will be different in both cases. Thus the status of the receiver and the sender greatly affects the language form of the message.


Code means the language in which communication takes Place. Language is an arbitrarily chosen set of sound symbols used by the speech community to communicate. For example the word “man” has been used by English speaking people for a male human being with certain characteristics. Whenever used this word will represent a male human being having those characteristics. Certain societies are monolingual (speak one language) but there are bilingual as well as multilingual societies such as Pakistani, Indian etc. The advantage of a bi or multilingual society is that the participants can switch from one language to another from time to time in order to be more clear.


Language is used for the following purposes:

Language is often used to express our feelings of happiness/ depression, personal reaction to wards something/incident, likes and dislikes etc.

Language is most of the time used to express ideas, beliefs, opinions and thoughts,

to greet, to introduce, to welcome, to bid farewell etc.

to tell someone what to do and how to do it. Parents and teachers often use language for this purpose

One common function of language is to give directions e.g. „; people ask for direction and Rive directions as well.

Ail functions in life can be performed with the help of language e.g. to invite, to order, to inform, to impress, to apologize, to thank etc. Sometimes a single utterance can be used for expressing several functions. Similarly, several utterances can be used for expressing one particular function e.g.-

Can I help you?

Would you like me to help you?

I am at your disposal.

Do you need my help?

In other words one language function can be expressed by many language forms and vice versa.

Defining Nonlinguistic Communication

Linguistic" means pertaining to language. "Nonlinguistic" means not using language. Nonlinguistic communication is the imparting of information without using language. Or in other words, sending and receiving messages without using a communication system that has the characteristic features of a language as identified by linguists. Gestures, written symbols, or voice sounds don't constitute "language" unless they take place within a language framework. now have language.

Body Language

What is body language, and is body language linguistic or nonlinguistic communication? Body language is "nonverbal communication." Communication isn't the same thing as language. Many hearing people automatically consider body language to be nonlinguistic. Many people in the signing world tend to think of body language as being linguistic because they obviously using their bodies to produce language independent of their voices. There is a difference between sign language and body language. Just as there is a difference between using your body to produce ASL and using your body to produce mime. Both ASL and mime allow you to communicate. Of the two, only ASL qualifies as language. Mime is nonlinguistic. Two people of different languages can communicate using mime. Mime is defined as, "the art of portraying characters and acting out situations or a narrative by gestures and body movement without the use of words, (American Heritage, 2000). In contrast, ASL uses gestures and body movements to create signs. Signs are the visual equivalent of words. A sign can be broken down into phonemes, (cheremes actually). Those signs are combined according to grammar rules to describe the thoughts and ideas of the signer more efficiently than can be accomplished via mime.

In our time, non-verbal communication systems are becoming more and more important.

Non-verbal communication is carried out through a multitude of signs of great variety: sensory images (visual, auditory, olfactory…), sounds, gestures, body movements, etc.


·      Maintains a relationship with verbal communication, as they are often used together.

·      On many occasions it acts as a regulator of the communication process, helping to broaden or reduce the meaning of the message.

·      Non-verbal communication systems vary across cultures.

·      Generally, it fulfills a greater number of functions than the verbal, since it accompanies, completes, modifies or replaces it on occasions.

Among the non-verbal communication systems we have:

·      Corporal language. Our gestures, movements, tone of voice, our clothes and even our body odor are also part of the messages when we communicate with others.

·      Iconic language. It encompasses many forms of non-verbal communication: Morse code, universal codes (sirens, Morse, Braylle, language of the deaf), semi-universal codes (the kiss, signs of mourning or mourning), particular or secret codes (signs of the sports referees).

Modern systems of assessment in ELT - презентация онлайн

Communication plays a vital part in building up a strong relationship across the world, either in organisational structure or outside of it. It is an essential pillar for people in sharing the ideas, delegating responsibilities, management of a team, building up a healthy relationship, etc. Effective communication is necessary for managers in the organisation for planning, organising, leading and controlling. Managers of the organisation are dedicated enough in communicating throughout the day in various tasks performances. They spent the whole time communicating face-to-face or over the phone to their colleagues, subordinates and the clients. Managers also use written communication in the form of Emails, memos, daily reports and so on. Effective communication is a successful building block of the organisational structure.



