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Language is a complex, rule-based system that humans use to express their wants, needs, thoughts, and emotions as well as to understand the wants, needs, thoughts, and emotions of others. Children with language disabilities struggle with existing language rules and as a consequence, struggle with making themselves understood and understanding others around them. For children entering formal schooling, the presence of a language disability can have significant negative effects on their ability to participate and benefit from classroom instruction, even as early as preschool. This entry explores what it means to have a language disability and considers the impact of language disabilities on children’s educational experiences.

Defining Language Disability

A hypothetical scenario illustrates how language disabilities may affect students’ speech and comprehension. Jasmine is a 4-year-old child ...

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