Language is the words we use and how we use them. Receptive language refers to our understanding of language we hear (and read). Children with receptive language difficulties may have trouble following directions, understanding and sequencing stories or conversations, and understanding the meaning of words.
Expressive language refers to how we use language. Children with expressive language difficulties may have limited use of vocabulary, struggle to define and describe items and create sentences, have poor grammar skills, or have trouble telling stories.
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