Speech vs Language

What is speech?

Speech is the physical act of oral sound production. Speech involves parameters such as articulation, clarity of speech, voice, resonance and fluency. A child with a speech disorder may have trouble producing sounds, present with voice (i.e. hoarse voice) or resonance problems (i.e. hypernasality) or may present with hesitations or a stuttering.

What is language?

Language involves two components: receptive language and expressive language.

  • Receptive language refers to how we comprehend or understand language (includes understanding gestures, words, grammatical words, sentences, stories).
  • Expressive language is how we express ourselves;  it’s the ability of communicating ideas though various means (using sounds, words, gestures, sentences, discourse)

Language also has parameters such as form (phonology, morphology syntax), content (vocabulary and concepts) and pragmatics (social use of language). A child with a language disorder has difficulty understanding or putting words together to express ideas.