3.2 Receptive and Expressive Language: Concept, Types (verbal and manual) and Structure


Receptive language means the ability to understand or comprehend language heard or read. Students with a receptive language disorder have problems understanding oral language or in listening. They may have difficulties processing and retaining auditory information, and in following instructions and directions. Difficulties understanding what is said may be exacerbated in group discussions. Difficulties in answering questions may be related to a limited understanding of question forms. Students may have difficulties filtering out background noise and have difficulties with verbal reasoning. Difficulties remembering strings of words and difficulties with sound discrimination may also be evidenced. Language limitations may also interfere with topic maintenance. As a result of comprehension difficulties, students may experience difficulty with turn taking in conversation. There may be pragmatic difficulties such as poor understanding, poor use of tone, facial gesture and body language, and poor eye contact. Difficulties may occur in establishing and maintaining peer relationships.

Many children whose development of speech and language gives cause for concern have difficulties understanding what is said to them. That is, their understanding of spoken language falls below the level expected for their age. Difficulties with comprehension are sometimes known as “receptive language difficulties”. For these children it is important to consider listening and speaking skills separately, as the two will not be working together effectively. Unless and until they are, a child’s ability to learn will be seriously impaired, for understanding of language is fundamental to learning and to understanding the world. Many skills are involved in language comprehension including:

o    ability to hear. Some children have intermittent hearing loss which can affect understanding of language.

o    ability to pay attention to speech sounds. Some children have difficulty in establishing and maintaining their attention in certain situations or the control of their attention may be less than expected of a child of their age.

o    ability to distinguish between speech sounds

o    ability to process language. Some children have difficulty in “taking in” language - it takes them longer to understand what is being said.

o    memory for strings of speech sounds

o    knowledge of word meanings

o    knowledge of sentence structure

o    ability to make sense of language in and out of context

o    difficulties with sight

There can be difficulties with any one of these skills –this should be borne in mind during an assessment. Identification of a child’s difficulties may not be straightforward as there are many ways in which a child can understand or even anticipate what is required of them without actually understanding what has been said. Gestures, facial expression, contextual clues can all supply vital information. On the other hand, such children may show behaviour difficulties or apparent lack of interest. This is likely to be more so in situations which make explicit demands on understanding of spoken language. Research has shown that difficulties in understanding are more widespread that was previously thought. Even children whose difficulties appear to be limited to expressive language may have subtle but significant receptive language difficulties.




Receptive language is important in order to communicate successfully. Children who have understanding difficulties may find it challenging to follow instructions at home or within the educational setting and may not respond appropriately to questions and requests. Within the school setting, difficulties in understanding may lead to attention and listening difficulties and/or behavioural issues. As most activities require a good understanding of language, it may also make it difficult for a child to access the curriculum or engage in the activities and academic tasks required for their year level of school.


Building blocks necessary to develop receptive language (understanding words and language) include:


·       Attention and concentration: Sustained effort, doing activities without distraction and being able to hold that effort long enough to get the task done.

·       Pre-language skills: The ways in which we communicate without using words and include things such as gestures, facial expressions, imitation, joint attention and eye contact.

·       Social skills: Determined by the ability to engage in reciprocal interaction with others (either verbally or non-verbally), to compromise with others, and be able to recognize and follow social norms.

·       Play skills: Voluntary engagement in self motivated activities that are normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment where the activities may be, but are not necessarily, goal oriented.


You can tell there are problems with receptive language (understanding words and language) if the child:


·       Has difficulty attending and listening to language.

·       Does not pay attention within group times at kindergarten and school.

·       Is not following instructions that others the same age would be able to follow.

·       Responds to questions by repeating what you say instead of giving an answer.

·       Finds it difficult to listen to stories.

·       Gives unusual answers to questions.


*These difficulties may vary depending on the child's age.


When you see difficulties with receptive language (understanding words and language), you might also see difficulties with:


·       Attention and concentration: Sustained effort, doing activities without distraction and being able to hold that effort long enough to get the task done.

·       Behaviour: The actions of a person, usually in relation to their environment (e.g. a child becoming disruptive within the classroom because they are unable to "access" or understand what the teacher is saying or talking about).

·       Literacy: Reading and writing.

·       Social skills: Determined by the ability to engage in reciprocal interaction with others (either verbally or non-verbally), to compromise with others, and be able to recognize and follow social norms.

·       Sensory processing: Accurate registration, interpretation and response to sensory stimulation in the environment and one's own body.

