Most people have to try and stifle their laughter when a very young child says something inappropriate and either uses adult language or reveals an embarrassing secret. It can be quite the humorous situation for everyone except for the parents. However, the child did not mean any harm, he or she simply has not been through the social development to understand how to use language appropriately. This is why there are many organizations, in Sydney alone, devoted to teaching social skills, often referred to as pragmatic language.
Developing pragmatic language skills is the process of learning social skills and improving social development. Basically, when teaching social skills, we must focus heavily on the importance of language development.
Speaking of speech and the importance of language
There are three primary language skills associated with pragmatics:
Clearly stating goals using language
This means knowing how to get your point across, whether it be trying to inform, demand, promise, or request something. For example, understanding the difference in meaning between the phrases “I am going to get a drink of water” and “I would like a drink of water.”
Speaking within the appropriate context
This means changing the way you speak depending on the situation or the person to whom you are addressing. You speak differently when at home than you do in a public setting, and you speak differently to a stranger than you would to a family member.
Following basic rules
Learning basic pragmatics means knowing how to speak within a conversation, and how to tell a story or make a point to someone. This means knowing how to stay organized while speaking, stay on topic, and understanding cues in a conversation. This means expressing yourself politely throughout the conversation by taking turns, listening, and using appropriate body language.
These are all skills that take time to develop, so it is understandable that a child may not have a complete grasp on all of them at an early age. As they learn these language skills, social development should follow. If the child continues to have trouble learning social skills as they grow older, a professional speech pathologist may be needed.
If you have questions about speech pathology contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist. We‘ll provide you with a straightforward, efficient and very effective treatment plan targeted to your concerns.