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Are speech and language different

What many people fail to realize is that both speech and language are completely different. Language is an intellectual ability, whereas speaking, or speech is a physical one. This explains why some children are unable to speak words that they know, and there is often quite a big difference. Hence why when you try and correct children at a young age they are still unable to pronounce words!


Now, children will quickly realize that the word they are trying to say is not perfect. However, try as they might they will be unable to match what an adult says as their speech ability is not up to scratch yet. The sad thing is, correcting children too much at this point can actually make them very distressed and angry as they are unable to do it, they feel as though the adult is attempting to treat them like a baby, and that is never a good thing! It doesn't matter whether their grammar or pronunciation is wrong, it is best not to draw attention to it.


Now, since both speech and language are independent of one another, an extreme talent in one may not indicate an extreme talent in the other. Don't worry if people stutter, slur or lisp when speaking, this is part of their speech at that time. However, it is best to get this out of them at a young age so it doesn't cause severe problems later on. You shouldn't worry too much if they can't pronounce 'tongue twisters' at a young age, but you should be concerned if they are unable to comprehend the meaning of this!


Despite these differences, both speech and language do have things in common. This is the fact that they will both progress through distinct stages, and both of them will develop over time, which may take a while. When it comes to speech, it is normal to have children find difficulty pronouncing some words, particularly those up with the letters 'th' at the start as they will take a while for the muscles in the mouth throughout the years. With language, children may have difficulty following instructions at an early age. In most cases though, you shouldn't worry as these problems will be recognized by the child who is making efforts to make the word sound correct. They will eventually learn it just from listening to adults and practice.


Children will take different amounts of time to get used to speech and language however, and they will develop at later rates. Remember, this is something which takes time, and every child is an individual. Some may have an easy time of making it right, but others will find it slightly more difficult.




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