Normal Language Development
- Speech Sound Development
- Normal Language Development
- Improving Language Skills
- Listening And Remembering
- Talking With Your Child
- Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
- Normal Nonfluency
- Reading To Your Child
About normal language development.
Language includes a child's ability to understand the speech of others and to express his thoughts and ideas. No two children are alike. Each differs in his rate and pattern of growth. Though growth may be uneven, it follows an orderly sequence. This listing summarizes some very general guidelines for normal language development.
0 - 1 Year
Echoes or immitates a number of syllables and sounds
Varies cry to indicate needs
Vocalizes for social reasons
Responds to a familiar name or "no-no"
Waves bye-bye or patty-cakes when asked
1 - 2 Years
Uses single words like "mama", "dada", "kitty",
Uses exclamatory expressions like "oh-oh"
Gestures to indicate wants
Follows simple directions
Locates objects when named
Identifies three body parts when named
2 - 3 Years
Uses vocabulary of 300 - 600 words
Uses 2 - 3 word sentences
Uses language to express wants (ex. "I want cookie")
Asks for "more"
Asks questions like "what’s that?"
Demands to do things by himself
3 - 4 Years
Uses vocabulary of about 900 words
Uses 3 to 4 word sentences
Uses language to get information and control others (ex. "Give me a cookie")
Asks many questions
Gets confused by time words like "yesterday", "soon"
May experience normal nonfluency
Average listener understands his speech
4 -5 Years
Uses vocabulary of about 1500 words
Uses 4 to 5 word sentences
Asks "who" and "why" questions
Relates experiences in a logical order
Uses describing words like colors, "big", "fat"
Beyond 5 Years
Uses vocabulary of 3000 - 7000 words
Uses 6 to 7 word sentences
Uses language for social reasons "I want to play", "Leave me
alone", "I got a new bike"
Speaks with correct grammar and word endings
Tells simple stories
Language is becoming adult-like
Beyond 8 Years
Uses more complex adult-like language
Gives logical solutions to problems like "What if..."
Understands humor-jokes, riddles
Uses and understands some idioms like "yelled his head off"
Source of Information:
Arnold Gesell, The First Five Years of Life (New York: Harper and Row, 1940)
Barbara S. Wood, Children and Communication: Verbal and Nonverbal Language Development (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1976)
Staff of Developmental Language and Speech Center, Teach Your Child to Talk (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency "Helping Schools Help Children"
For more information, contact the Mississippi Bend Area Education Area Education Agency center nearest you.
Bettendorf Service Center
729 - 21st Street
Bettendorf, IA 52722
2001 Manufacturing Court
Clinton, IA 52732
Phone: (563) 242-6454
Muscatine Service Center
1422 Houser Street
Muscatine, IA 52761