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Posts tagged ‘toddlers’

Typical language development: 2-3 years

This week we’ll continue with typical language development milestones ages 2-3 years.

For the first 2 years, parents and caregivers focus on taking care of the child. Feeding and making sure they are safe is a priority. Lots of physical changes happen during the first 2 years (they go from newborn to lap babies to crawlers and walkers) and it seems as if language develops slowly (although it really doesn’t!). But now language skills are more obvious and you really have to be careful what you say! Kids will imitate everything! This age is so much fun!

Here’s what is expected.

Expressive Language

  • They have a word for almost everything.
  • They use 2-3 words to talk about and ask for things.
  • They use k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds.
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time.
  • They often ask for or direct attention to objects by naming them.

Receptive Language

  • They understand differences in meaning (“go-stop,” “in-on,” “big-little,” “up-down”).
  • They follow two requests (“Get the book and put it on the table”).
  • They listen to and enjoy hearing stories for longer periods of time.

What you can do to encourage language

* Show your child that you are interested in what he/she says (look at them and repeat what they said to you)

* Use clear, simple speech that is easy to imitate (because they’ll imitate EVERYTHING!)

* Cut out pictures from old magazines and make a scrapbook of familiar things.

* Ask your child questions that require a choice, rather than simply a “yes” or “no” answer.

* Look at family photos and name the people. Use simple phrases/sentences to describe what is happening in the pictures (e.g., “Grandpa makes pancakes”).

* Continue to sing songs, play finger games and tell nursery rhymes (“Hickory Dickory Dock“). These songs and games introduce your child to the rhythm and sounds of language.

* Strengthen your child’s language comprehension skills by playing the yes-no game: “Are you a girl?”, “Is that a lion?”, “Is your name Danny?”

* Read books. While reading books you can…

*Expand on your child’s vocabulary. Introduce new vocabulary through reading books that have a simple sentence on each page

* Name objects and describe the picture on each page of the book.

Is your child between the ages of 2-3? What is he or she doing?



What’s typical language acquisition?

Although every child is different, these are some guidelines…

Babies start acquiring language since they are in the womb. But by the time they are 6 months old, they are vocalizing more and they respond when they hear their names!! (how cute is that!).

By their 1st year, they start saying some words or approximation of words. Although these words are not produced perfectly, they use these words with intention and consistently. Around this time they are also able to follow some simple directions such as give me the ball, come here, etc.

Around their 2nd year, their vocabulary explodes! They know about 250 words! (Be careful with what you say, they learn words quickly!). They use 1-2 word sentences.

Between ages 4 and 5, they expand their vocabulary and they learn best through pretend play. They answer basic questions, they can re-tell a story (not many details), and participate in conversation.

Keep in mind that each child is different and they learn differently. So, if your child is not doing some of these things, don’t panic yet!  If you have questions contact your pediatrician, your local school or contact ASHA to find a speech pathologist in your area.

Was this information helpful? Do you have any questions regarding language acquisition in children?