SLP Corner: Working on Inference Skills
Today I’m going to talk about inferencing. This is one of those words that we use a lot as speech therapists and teachers use a fair bit as well, but I don’t think it means a lot to other people! It means understanding things which aren’t directly stated. This is something we all do all the time. For example, if you see someone running as fast as they can towards a station, you don’t need them to tell you that they are trying to catch a train, you just know it. Your brain has put together three pieces of information – running, a station and your previous knowledge that a train goes at a certain time and if you’re not there, you miss it! It seems like a very simple thing, you probably don’t even consciously think about some of the inferences you make, but in fact it is a very complex skill. Children with language difficulties often struggle with this sort of understanding.
Inferencing relates to what is happening now. It is related to but not the same as prediction (the skill of working out what will happen next).
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