·       Executive functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills.

·       Expressive (using) language: The use of language through speech, sign or alternative forms of communication to communicate wants, needs, thoughts and ideas.

·       Planning and sequencing: The sequential multi-step task/activity performance to achieve a well-defined result.

·       Auditory Processing: Ability to hear sounds, distinguish between similar sounds or words, and separate relevant speech from background noise.


Receptive language is the “input” of language, the ability to understand and comprehend spoken language that you hear or read. For example, a child’s ability to listen and follow directions (e.g. “put on your coat”) relies on the child’s receptive language skills. In typical development, children are able to understand language before they are able to produce it. Children who are unable to comprehend language may have receptive language difficulties or a receptive language disorder.

Children who have difficulty understanding language may struggle with the following:

There are several factors that influence receptive language development, including exposure to language, the quality of the language environment, and individual differences in language processing. Children who are surrounded by language (people engaging in conversation and interacting with them) are more likely to develop strong receptive language skills. This includes being exposed to a variety of speakers, engaging in conversations, and exposure to reading.



Expressive language means being able to put thoughts into words and sentences, in a way that makes sense and is grammatically accurate. If children have a speech and language impairment, it might affect their expressive language or their receptive language, or both, to a greater or lesser degree.


Developmental expressive language disorder is a condition in which a child has lower than normal ability in vocabulary, producing complex sentences, and remembering words. However, a child with this disorder may have the normal language skills needed to understand verbal or written communication.




There is no known cause of developmental expressive language disorder. Research is ongoing to determine which biological or environmental factors may be the cause. Acquired expressive language disorder is caused by damage to the brain. Damage can be sustained during a stroke, or as the result of traumatic head injury, seizures , or other medical conditions. The way in which acquired expressive language disorder manifests itself in a specific person depends on which parts of the brain are injured and how badly they are damaged.

Expressive language is the “output” of language, the ability to express your wants and needs through verbal or nonverbal communication. It is the ability to put thoughts into words and sentences in a way that makes sense and is grammatically correct. Children that have difficulty communicating their wants and needs may have expressive language difficulties or an expressive language disorder. Expressive language disorders in young children are often identified when children are not meeting their developmental milestones. 

Children who have difficulty producing language may struggle with the following:


Symptoms of expressive language disorder differ from one child to the next and depend on the child’s age and the degree of the impairment. Common symptoms include:


·       Making grammatical errors, leaving off words (such as helper verbs) and using poor or incomplete sentence structure (for example, ‘He going work’ instead of ‘He’s going to work’ and ‘I talk’ instead of ‘I can talk’)

·       Using noticeably fewer words and sentences than children of a similar age

·       Using shorter, simpler sentence construction than children of a similar age

·       Having a limited and more basic vocabulary than children of a similar age

·       Frequently having trouble finding the right word

·       Using non-specific vocabulary such as ‘this’ or ‘thing’

·       Using the wrong words in sentences or confusing meaning in sentences

·       Relying on standard phrases and limited content in speech

·       Sounding hesitant when attempting to converse

·       Repeating (or ‘echoing’) a speaker’s words

·       Being unable to come to the point or talking in circles

·       Having problems with retelling a story or relaying information in an organised or cohesive way

·       Being unable to start or hold a conversation and not observing general rules of communicating with others

·       Having difficulty with oral and written work, and school assignments




3.3 Developmental milestones in typically growing children; Impact of deafness on Communication and language with reference to clinical (type, degree, onset) and environmental (parental participation, access to language early intervention services) factors


The ability to hear is essential for proper speech and language development. Hearing problems may be suspected in children who are not responding to sounds or who are not developing their language skills appropriately. The following are some age-related guidelines that may help to decide if your child is experiencing hearing problems.

It's important to remember that not every child is the same. Children reach milestones at different ages. Talk your child's healthcare provider if you are suspicious that your child is not developing speech and language skills correctly. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and other experts list the following age-appropriate speech and language milestones for babies and young children.

