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Language Development Chart

Age of Child & Typical Language Development

6 Months

Vocalization 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

12 Months

Uses one or more words with meaning (this may be a fragment of a word)

Understands simple instructions, especially if vocal or physical cues are given

Practices inflection

Is aware of the social value of speech

18 Months

Has vocabulary of approximately 5-20 words

Vocabulary made up chiefly of nouns

Some echolalia (repeating a word or phrase over and over)

Much jargon with emotional content

Is able to follow simple commands

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 (mean) length of sentences is given as 1.2 words

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)”

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 chief parts of body and should be able to indicate these if not name

Handles three word sentences easily

Has in the neighborhood of 900-1000 words

About 90% of what child says should be intelligible

Verbs begin to predominate

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, cool, 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

48 Months

Knows names of familiar animals

Can use at least four prepositions or can demonstrate his understanding of their meaning when given commands

Names common objects in picture books or magazines

Knows one or more colors

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 verbalization as he carries out activities

Understands such concepts as longer, larger, when a contrast is presented

Readily follows simple commands even thought the stimulus objects are not in sight

Much repetition of words, phrases, syllables, and even sounds

60 Months

Can use many descriptive words spontaneously-both adjectives and adverbs

Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heave-light, etc

Has number concepts of 4 or more

Can count to ten

Speech should be completely intelligible, in spite of articulation problems

Should have all vowels and the consonants, m,p,b,h,w,k,g,t,d,n,ng,y (yellow)

Should be able to repeat sentences as long 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

For more information about speech & language development, please visit the following sites:

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