What is Pragmatic Language

and Why Is It Important?

How do you know where to stand when having a conversation? Who taught you to change your voice when talking to a principal or a baby? When did you learn about conversational turn-taking? These innate skills come naturally to some; however, others struggle with what is commonly referred to as pragmatic language. Pragmatics, expressive (or spoken) language, and receptive (or the understanding of) language comprise the three tiers of language. Pragmatic language can be thought of as the “rules of language,” and it is a group of skills some children need to learn, much like reading and writing.

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Pragmatic language can be thought of as the “rules of language”

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