What is Speech, Language and Communication?

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists defines the terms speech, language and communication as follows:

Speech refers to:

  • Saying sounds accurately and in the right places in words
  • Speaking fluently, without hesitation, prolonging or repeating words or sounds
  • Speaking with expression in a clear voice, using pitch, volume and intonation to add meaning

Language refers to:

  • Understanding and making sense of what people say
  • Using words to build up sentences which are used in longer stretches or spoken language and to build conversations
  • Putting information in the right order to make sense

Communication refers to:

  • Being able to communicate to people and take turns as well as change language/communication to suit the situation; in effect, how we interact with others
  • Non-verbal communication, for example eye contact, gestures and facial expressions
  • Being able to consider another person’s perspective, intentions and the wider context