Milestones for Language Development


Birth – 2 year

  • Engage infants in conversations using animated speech and responding when they vocalize
  • Label and describe objects that the children observe
  • Ask simple questions and repeat/expand on simple questions
  • Teach hand signals so they can communicate

2-6 years

  • Read age appropriate story books
  • Give corrective feedback
  • Work on simple listening skills
  • Ask follow up questions and have them construct narratives about recent events

-Taken from Developmental Trends Table in Child Development and Education pg. 352


Differences between Voice, Speech and Language

What are voice, speech, and language?

Voice, speech, and language are the tools we use to communicate with each other.

Voice is the sound we make as air from our lungs is pushed between vocal folds in our larynx, causing them to vibrate.

Speech is talking, which is one way to express language. It involves the precisely coordinated muscle actions of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal tract to produce the recognizable sounds that make up language.

Language is a set of shared rules that allow people to express their ideas in a meaningful way. Language may be expressed verbally or by writing, signing, or making other gestures, such as eye blinking or mouth movements.

Communication is KEY!!

Image result for childrens language

How do we communicate with each other? Through language both verbal and non verbal. Children start to communicate when they are born. Infants can smile, coo, cry or turn their heads away when they are trying to get your attention to tell you something “Infants begin to categorizing objects as early as 3 or 4 months of age, understand the meaning of some words as early as 8 months of age and typically say their first word at about 12 months” (Byrnes & Wasik, 2009). “By the time children are 16 to 18 months old, many have 50 words in their expressive vocabularies” (Byrnes & Wasik, 2009).  As children get older their vocabulary expands tremendously. Preschool aged children are able to organize their words into different groups (i.e. whales, fish, sand are all in the water). You can always scaffold a child’s vocabulary by introducing new words, pictures or other items to increase their language base. Children learn by doing and by modeling behavior.