CONTENT, FORM, USE
- Content: Content is semantics or use of vocabulary. When a child has trouble with semantics she will struggle with understanding words and sentences. Signs to look for:
- Uses shorter sentences than expected for grade level.
- Difficulty with sequencing
- Difficulty responding to questions.
- Trouble with word retrieval
- Uses the same word for multiple meanings
- Difficulty making connections between words
- Struggles with oral and reading comprehension
- Struggles to understand non-literal language
- Form: Form refers to the structure of language. The three main structures are syntax (sentence structure), morphology (grammar), and phonology (speech sounds).
- A child struggling with sentence structure might put the words in the wrong order, leave words out, or use the wrong verb tense, for example:
- Leaving the verb "is" out: "The boy going to the park" or
- Using the wrong verb tense ("is" instead of "are"): "The boys is going to the park"
- A child is struggling with grammar if he is dropping word endings, such as, "The boy are going to the park". Here the child left out the plural "s" on "boys".
- A child is struggling with with phonology if she is struggling with the patterns of speech, such as leaving off the ends of words ("da for "dad"), or reducing a blend ("poon" for "spoon"). This is called a phonological processing disorder and is different than a traditional articulation disorder. You can read more about it on the articulation page.
- Use: Use refers to pragmatic or social language skills. How we use language to communicate our ideas, wants and needs. Children who have difficulty with pragmatic skills may struggle with:
- catching social cues
- starting conversations
- ending conversations
- staying on topic
- considering other peoples interest
- greeting people
- appropriate eye contact
- turn taking
- flexible thinking
- being polite