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Verbal and Written Language

Language can be divided into five main domains known as phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Written and verbal language disorders can involve any of these 5 domains. Individuals who experience problems with verbal and written language skills may have issues with awareness, comprehension, and production of language. This can be at either sound, syllable, word, sentence, and discourse levels.

Language disorders are typically diagnosed before learning disabilities and often affect the child’s academic performance. Once academic struggles with reading and writing arise, a learning disability label may be used, even though the underlying issue is a language disorder (Sun & Wallach, 2014).

At Granite Bay Speech, we have Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) who are licensed to assess whether you or your child has a language disorder. Verbal and written language skills are closely related, and our therapy sessions builds on this. Our SLPs use these interrelationships to promote a client’s areas of strength while working to improve areas of weakness with them.

Promoting Verbal Language Skills

There are many ways that a parent can promote verbal language skills, which will also aid in the development of written language.

  • Provide an environment rich in language to encourage interaction
  • Model proper language with correct grammar and complete sentences
  • Have the child describe objects
  • Use synonyms and antonyms
  • Focus on articulation of words to enhance phonological awareness
  • Use pictures or other visual cues
  • Have the child answer questions after being told or read a story


Characteristics of a child with weak verbal expression may include one or more of the following:

  • May be considered “shy”
  • Seldom talks in class or around non-family members
  • Tends to respond with one-word answers
  • Cannot retell what has happened in a story that he/she just read
  • Only expresses a few ideas rather than telling a complete story


Characteristics of an adult with weak verbal expression may include one or more of the following:

  • May be considered “shy”
  • Reduces frequency of verbal communication at work or around new individuals
  • May reduce the sentence length of their answers
  • May have trouble expressing details during discussions

Granite Bay Speech has been life changing for my daughter. When we started coming she was 3 and had somewhere around 30 words few were clear and we didn't know what to do. It was been almost 2 years now and my daughter's vocabulary is vast. She is able to express herself and be understood by most. And we are looking forward to her being able to join a standard class room with typical peers next year.

Becky M.

When we first brought our 2 year old daughter to Granite Bay Speech, she was using mainly 1-2 word combinations and leaving off the final consonants on most of those words. She just turned 3 and those days seem far behind us now. She's consistently making 5-6 word sentences now, and using her final consonants with many words...

Rachel M.