CHILD'S LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

No means of communication is as versatile and precise as a language. All the mystery and misunderstanding of the guessing game of gesture is transformed as soon as your child can talk. Your little one start to experiment with their voice at about 3 months, and babble, coo, growl, whisper and yell at 6, but they don’t learn to say much until they are 18 months, when speech usually blossoms. [source]

Here’s a chart to help you see your child’s language development and progress.

Age of Child Typical Language Development
12 - 13
Months
Verbalisation with intonation
Responds to his name
Responds to human voices without visual cues by turning his head and eyes
Responds appropriately to friendly and angry tones
Uses one or more words with meaning (this may be a fragment of a word)
Understands simple instructions, especially if verbalise or physical cues are given
Practices inflection
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18
Months
Has vocabulary of approximately 5-20 words
Vocabulary chiefly made up of nouns
Repeats a word or phrase over and over
Is able to follow simple commands
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24
Months
Can name a number of objects common to his surroundings
Is able to use at least two prepositions, usually chosen from the following: in, on, under
Combines words into a short sentence, largely noun-verb combinations
Approximately 2/3 of what child says should be intelligible
Vocabulary of approximately 150-300 words
Rhythm and fluency often poor
Volume and pitch of voice not yet well-controlled
Can use two pronouns correctly: I, me, you, although me and I are often confused
My and mine are beginning to emerge
Responds to such commands as "show me your eyes (nose, mouth, hair)"
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36
Months
Use pronouns I, you, me correctly
Is using some plurals and past tenses
Knows at least three prepositions, usually in, on, under
Knows major parts of the body and should be able to indicate these if not name
Handles three word sentences easily
Vocabulary of approximately 900-1000 words
About 90% of what child says should be intelligible
Verbs begin to dominate
Understands most simple questions dealing with his environment and activities
Relates his experiences so that they can be followed with reason
Able to reason out such questions as "what must you do when you are sleepy, hungry, cold, or thirsty?"
Should be able to give his sex, name, age
Should not be expected to answer all questions even though he understands what is expected
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48
Months
Knows names of familiar animals
Can use at least four prepositions or demonstrate his understanding of their meanings when given commands
Names common objects in picture books or magazines
Knows one or more colours
Can repeat 4 digits when they are given slowly
Can usually repeat words of four syllables
Demonstrates understanding of over and under
Has most vowels and diphthongs and the consonants p, b, m, w, n well-established
Often indulges in make-believe
Extensive verbalisation as he carries out activities
Understands such concepts as longer, larger, when a contrast is presented
Readily follows simple commands even though the stimulus is not in sight
Much repetition of words, phrases, syllables, and even sounds
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60
Months
Can use many descriptive words spontaneously (both adjectives and adverbs)
Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heavy-light, etc.
Has number concepts of 4 or more
Can count to ten
Speech should be completely intelligible, in spite of articulation problems
Should know all vowels and the consonants, m, p, b, h, w, k, g, t, d, n, ng, y
Should be able to repeat sentences with as many as nine words
Should be able to define common objects in terms of use (hat, shoe, chair)
Should be able to follow three commands given without interruptions
Should know his age
Should have simple time concepts: morning, afternoon, night, day, later, after, while, tomorrow, yesterday, today
Should be using fairly long sentences and should use some compound and some complex sentences
Speech on the whole should be grammatically correct
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6
Years
In addition to the above consonants, these should be mastered: f, v, sh, zh, th
Speech should be completely intelligible and socially useful
Should be able to tell one rather connected story about a picture, noticing the relationship between objects and situations
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7
Years
Should have mastered the consonants s-z, r, voiceless th, ch, wh, and the soft g as in George
Should handle opposite analogies easily: girl-boy, man-woman, flies-swims, blunt-sharp, short-long, sweet-sour, etc.
Understands such terms as: alike, different, beginning, end, etc.
Should be able to tell time to quarter hour
Should be able to do simple reading and to write many words
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8
Years
Can relate rather involved accounts of events, many of which occurred at some time in the past
Complex and compound sentences should be used easily
Should be few lapses in grammatical constrictions (tense, pronouns, plurals)
All speech sounds, including consonant blends should be established
Should be reading with considerable ease and now writing simple compositions
Social amenities should be present in his speech in appropriate situations
Control of rate, pitch, and volume are generally well and appropriately established
Can carry on conversation at a rather adult level
Follows fairly complex directions with little repetition
Has well developed time and number concepts

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