Expressive Language DisorderA communication disorder in which there are difficulties with verbal and written expression. There can be problems with vocabulary, producing complex sentences, and remembering words. There may or may not be abnormalities in articulation.


·      Difficulty combining words to express ideas, thoughts, and feelings


·      Sometimes appropriateness of intent to communicate is compromised (knowing what words are best for specific situations)


How does it manifest in the classroom?

Classroom Strategies

·      Unable to use appropriate grammatical structures (e.g. pronoun reversals, plural forms, verb tenses)









·      Unable to formulate sentences of varying lengths and complexities














·      Inappropriate responses to social situations









·      Difficulty with tasks, such as writing to dictation or note-taking













·      Unable to recall words for verbal expression/stalled speech (“um, um…”)


·      Use pictures and/or colors to associate with correct grammatical form (e.g., boy=he, girl=she, blue=boy=he, pink=girl=she).

·      Include the student in ELD lessons on grammatical structures.

·      Use teacher “think-alouds” to model language.

·      Use language or sentence frames.

·      Use turn and talk frequently and check in on identified student. Provide prompts and/or model appropriate responses.



·      Provide clues about the object (characteristics and use, give the first sound/letter of the word, etc.).

·      Utilize word wall (with pictures, as appropriate).

·      Encourage child to add an adjective/adverb or modifying phrase to their initial attempt.

o   Suggest modifiers.

o   Model correct response and have child repeat.

·      Use sentence frames.

·      Provide response choices.

o   Verbally model and have child repeat.

·      Have child repeat a modeled phrase or sentence.

·      Do “Masterpiece Sentence” lessons/activities.




·      Practice identifying different emotions.

·      Teach routine greetings.

·      Restate response in a more appropriate manner and have the student repeat the appropriate response.

·      Video clip of appropriate interactions (Calif. Streaming may be possible source).

·      Role-play appropriate responses.



·      Provide teacher notes or Powerpoint/Keynote slides or notes pages.

·      Utilize visual aides (i.e., cell phone photo of lesson charts).

·      Provide peer assistance for note taking.

·      Use turn and talk strategy frequently.

·      Pre-teach or frontload the child with outline.

·      Pre-teach key terms/vocabulary.

·      Chunk sentences for dictation into smaller segments.

·      Have students count the number of words in a sentence to be written.



·      Use visual prompts and carrier phrase/sentence frames for speaking or writing.

·      Practice verbalizations while pointing to words.

·      Allow time for oral practice before written work.