Milestones related to speech and language


Birth to 5 months

·       Coos

·       Vocalizes pleasure and displeasure sounds differently (laughs, giggles, cries, or fusses)

·       Makes noise when talked to

6 to 11 months

·       Understands "no-no"

·       Babbles (says "ba-ba-ba")

·       Says "ma-ma" or "da-da" without meaning

·       Tries to communicate by actions or gestures

·       Tries to repeat your sounds

·       Says first word

12 to 17 months

·       Answers simple questions nonverbally

·       Says 2 to 3 words to label a person or object (pronunciation may not be clear)

·       Tries to imitate simple words

·       Vocabulary of four to 6 words

18 to 23 months

·       Vocabulary of 50 words, pronunciation is often unclear

·       Asks for common foods by name

·       Makes animal sounds, such as "moo"

·       Starting to combine words, such as "more milk"

·       Begins to use pronouns, such as "mine"

·       Uses 2-word phrases

2 to 3 years

·       Knows some spatial concepts, such as "in" or "on"

·       Knows pronouns, such as "you," "me" or "her"

·       Knows descriptive words, such as "big" or "happy"

·       Uses 3-word sentences

·       Speech is becoming more accurate, but may still leave off ending sounds. Strangers may not be able to understand much of what is said.

·       Answers simple questions

·       Begins to use more pronouns, such as "you" or "I"

·       Uses question inflection to ask for something, such as "my ball?"

·       Begins to use plurals, such as "shoes" or "socks" and regular past tense verbs, such as "jumped"

3 to 4 years

·       Groups objects, such as foods or clothes

·       Identifies colors

·       Uses most speech sounds, but may distort some of the more difficult sounds, such as l, r, s, sh, ch, y, v, z, th. These sounds may not be fully mastered until age 7 or 8.

·       Uses consonants in the beginning, middle, and ends of words. Some of the more difficult consonants may be distorted, but attempts to say them

·       Strangers are able to understand much of what is said

·       Able to describe the use of objects, such as "fork" or "car"

·       Has fun with language; enjoys poems and recognizes language absurdities, such as, "Is that an elephant on your head?"

·       Expresses ideas and feelings rather than just talking about the world around him or her

·       Uses verbs that end in "ing," such as "walking" or "talking"

·       Answers simple questions, such as "What do you do when you are hungry?"

·       Repeats sentences

4 to 5 years

·       Understands spatial concepts, such as "behind" or "next to"

·       Understands complex questions

·       Speech is understandable, but makes mistakes pronouncing long, difficult, or complex words, such as "hippopotamus"

·       Uses some irregular past tense verbs, such as "ran" or "fell"

·       Describes how to do things, such as painting a picture

·       Lists items that belong in a category, such as animals or vehicles

·       Answers "why" questions

5 years

·       Understands time sequences (for example, what happened first, second, or third)

·       Carries out a series of 3 directions

·       Understands rhyming

·       Engages in conversation

·       Sentences can be 8 or more words in length

·       Uses compound and complex sentences

·       Describes objects

·       Uses imagination to create stories


Hearing loss can affect a child’s development of speech and language skills. When a child has difficulty hearing, the areas of the brain used for communication may not develop appropriately. This makes understanding and talking very difficult.

When hearing loss is identified early and managed appropriately, the child can become an effective communicator. This process involves caregivers and professionals working together.

Most hearing losses are identified through a screening at birth. Some children are not diagnosed until later, when speech or language skills are not progressing. Earlier identification and management of hearing loss results in better outcomes for the child.

Types of Hearing Loss

A hearing loss can happen when any part of the ear or auditory (hearing) system is not working in the usual way.

Diagram of the ear

Outer Ear
The outer ear is made up of:

Middle Ear
The middle ear is made up of:

Inner Ear
The inner ear is made up of:

Auditory (ear) Nerve
This nerve sends sound information from the ear to the brain.

Auditory (Hearing) System
The auditory pathway processes sound information as it travels from the ear to the brain so that our brain pathways are part of our hearing.

There are four types of hearing loss:

The degree of hearing loss can range from mild to profound:

Hearing loss can also be described as:


Children with hearing loss may have difficulty with:

Factors Influence Speech and Language Development for a Child with Hearing Loss

All children are different in how they develop. There are developmental stages that most children follow. Hearing loss can affect how communication develops in many ways. These include:



The following is a general acquisition outline of how and when deaf children learn and use manual signs in ASL:


·       Onset

o   manual babbling

o   deaf children of deaf parents have actually demonstrated advantages in the onset of their first signs (8-11 months) in comparison to the onset of a hearing child's first words (12-13 months)

o   during the years in which a hearing-impaired child is acquiring language, they tend to make errors in ASL that parallel the mistakes that a hearing child will make with speech. However, for a deaf child these errors relate to the formational aspects of sign hand shape, location, and movement.


