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Expressive Language

Expressive language is important for social skills, academic success, and employment. It is also a key ingredient in forming and maintaining relationships. Therefore, fostering expressive language development should be a priority for parents, teachers, and other adults who work with children. If you think your child might have an expressive language disorder, it's important to seek professional help as soon as possible. The earlier that expressive language disorder is diagnosed and treated, the better. With early intervention and proper treatment, many children with expressive language disorder are able to develop age-appropriate communication skills.

At Chit Chat Speech Therapy, our experienced speech-language pathologists can provide your child with the tools they need to improve their communication skills. We offer individualized treatment plans that are designed to meet each child's unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about our expressive language disorder speech therapy services and how we can help your child reach their full potential. Call or text us at 763-280-3202, email us at, or fill out our contact form.

Planting Seeds

What is Expressive Language?

Expressive language is the use of words to communicate ideas and feelings. It is an important part of communication, and it develops throughout childhood. Expressive language skills begin to develop early in life, and most children are able to say their first words by around one year of age. As they grow, they learn how to put words together to form sentences by age 2 and have a vocabulary of 50 words! They also learn how to use intonation, volume, and other features of spoken language to convey meaning. By school age, most children have developed a rich expressive vocabulary and are able to communicate their thoughts and feelings effectively. Expressive language skills continue to develop throughout adolescence and adulthood.

When should my child start talking?

90% of children say their first word by the age of 1 year. The first word is a word other than "mama/mom, daddy/dada, uh-oh, or other noises. By the age of 2, a child should have 50 words that they use on a regular basis in a meaningful way and they should begin using two words to form a sentence "More play," "help me," "mommy silly," etc. If your child is 2 and has fewer than 50 words and is not using sentences or words frequently to communicate, you may want to reach out to a speech therapist regarding your child's language development. 

What are signs of an expressive language delay?

The most common signs of a language delay are:

  • Late to talk

  • Difficulty forming complete or coherent sentences

  • Confusing grammar 

  • Limited vocabulary

  • Difficulty retelling stories

  • Difficulty with social skills (continuing conversations, explaining rules to a game, etc)

How can my child improve expressive language skills?

I always start with modeling the correct sentence or word you want your child to learn. This simply means say it, and say it a lot. Talk about things in the grocery store as you see them then again at home when you put groceries away. If your child does not start using or saying the word or phrase after you model it, be explicit and tell them "Now you say "I see a banana" and after they attempt give them positive praise.


Play games with them like Charades (they have to use expressive language to guess what you're miming), I Spy, or Guess what I'm Thinking. These games require them to describe things, using a lot of language.


If your child struggles with grammar and they say a sentence incorrectly, repeat the sentence back to them correctly and have them say it again in the correct grammatical form. Asking them questions about a book or movie or school event is another way to get them talking. 

How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?

If you have tried many of the suggestions listed above and your child continues to struggle using correct vocabulary or sentence structure, contact us at Chit Chat Speech Therapy and we can help determine if speech therapy is the right intervention for your child. 

How long does speech therapy take?

There is no set time limit on how long speech therapy is needed. It all depends on the child's needs and abilities. Speech therapy always has more progress the more the family is involved and is working with the child when the therapist is not present. That's why Chit Chat Speech Therapy does parent training, so YOU can learn how to help your child too! 

Contact an Articulation Speech Therapist in Minnesota

You want the best for your child, and you've been told that speech therapy might be a good idea, but you're not sure where to start, or what the next step should be. Chit Chat Speech Therapy can help! We provide speech therapy services for children of all ages in a fun and supportive environment in your own home. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your child reach their full potential. Call or text us at 763-280-3202, email us at, or fill out our contact form.

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