• Pragmatic Language
    Pragmatic Language is a person's ability to use language in context.  The study of pragmatics is the study of how language is used socially to achieve goals, and includes issues such as how communication is affected by different contexts and audiences, how messages are composed most effectively, and how different types of messages are put to best use.  Pragmatic language refers to language in its social sense.  It involves not only what is said, but why and for what purpose something is said. (Prutting & Kirchner, 1987)  Pragmatic language can look at verbal and non-verbal language skills in social scenarios.  Children with weaknesses in their pragmatic language may exhibit the following:
    • Difficulty using appropriate non-verbal language skills (ie. eye contact, body language, facial expressions) to help regulate social interaction
    • Difficulty interpreting facial expressions
    • Failure to develop peer relationships
    • Difficulty with conversation skills (initiation of a topic, maintaining a topic, or transitioning from one topic to another)
    • Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
    • Use of repetitive language, they may perseverate on a topic of interest to them
    • Lack of varied, spontaneous make believe play or social imitative play
    • Inflexibility to appropriately handle a change in routine
    • Difficulty staying on task
    • Difficulty with role playing and problem solving
    • Lack of understanding of abstract concepts
    • May have difficulty understanding inferences, idioms and multiple meaning words
    • Difficulty with turn taking and may interrupt others during conversations or while playing a game
    • Inflexibility of thought
    How to Help?
    • Teach flexibility of thought by solving Stoop-Like Tasks, Figure Ground Illusions (optical illusions that show more than one way of interpreting a picture), and Set-Shifting Games
    • Encourage eye contact, but do not force it
    • Use prompts to help re-direct the child to a task
    • Point out recognition of facial features
    • Teach appropriate physical proximity
    • Provide the child with an understanding of appropriate "time and place" ( they can be loud on the playground, but not in a restaurant)
    • Explain idioms used in everyday language
    • Remind them of when their turn is while playing a game or during conversations
    • Have them practice conversations on the phone with a relative
    • Teach Grice's Maxim's: Quantity - saying just enough (not too little and not too much), Quality - look at the truthfulness of the information, give a clear perspective, Relation - look at the relevancy of the information, Manner - look at the clarity of the information 
    • Explain homonyms, metaphors, and multiple meaning words
    • Be patient during conversations

    Idioms/Figurative Language:

    http://www.idiomconnection.com/ (Includes: Varying Idioms by Category i.e. animals, colors, etc.)

    https://www.quia.com/pages/pbordasidioms.html (Includes varying Idiom Activities)

    Social Skills:

    https://www.quia.com/rr/95269.html?AP_rand=1916699454&playHTML=1 (A game about Social Skills at school with our friends)

    https://www.quia.com/jg/1265560.html (Problem Solving Activities)

    https://www.quia.com/rr/41487.html?AP_rand=1595807819&playHTML=1 (Problem Solving Scenarios)

    https://www.quia.com/pop/532895.html (Inferencing Paragraphs)

    https://www.quia.com/rr/990518.html?AP_rand=1173134815&playHTML=1 (Social Skills Conversation Skills)


    When you open the websites listed above, type in the specific goals your child is addressing i.e. social skills, problem solving, idioms  etc. This will allow you to access specific activities for your child to work on.
    Please contact me via email, ccramer@newpaltz.k12.ny.us, if you have any questions.
Last Modified on September 15, 2021