Does Speech & Language mean the same thing?
Speech and language are not the same. The process of speech occurs naturally when appropriate stimulation occurs and progresses without conscious thought. From infancy, we begin developing the milestones of speech that help us begin communicating with sounds, and then, our speech skills help us develop language.
- Want to communicate an idea to someone else.
- Send the idea to the mouth.
- Tell the mouth which words to say and which sounds make up those words.
- Incorporate patterns and accented syllables (to avoid sounding like a robot).
- Send the signals to the muscles that control the tongue, lips, and jaw; however, the muscles, must have the strength and coordination to carry out the brain’s commands.
The muscles in the lungs must be strong enough to control sufficient amounts of air while forcing the vocal cords to vibrate. The air must be going out, not in, for functional speech to occur. The vocal cords must be in good condition in order for one’s speech to sound clear and loud enough to hear. Our sense of hearing monitors and reviews what we say and hears new words to imitate and use in other situations. If we cannot hear clearly, we tend to reproduce sounds that are equally “mumbly.” Also, someone must be willing to communicate with us by listening and reacting to what we say, or there is no point in speaking. The process of developing speech occurs naturally. However, if there is a glitch or disruption in the process, it will affect one’s language.
- Hear well enough to distinguish one word from another.
- Have someone model what words mean and how to put sentences together.
- Hear intonation patterns, accents, and sentence patterns.
- Have the intellectual capability to process what words and sentences mean, store the information, and recall words and sentences heard previously when communicating an idea to someone else.
- Have the physical capability to speak in order for others to hear and understand the words they are saying.
- Have a social need and interest in using words to communicate with others.
- Have another person to positively reinforce their attempts at communication.