Social Enough?

When you listen to the term “Speech Therapy/Speech-Language Pathology”, a few things instantly strike you such as getting clear speech, better voice or fluency or for those who start talking late. However, an aspect that may slip off our mind is the ability to use language socially (known as pragmatics).

There is a chance that even though children may appear to be very talkative and have good knowledge about the world and are intelligent, if their thoughts are not organised then what is the use or they simply do not understand the application, i.e., use of the vocabulary and sentence knowledge they have. This difficulty can also appear in adults after a brain injury or a stroke.

There are a lot of aspects that are considered as a part of Pragmatic Language Skills. Following are some of the skills that are listed below –

  • Understanding and use of greetings – hello, goodbye)
  • Changing the tone of the sentence in terms of a request, demand, passing on information or making a promise.
  • Changing language rules according to the setting and age – We cannot speak everything to everyone. There is a way we speak at school with our teachers, our parents at home, and our friends. We cannot speak to an adult like a five year old kid or vice-versa.
  • At times,  we have to give some additional information depending on the listener so that he/she understands the context of the conversation.
  • When we meet a person for the first time, we do not give out all our information to them or anyone. You cannot simply talk because you have to talk. It is essential that we keep these aspects in mind.
  • To initiate a conversation depending on the environment (people and location).
  • To maintain the ongoing topic of conversation.
  • To take turns and speak in an on-going conversation.
  • To understand the facial and body language (non-verbal cues) of the listener (the person listening to the story/conversation). An example would be, if the speaker is speaking at an extremely fast or it is boring for the listener, the listener may just not maintain eye contact with the speaker. He may look here and there and one must be able to grasp this.
  • To maintain basic emotions while speaking. Example – to laugh when someone has died would be considered inappropriate.
  • How loud and soft should the voice of the speaker be while talking.
  • To be able to make oneself understood to the speaker.
  • To ask for clarifications when speaker is not understood.
  • To narrate a story in a coherent manner.

These are a few basic listed. These minute details have a significant impact in how we conduct ourselves. Think about it! 🙂

Until next time!


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