Processing Language

Language plays a crucial role in school and in everyday life. The ability to understand language, known as receptive language ability, affects almost everything you do in life. Problems with processing language may result in students having difficulty following directions or understanding verbal explanations, problems with reading comprehension, a limited grasp of the subtleties of language, and a lack of insight into his or her own level of understanding. Students' abilities to process language may be impacted by a number of neurodevelopmental areas, including attention, sequential ordering, receptive language functions, and verbal pragmatic abilities. This chart describes some important skills related to processing language.

Necessary SubSkillsCommon ObstaclesHelpful Tips
Student is able to attend effectively to verbal information, e.g. is able to read efficiently and listen carefully in class.Student is not able to attend effectively to verbal information, e.g. is not able to read efficiently or to listen carefully in class.view
Student is able to process verbal information presented in a sequence, such as multistep directions and explanations.Student has difficulty processing verbal information presented in a sequence, e.g., has trouble following multistep directions or interpreting verbal explanations.view
Student has strong receptive language abilities, such as a good grasp of word meanings, an ability to process reading passages at an appropriate level, and an awareness of when he/she does or does not understand.Student has difficulty processing language due to a poor grasp of word meanings, an inability to process reading passages at an appropriate level, or a lack of awareness of when he/she does or does not understand.view
Student is able to interpret language in social settings, such as being able to read others' feelings and to understand the language used by his/her peers.Student has difficulty interpreting language when in social settings, e.g., is unable to read others' feelings or to understand the language used by his/her peers.view