Expressive Language Disorder

Students with an expressive language disorder have problems using oral language or talking. The student’s understanding of language is likely to outstrip his/her ability to communicate with the spoken word. There may be a reticence to talk and students may resort to pointing or gesturing to get their message across. Expressive language may lack variation in intonation or volume. Imaginative play and social use of language may be further impaired. Students may have difficulties in describing, defining and explaining, and in retelling stories/events. Limited vocabulary may result in the students using empty phrases and non-specific words. Expressive language difficulties may impact on the students’ abilities in relation to writing, spelling, composing sentences/compositions and answering all but the most straightforward of questions. There may be evidence of omission of function words such as ‘the’ and ‘is’, and grammatical markers such as tense endings. Difficulties may be noted in the formulation of full sentences and in the understanding of multiple word meanings. Difficulties may occur in establishing and maintaining peer relationships.

Photo of teacher helping two children with their classwork