·       Content

o   noun signs


o   these are similar to first words, and phrases like “bye-bye”, “no”, and “sh!”

o   12-15 months


·       Emotion signs

o   as early as 15 months (or within the first 100 signs), deaf children will begin to make signs corresponding to their physical states (i.e. sleepy, hungry, thirsty)

o   from about 18-20 months, signs may begin to correspond to feelings (i.e. sad, happy, angry)

o   this is the same in the language acquisition of typically-hearing children, but with spoken word rather than signed language


·       Cognitive verbs

o   from 18-30 or 36 months (at about 450+ signs), deaf children will begin to make signs for verbs like “want”, “like”, “think”, with “think” being the last to emerge


·       Negation

o   this overlaps with the development of cognitive verbs.

o   18-24 months: “don't, want, none”

o   24-30 months: “don't know, not-yet”

o   30+ months: “can't, not”


·       Pronouns

o   17-20 months (“me”, “you”)


In addition to providing more evidence on the typical language development in deaf children, the inventory also brought to light some noticeable differences in the development of language in deaf and hearing children.


1.      First, deaf children were producing signs at the first age sampled, which was 8 months. Children learning English generally do not produce their first words until 12 months old. This suggests that underlying cognitive abilities for language are in place earlier than thought, and it is the delayed development of speech mechanisms that causes the later development of language.

2.      Second, the data reveals that the vocabulary of the youngest children in the sample consists entirely of nouns, which is comparable to findings of hearing children learning English.


However, the ASL children begin to demonstrate verbs earlier in their lexicon, which could be related to the structure of ASL, which often places verbs in the initial position of an utterance.



·      By spending as much time as they can on talking or signing with the deaf child. Use every opportunity they can to extend the deaf child’s language; play with the child, talk or sign with the child, read books with the child and work with the child’s teacher to develop strategies and games together.

·      By visiting new places and providing the child with experiences to talk about later together. The child can draw pictures or write about what happened. Talk or sign about what will happen before the event, when it happens, and then after the event, talk or sign about it together, draw pictures and write stories.

·      Photos are a wonderful way to discuss events with the deaf child, and include photos of specific people so that can names of these people, what they do, what they like or don’t like can be discussed.

·      The limit to activities which can be done with the deaf child is your imagination.


Access of Language Development


Non-impaired individuals take language for granted. First language for non impaired children comes so naturally, rapidly, effortlessly and so early in life that they simply fail to understand how complex this mental process actually is. When we need to develop the same mental process in a Student with hearing impairment, we come face to face with its intricacies, richness and complexities. Very often teachers, parents feel tired and helpless carrying out this task of developing language in Student with hearing impairment. However one must be positive about language teaching because language teaching may appear difficult but it is not impossible. With few skills at hand, positive attitude and urge to take the child further from where he / she stands today are more than adequate ingredients for the good results.

This practical work will gear you to understand how to plan, implement and review language development in Student with hearing impairment. Please understand a few principles of teaching language to Student with hearing impairment.

(1)   Language develops within the framework of context and experience. Teaching language without context or experience is almost waste of time. Special teachers in special schools for the Student with hearing impairment create experiences / context so that language can be built around it. In mainstream schools resource teachers like you can do a few things to link language teaching with experiences.

(a)   Review the language of the textbooks (of all the subjects) and prepare the child to understand that language in advance. This means teach him / her the vocabulary / sentence types to him / her before he / she comes across it in the text book.

(b)   Use daily life routine experiences to provide language to the student.

(c)   Help parents develop personalize language / literacy material. This material includes personalized albums, activity books, diaries, experience books, feeling books etc.

This helps in three ways. Firstly it helps abstract conversations / thoughts / experiences/ relationships convert into concrete written material. The child gets experience but

often has inadequate language related to it. Personalized material prepared as per the needs of the child helps the process of linking experience with language.

Secondly, this personalized material is a good record of how the child has progressed from simple to complex.

Thirdly, the child himself / herself can use that material for reference. He / she can simply scan the earlier pages to do recap and also to add on more details.

