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Expressive Youth: Discovering the Power of Figurative Language

Expressive Youth: Discovering the Power of Figurative Language

Child Development
Language Disorders

LIVE 5pm ET Tuesday 7/23/24

Pragmatic language encompasses not only social appropriateness but also figurative language, which adds context and color to communication. Hence, there are many benefits to considering the clinical implications of non-literal language skills. This presentation explores the production of figurative expressions of adolescents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and its implications for speech-language pathology practice. During the transition from childhood to adolescence, language skills required for social communication, understanding abstract concepts, inferential thinking, social interactions, and conveying figurative expressions increases (Farnia, 2018; Nippold, 2007). The use of figurative expressions utilized by adolescents is correlated to higher language functioning (Dean Qualls, et. al, 2003). Across cultures, especially within African American (AA) communities, figurative language is frequently used as a form of symbolic expression to convey meaning in discourse. African American English (AAE) speakers may organize their narratives in patterns that draw on an increased use of figurative expressions (Jackson, et. al., 2020 pg. 109). For that reason, researchers have found that metaphors, similes, and proverbs forms are mostly frequently observed in the discourse samples of AA speakers (Fraser, 1998; Hall, 2007, Wright-Harp & Brown, 2014).Knowledge of figurative language skills may help speech-language pathologists better serve populations with language-based disorders. Therefore, through a combination of practical examples, literature reviews, and data analysis, attendees will learn strategies to assess and identify higher functioning language skills such as the use of figurative expressions to increase diagnostic accuracy.


  • Shaleeta Jones

    M.S., CCC-SLP

    Shaleeta Jones, M.S., CCC-SLP, is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist with a specialization in social communication. As a third-year Ph.D. doctoral student, Shaleeta's expertise lies in the intricate realm of pragmatic language, specifically figurative expressions. Aside from her academic pursuits, she has over ten years of clinical experience in various educational settings. She is also the founder of Linguistic Architect, LLC.

Learning Objectives

List metalinguistic skills associated with figurative language use
Differentiate between 2-3 elicitation techniques for assessing figurative language production
Explain the strategies and techniques employed to recognize and interpret figurative expressions
Identify at least 4 types of figurative expressives from a discourse sample



5 minutesIntroductions and Disclosures
15 minutesOverview and Background of Figurative Language Relative to the Practice of Speech-Language Assessment and Intervention
10 minutesStrategies for Identifying Figurative Expression for Speech-Language Pathologists
20 minutesGroup Activity: Interpreting Figurative Language From Several Discourse Samples
10 minutesDiscussion and Audience Q&A period



Financial Disclosures:This project is receiving funding from the Howard University Research Centers in Minority (RCMI) Program, supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Award Number: 2U54MD00759
Non-Financial Disclosures:Shaleeta Jones has no non-financial relationships to disclose.
Content Disclosures:Shaleeta Jones has no additional content information to disclose.
In-Kind Donations: This course is being sponsored by SLP Toolkit and SLP Now.



This course is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs, Intermediate Level, Professional Area

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