Communication Development in Late Elementary: 5 Red Flags

November 5, 2019
Kelly C. Bawden, MS, CCC-SLP
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Our Communication Red Flags series continues this month with a resource addressing the late elementary years (grades 3-5). 

The hallmark of communication development at this age is that all-important shift to becoming a Student with a capital S. Understanding and using academic vocabulary takes center stage with this group. Kids this age can have conversations with a variety of communication partners about loads of different topics, efficiently tailoring what they're saying and how they're saying it to their audience. This process is called code switching and the late elementary years see rapid development in this area. This goes hand in hand with the social language typically seen with our late elementary friends. Jokes and wordplay become more nuanced, and peer groups start to develop and use their own slang.

Here are a few questions to think about if you know kids this age:

  • Are they able to "keep up" in a rapidly moving conversation?
  • Are they able to learn and retain new academic vocabulary in a reasonable timeframe?
  • Are they using complex language and vocabulary to talk about the relationships between people and things?
  • Can you understand everything they say and is their speech error-free?
  • Are they able to understand subtle humor, idioms, similes, metaphors, and hyperbole?

If you know a child struggling in any of these areas, contact us. We will help however we can, and refer you to other helpers if we’re not the right fit. 

Click on the image or the link below for a free download of this resource, and check out our other Red Flags downloads here

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