Difference Between Receptive and Expressive Language

Receptive vs Expressive Language
 

Receptive and expressive are two different aspects of a language. Listening and comprehending is receptive aspect of language while the ability to express oneself while communicating with others is the expressive aspect of language.

 

Receptive and expressive are two different aspects of a language. These terms are used by speech therapists and language pathologists as if they are common terms understood by all. The fact is that these terms come into play when a child is suffering from a speech disorder where his receptive and expressive abilities of communication are affected. This article attempts to highlight their features for the readers who find it difficult to differentiate between receptive and expressive aspects of language.

Expressive Language

Have you noticed how small babies make use of sounds and their actions to express themselves? He may learn the vocabulary of the language as he grows but continues to make use of cooing, babbling, and crying to convey what he means to his mother and others who are present. Expressive language continues to be used by people to communicate with others using language. In the early stage of development, a child at an age of 4 years has a support of nearly 4200 words to express himself to others while he has in his kitty receptive language vocabulary of around 8000 words. Expressive language allows a child to let others know what he needs and wants.

Receptive Language

The ability to listen to others and to make sense of what they have said is the part of language that is referred to as receptive language. What we make out of what we hear is our receptive language skill. Receptive language abilities of a child always remain ahead of his expressive language skills. This is only natural considering it is always easier to receive messages than sending them. Comprehension part of communication is receptive language. There are people who include reading and understanding the written text as a part of receptive language, but most experts say that it is comprehension of what others have said during communication constitutes receptive language.

Receptive vs Expressive Language

• All language can be divided into two aspects that are known as expressive and receptive aspects of a language.

• Expressive language is that part of language that is seen when people make gestures while speaking, as if they are explaining what they are saying.

• Receptive language is listening and understanding.

• A child, during the course of his development always has receptive language abilities far ahead of his expressive language abilities.

• Receptive and expressive aspects get affected in the case of some children leading to speech and language disorders. While, in some cases it is only the expressive ability that gets affected, there are cases where both aspects of language are affected leading to communication disorder.

• In short, listening and comprehending is receptive aspect of language while the ability to express oneself while communicating with others is the expressive aspect of language.