How do I know if my Child is a Gestalt Language Processor?

October 18, 2023 1 Comment

When we use the term Gestalt Language Processor (GLP), we refer to a child who learns to communicate using chunks of words or phrases. 

A child who is a GLP will begin their language development by repeating phrases or parts of sentences they have learned. 

The first thing to remember is that GLP is a normal and natural type of language development. 

If you’re wondering if your child is a GLP, keep in mind the following questions that could point to your child being a GLP.

1. Do they repeat lines?

Have you ever noticed your child repeat lines from TV shows or movies they watch frequently? This can look like a phrase that never changes and is said the same way each time. It may or may not seem to relate to the context of the situation you are in.

2. Did they sing before speaking?

Children who are GLPs can sometimes be quite musical. As a GLP, they will pick up on intonation first, which is the rise and fall of sound or tone. With that in mind, songs and melodies are rich with intonation and can often become the first type of gestalt for a child.

3. Is their language rich in intonation?

As mentioned, a GLP is naturally drawn to phrases rich in intonation. This includes adding the tone and emotion to the phrase they are repeating. For example, if they hear “Let’s go!” on a TV show said with real excitement, they will learn and repeat that phrase with the same pitch and emotion each time.

4. Do they use intelligible strings of language?

This can sometimes be dismissed as muttering or a child babbling, but on closer attention, this can be a gestalt. By listening closely, keeping in mind what they’re hearing everyday and looking out for specific intonation patterns, you may be able to understand the gestalt. It can sound unintelligible as the child’s motor speech system is not ready to produce the utterance clearly yet.  

If the answer to any of the above questions was yes, these may be signs that your child is a Gestalt Language Processor.


Understanding the NLA Framework (

The Stages of Gestalt Language Development (

How can I tell if my child is a GLP | Family Chatterbox


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1 Comment

  • Christine October 19, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    Wow I never thought about gestalt language processing before. Of all the kids I have worked with many of them match this description. Thanks for explaining this!

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