Things you may not know about language development
Language development is complex. It involves many characteristics that vary per a child’s age and the stimulation strategies that are used. Of course, language development comes with its fair share of concerns. For this article, I prepared a list of elements that should be considered to evaluate a child’s language skills. Although this list could be much longer, these elements represent the issues that I come across most when working with parents and early childhood educators.
- An adult should never ask a child to repeat a word or sentence.
- New sounds must be introduced progressively. It is normal for children to not master all sounds at once.
- At three years of age, a stranger should be able to understand a child.
- It is very important that adults provide adequate models. Even if a child does not repeat words or sentences spoken by adults, hearing them represents a great way for him to learn.
- Letting a child choose between two options represents an excellent strategy for helping a child identify the correct word within his lexical field.
- Children generally pronounce their first words around 12 months of age.
- Children must understand a concept before they can use it.
- Language skills can be developed as you go about your daily activities. Including activities that foster language development in your activity planning will increase language stimulation opportunities.
- Red lights should go off if a 12-month-old is almost always silent, not vocal at all, and does not babble.
- Around 24 months, children may begin to combine two words.
- You should worry if a child prefers solitary play at 36 months.
- At four years old, a child should be able to speak with ease and have a conversation.
- Providing children with opportunities to communicate is a good idea. For example, you could “forget” to provide forks at lunch time so that children will have to request them.
- At four years old, children should be able to make complete sentences including pronouns and determiners.
- The telegraphic style may be present until a child’s third birthday. At three years of age, children will begin to use determiners and the telegraphic style will slowly turn into complete, fluid sentences.
If you are intrigued and would like to learn more about language development, many other articles are available in the educatall.com archives. You will find countless tips and fun activities.
Maude Dubé, Specialized educator