Recent views of the structure and functions of attention and their relationship to our conceptions of language disorders are presented. First, a brief review is presented of the methodologies used in the study of attention. In the next section, three aspects of recent findings and thoughts about attention are reviewed: the structure of the attentional faculty, allocation and movement of attention, and what attention is. Findings from both language-impaired and normal populations are presented. The final section discusses specific attentional disorders that are believed to be involved in both developmental and acquired language disabilities.