Expressive Language


What is expressive language (talking)?
  • Asking questions
  • Naming objects
  • Using gestures
  • Expressing wants and needs
  • Putting together words to make sentences
  • Learning songs and rhymes
  • Using correct pronouns like "he", "my", or "they"
  • Knowing how to start a conversation and keep it going.
Signs of expressive language disorders:
  • Using only gestures to indicate wants/needs
  • Difficulty naming objects; finding words to label objects
  • Difficulty understanding what your child says
  • Difficulty identifying family members
  • Delays in speech milestones
  • Difficulty holding a book upright
  • Difficulty looking at pictures in a book and turn pages
  • Difficulty identifying letters and numbers
  • Difficulty singing rhymes and simple songs
  • Difficulty telling a story with a beginning, middle, and ending


There are a variety of language disorders that can impact your child's speech and language development. Whatever the difficulty may be, there are several activities you can utilize in your daily routine to assist in improving your child's receptive and/or expressive language skills:

  • Comment on daily activities - it is important to remember that children must first understand language before they will utilize (express) language.
  • Label objects throughout their environment to improve vocabulary skills.
  • Acknowledge all attempts to communicate; repeat what you understand.
  • Reading to your child and have your child 'read' a familiar story to you.  Have them identify/point to pictures & objects in books to increase vocabulary skills.
  • Allow child to fill-in the blank to familiar songs, nursery rhymes, and finger plays.
  • Provide choices to your child; whether it be which food for snack or which color shirt to wear.
  • Engage in play with your child; talk about what the child is doing and ask questions during play.
  • Encourage your child to follow directions during play and within their daily routine.
  • Engage in imaginative play activities.
  • Engage in turn-taking games.
  • Use family photographs to talk about past events and build sentence structure.
  • Pause after speaking to your child to allow them to continue the conversation.
  • Seek out a screening or evaluation by a speech therapist to determine if your child could benefit from intervention.  
185 S. Marley Rd. New Lenox, IL 60451