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Speech vs. Language: Whats the Difference?

I. Speech involves several areas -

A. Articulation
B. Voice
C. Fluency

A. Articulation is the process of producing sounds for communicative
purposes. Verbal communication begins during infancy and gradually
matures throughout early school years. Some students have delayed speech
(sounds not mastered at age level) and others have disordered speech
(produces speech sounds in a different or unusual way). Below is a chart
utilized by St. Johns County School District to determine if a student is
exhibiting a delay or disorder in articulating speech sounds. It is expected
that a student be at least one year behind their chronological age with
three (3) sounds incorrectly produced in order to be eligible as a speech
impaired student to receive services within the Exceptional Student
Education Program.

Age at which 85 % of GFTA-2 Standardization Sample (2000) correctly produced the
consonant and consonant cluster sounds:
Age Initial position Medial position Final position
2 years /b/, /d/, /h/, /m/, /n/,
/b/, /m/, /n/ /m/, /p/
3 years /f/, /g/, /k/, /t/, /w/ /f/, /g/, /k/, /n/, /p/,
/b/, /d/, /g/, /k/, /n/,
4 years /kw/ /d/ /f/
5 years /ch/, /dg/, /l/, /s/,
/sh/, /y/, /bl/
/ch/, /dg/, /l/, /s/,
/sh/, /z/
/l/, /n/, /ch/, /dg/, /s/,
/sh/, /r/, /v/, /z/
6 years /r/, /v/, /br/, /dr/, /fl/,
/fr/, /gl/, /gr/, /kl/,
/kr/, /pl/, /st/, /tr/
/r/, /v/
7 years /z/, /sl/, /sp/, /sw/,
/th/ /th/
8 years /th-voiced/

B. Voice involves the quality, pitch, resonance and intensity of ones
voice. Difficulties may arise from physiological reasons (i.e.
polyps, nodules) and others from harmful behaviors or vocal abuse
such as screaming, consistent loud talking or sometimes even

C. Fluency is the flow or pattern of ones speech. This may be
interrupted by repetition of sounds or words, long hesitations and
pauses. A student may also say a sound in a word for an extended
amount of time. Speech may often be difficult to understand during
these moments.

II. Language involves the understanding (receptive abilities) and the
production (expressive abilities) of information:

1. Form of language includes:
a. Phonology the sound system of a language and the
linguistic rules that govern the sound combinations.
b. Morphology the linguistic rule system that governs the
structure of words and the construction of word forms from
the basic elements of meaning.
c. Syntax the linguistic rules governing the order and
combination of words to form sentences and the relationship
among the elements within a sentence.

2. Content of language which includes semantics the linguistic
system that patterns the content of an utterances intent and the
meanings of words and sentences.

3. Function of language which includes pragmatics the
sociolinguistic system that patterns the use of language in
communication which may be expressed motorically, vocally or