Verbal and Written Language

We live in an extremely literate society. Written language is used to express ideas, make commands, ask questions, give information, and interact with others.

One of the most important factors for a child to develop the basis for written language is to first understand and correctly use spoken language. This makes writing a process in which the child is simply transferring what he or she says into a written code. It is for this reason that language development is usually a very good indicator of writing skills.

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 tell what has happened in a story that he/she just read
  • Only expresses a few ideas rather than telling a complete story

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.