An outline of speech, language and communication development
How key language skills interrelate
The model developed by Bloom and Lahey (1978) is helpful in showing how the key language skills interrelate. Bloom and Lahey describe three areas:
- 'Form': grammar, shown in word order, word endings, verb tenses. This is the ability to put together a grammatical sentence
- 'Content': picking the right words to get the message across. This involves use of vocabulary and concepts. These are words with meaning. We need to understand the meanings of words and be able to use these words to create what we want to say.
- 'Use': making use of language in a variety of different ways, such as for greeting, describing, arguing. Using language also involves subtle communication such as the use of body language, facial expression, tone of voice and non-literal language as well as knowing how to take turns in talking.
Bloom and Lahey's model (1978) shows how these three areas are connected.
They propose that, if each skill area is not well developed, communication will not be a straightforward process. It should be noted that this model does not include the important areas of attention/listening and memory; and also it does not separate understanding from expression.
Bloom, L & Lahey, M. Language development and language disorders. New York, Wiley, 1978