(2)   Language helps process ideas without context and experiences. Understand the meaning of this principle in the light of the earlier principle. At early developmental stage language needs experience and context to develop but after a certain point language becomes adequate to process realities which are beyond firsthand experience or context. While teaching SWHI this fact has to be kept in mind that context and experiences are tools to develop language but language should not be completely context-dependent. For example, students have to understand many things without experiencing it himself / herself. For example, the climatic conditions and crops of South Africa (Geography), who won which war followed by what treaty (History) or what chemical has what impact on which metal (Science). To understand these ideas it is not necessary to have firsthand experience. Adequate command over language helps SWHI process the information beyond their experiences.

Hence the objective of the language development should be to develop language to that extent where it can function without the support from experience.

(3)   Sentence as a central unit of teaching and exposure. From very beginning the SWHI should be exposed to whole language. Alphabet to words, words to phrases, phrases to sentences and sentences to paragraphs was the process of teaching language in earlier decades where structural

approach to teaching language was in use. Today we have communicative

approach in use and hence language is not taught in bits and pieces, or through long lists of

nouns (like vegetables, colours, vehicles etc.) Use and exposure to whole language means using sentences from very beginning whether it is writing, speaking or signing a thought.

(4)   Language teaching cannot be complete without language assessment. Assessment and teaching are equally essential. Only assessment can decide whether language teaching and language learning were taught carefully or not. Only assessment will help teachers

raise the targets without either underestimating or overestimating the potentials of the child. Therefore, language assessment must be carried out systematically, periodically and separately as assessment of language textbook (examination) and assessment of developing language of the student with hearing impairment are two different things. In general teaching consists of three steps which occur one after the other in a circular way.



3.4 Assessing communication and language: Developmental checklists, Scales, Standardized tools and assessing language samples using parameters of measurement (productivity, complexity, correctness and communicativeness)


Assessments help teachers and professionals understand your child’s strengths and challenges.

They also help them work out what extra support your child needs to achieve and get the most from their education.

Assessing your child’s needs

A speech pathologist can assess your child’s speech, language and communication skills. You can talk to your child’s teacher or your family doctor about this.

All children learn at different rates. Teachers can assess your child’s learning needs and identify any reasonable adjustments needed.

Communication assessments

Speech pathologists do speech, language and communication assessments.

These include observing your child and interviews with you and their teacher. This is so they can take into account family history and your child’s development.

There will also be tests that look at your child’s speech, language and communication skills.

This may include assessing their:

Assessing Expressive & Receptive Language

There are several formal batteries specific to aphasia. Many cognitive-linguistic evaluations also have sections that cover language expression, comprehension, reading, and/or writing.

Keep in mind that formal batteries tend to be more time-consuming and expensive than informal evals. Some settings require a formal battery and provide test kits and paper forms to their therapists—while others will expect you to find and print your own assessments.

Know your setting’s expectations and your patient’s needs and insurance constraints when choosing assessments.

Language Assessments

Informal Cognitive-Linguistic Evaluations

·       Adult Language/Cognitive-Communication Evaluation Template (ASHA)

·       The Adult Speech Therapy Evaluation Pack

Formal Batteries

·       Assessment of Language-Related Functional Activities

·       Western Aphasia Battery

·       Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination

How to Assess Expressive Language

·       First, complete a case history

·       Automatic Series. Record accuracy and incorrect responses.

·       Count from 1 to 10

·       Sing Happy Birthday

·       Say the days of the week

·       Say the months of the year

·       Confrontational Naming Task. Use a set of picture cards or point to different items around the room. Complete at least 10 trials. Record accuracy.

·       Responsive Naming. Record their responses.yes and ___

·       up and ___

·       left and ___

·       before and ___

·       hot and ___

·       I bought a new set of table and ___

·       The mother cat birthed a litter of ___

·       The burger came with fries and a ___

·       I went to the store to buy some ___

·       Please pass the ___

·       Object description and function. “What do you use (a) ____ for?

·       Towel

·       Money

·       Chair

·       Fluency. “Name as many items as you can in 1 minute from the following categories”

·       Animals

·       Stores

·       Clothing items

·       Apraxia Screening

·       “Smile”

·       “Pretend that you’re blowing out a candle”

·       “Pucker your lips like you’re about to whistle”

·       “Pretend that you’re brushing your teeth”

·       “Pretend that you’re combing your hair”

·       “Stick out your tongue”

·       “Repeat after me:”

·       act, action, activity

·       hip, hippo, hypocrite

·       miss, missile, Mississippi

·       happy, afford, pleasant

·       overcome, attraction, cucumber

·       refrigerator, metropolitan, practicality

·       grocery store, doctor office, vacation home

·       Minnie and Mickey Mouse

·       What a beautiful day

·       I would like some water

·       Picture description. Print out a visual scene and ask the patient to describe it. “Make up a story about what you see in this picture.”

