New Jersey Department of Education

Speech and Language Services

Speech refers to the expressive output of language - specifically, the formulation of words (or sign language), within the areas of articulation, voice and fluency. Use of articulators requires integration of fine motor articulators including the mouth, lips and tongue. When using sign language, articulation is still a fine motor activity, however, the focus is more on the movement of the hands, eyes and fingers. Voice refers to the vocal folds and tract, as well as breath support, and fluency refers to the flow and timing of speech. 

Language is inclusive of the meaning behind speech sounds, sign language, and written language in order to convey a message. Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) work within the 5 Domains of Language to make evidence- based decisions regarding Speech and Language Services. The five domains are: phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax and pragmatics. Phonology is the study of individual sounds, whereas morphology focuses on units of language carrying meaning. Syntax is defined as sentence structure, whereas semantics is the rule-governing facet of language. Pragmatics refers to the use of language, including body language as well as social elements and norms.

Speech Language Services

The responsibilities of SLPs include prevention, assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Within school settings, the primary focus for SLPs is communication. Communication refers to the receptive and expressive components that help us interact within our environments, ourselves, others. 

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