Pragmatics refers to the social language skills we use when we interact with other people.

They include what we say, how we say it, our body language and whether it is appropriate to the given situation. Pragmatic language skills are important for communicating our personal thoughts, ideas and feelings. Children and young people with difficulties in pragmatic language skills often misinterpret other people’s intentions and have difficulty responding appropriately (both when they need to use words or not).

Pragmatic language skills include:

  • Asking for, giving and responding to information
  • Turn taking
  • Eye contact
  • Introducing and maintaining topics
  • Making relevant contributions to a topic
  • Using humour
  • Using appropriate strategies for gaining attention and interrupting
  • Offering/responding to expressions of affection appropriately

Click here if you have any questions about how your child might be developing their pragmatic language skills.

external links: Pragmatics

Bub Hub – Protect against bullying with communication and social skills
Raising Children Network – Toddlers making friends
Semantic and Pragmatic Difficulties