·       Writing. Provide a writing surface and writing utensil. Give the following prompts. Record writing legibility, spelling, and word-finding accuracy.

·       Write your name

·       Write your address

·       Write a sentence about your family


How to Assess Receptive Language

·       First, complete a case history

·       Identify body parts. “Point to your…”

·       stomach, nose, ear, forehead, knee, toes

·       Identify objects by name. “Point to the…”

·       chair, window, floor, ceiling, TV, bed

·       Identify objects by function. Present the physical objects:

·       “Point to the one you eat with. The fork or the remote?”

·       “Point to the one you make calls on. The phone or the clock?”

·       “Point to the one that gives off light. The lamp or the book?”‘

·       Simple Yes/No questions“Are you sitting down?”

·       “Do you have socks on?

·       “Is it nighttime right now?”

·       “Do you live in California?”

·       “Are the floors carpeted?”

·       1-step commands

·       “Touch your head”

·       “Give a thumbs up”

·       “Point to me”

·       2-step commands

·       “Smile then point to the window”

·       “Blink twice the shrug your shoulders”

·       “Point to both knees, then raise your left hand”

·       3-step commands

·       “Touch your stomach, make a fist, then say ‘ah'”

·       “Before you point to me, point to the chair and your nose”

·       “Clap your hands twice, shrug your shoulders, then raise both hands”

·       Moderate Yes/No questions

·       “Does spring come before summer?”

·       “Does Friday come after Tuesday?”

·       “Is the chair bigger than this pen?”

·       “Are there 6 days in each week?”

·       “Do two dimes equal a quarter?”

·       “Do you swallow before you take a sip?”

·       Auditory paragraph comprehension. Read a simple paragraph to your patient and ask yes/no questions.

For example: “I am going to read a paragraph then ask you some questions about it. Please answer each question with ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”

Example:Daniel was very tired after a long day working at the hospital. He couldn’t wait to get home and sleep. However, it was so late that none of the buses were still running. He decided to catch a taxi and was home before midnight.

·       Was Daniel leaving work?

·       Did he miss his bus?

·       Was he home before midnight?

·       Was he going to work?

·       Comprehension of conversation: Participate in a conversation with the patient. Ask them to speak in detail about likes/dislikes, hobbies, previous career, family, etc.

·       Reading Comprehension

·       Letter identification

·       Word identification

·       Phrase comprehension

·       Short paragraph comprehension

·       Paragraph comprehension


List of Speech and Language Assessments

Here’s a list of adult speech and language assessments.


·       ASHA’s Clinical Swallowing Exam Template

·       Adult Speech Therapy Evaluation Pack

·       Mann Assessment of Swallowing Ability (MASA)

·       Yale Swallow Protocol

·       Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10)

·       Videoflouroscopic Swallowing Study/Modified Barium Swallow Study

·       Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing


·       ASHA’s Adult Language/Cognitive-Communication Evaluation Template

·       Adult Speech Therapy Evaluation Pack

·       Assessment of Language-Related Functional Activitives

·       Western Aphasia Battery

·       Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination


·       Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)

·       Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)

·       Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE)

·       Mini-Cog

·       Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS)

·       Ross Information Processing Assessment

·       Delis-Kaplan Executive Function Systems

·       Parts of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

·       Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test

·       Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX)

Visual Neglect

·       The Catherine Bergego Scale (CBS)

·       Albert’s Test

·       The MoCA, MMSE, and SLUMS have visuospatial sections

·       Parts of the Test of Everyday Attention

·       Parts of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System

·       Parts of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

Motor Speech

·       Adult Speech Therapy Evaluation Pack

·       Word Intelligibility Test

·       Assessment of Intelligibility in Dysarthric Speech

·       Apraxia Battery for Adults

·       Apraxia of Speech Rating Scale (ASRS)

·       Differential Diagnosis Chart

Voice & Resonance

·       Adult Speech Therapy Evaluation Pack

·       Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of Voice (ASHA)

·       Acoustic Analysis: Free Praat software

·       Communicative Effectiveness Survey


·       Locus of Control Behaviour Scale

·       Adult Speech Therapy Evaluation Pack

·       Stuttering severity instrument



3.5 Identification of needs related to communication and language


An individual’s needs relate to areas of difficulty within speech, language and communication. Speech, language and communication needs can be a combination of the skills and techniques an individual uses to communicate and understand, or an isolated aspect. Each child and young person with speech, language and communication needs will have their own strengths and challenges which we identify during our assessment.

Speech, language and communication needs can include:

·      Attention and listening

·      Understanding

·      Expressive language

·      Receptive language

·      Speech sound production

·      Social communication

·      Memory



Pupils can experience a speech sound disorder which may make their speech sound different, and, in some cases can make it so difficult to understand that it impacts on the pupil's ability to convey their message. Dysfluency or a stammer can also affect how a pupil's speech sounds.

Language difficulties can take many different forms: some pupils have difficulties understanding what they've heard, while others find it hard to construct sentences or retrieve the appropriate vocabulary item. Some pupils find it hard to use their language skills to communicate with others - their grammar and vocabulary may be fine, but they struggle to interact with others. Older pupils may struggle with creative thinking skills like prediction and inference.

Children with social communication needs find it difficult to communicate with others for a range of reasons. They may have difficulties taking part in a conversation, taking turns in a conversation, staying on topic, taking the listener’s needs in to account, reading non-verbal cues etc. They may also have difficulty understanding what the speaker is saying to them or have other speech and language difficulties.

Some pupils may experience a mild difficulty that can be managed through high quality teaching, while others with more significant difficulties may require group and/or 1:1 intervention with advice recommended by a speech and language therapist.


What do we mean by the term ‘SLCN’?

SLCN is an umbrella term used to describe children whose speech, language and communication skills do not develop as expected.  

Children with SLCN may also have specific needs, such as developmental language disorder (DLD) or speech disorder. The term also covers those with related diagnoses that affect speech, language and communication skills, such as hearing impairment, autism or learning disability.


What do we mean by the term ‘SLCN’?

SLCN is an umbrella term used to describe children whose speech, language and communication skills do not develop as expected.  

Children with SLCN may also have specific needs, such as developmental language disorder (DLD) or speech disorder. The term also covers those with related diagnoses that affect speech, language and communication skills, such as hearing impairment, autism or learning disability.


Identification of pupils with SLCN

The SEN and Disabilities Code of Practice highlights the importance of early identification, and the responsibility of education settings to have policies and strategies in place for identifying and responding where there are concerns that a pupil may have an SEN or disability. Paragraph 6.36 says that teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.

Paragraphs 6.45-6.56 on pages 100-102 look at the types of action to be taken when a potential SEN is identified: a cycle of "assess, plan, do, review".

‘Red flags’ for identifying children with SLCN

Children with SLCN can find it difficult to listen to and understand lots of spoken language. You may also find that they need more time to process spoken language and that they find it hard to separate out sounds, words and phrases.  Here are some key ‘red flags’ that you can look out for:

1.     Struggling with stories
By the age of five, children should be able to describe things that have happened using longer sentences, for example, “Today was really great at school. My teacher gave me an award and said it was mine for being so good”. 

2.     Understanding spoken language
Children may have difficulty with understanding the meaning of words and concepts. They may have problems following instructions, understanding games and tasks, and making sense of what is being said to them. Children with these difficulties may often appear to understand, as they may be getting clues from following other children or guessing from the context. They may also come across as 'difficult' simply because they do not fully understand what is being said.

3.     Poor behaviour
Behaviour is communication and poor behaviour has been linked to language difficulties in children of all ages.

4.     Speech sound production
Children may have problems with the intelligibility of their speech – they may have a reduced number of sounds available to them and have difficulty making particular sounds in simple or longer words. They may not be easy to understand when they speak, or they may be reluctant to speak for fear of not being understood.

5.     Attention and listening
Many children who have speech and language difficulties have problems with listening to spoken language (often when their hearing is okay). They have difficulty concentrating on a task and listening to adult instructions.

6.     Social skills
Children's development of social skills, their sense of self and others, and their ability to form relationships and learn can all be affected by speech and language problems


Everyday strategies that can help

We all know that SLCN is common, so it’s essential to have a sound understanding of typical SLC development, approximate “ages and stages”, and how to  identify learners where there is a cause for concern.