Language Development

While infants do not usually begin to speak in the first year of life, development of language skills does allow them to understand and to communicate with others. Although not yet understanding what's being said, around one month, infants will turn to a soft voice, especially that of a parent’s.

By three to six weeks, they begin to use certain cries to express different needs, such as hungry or sleepiness.

What we refer to as "baby talk” begins at two months with cooing, or “ih” and “uh” sounds. Babies may also watch speaking mouths and respond. Around five months, babies progress to babbling, or repeating sounds for attention and expression. They may even begin to recognize their name.

By six to nine months, infants will begin to imitate sounds and rhythms of speech. They may still babble to communicate but can also recognize the word “no,” respond when told to “wave bye-bye” and begin to understand simple commands.

By their first birthday, the words “mama” and “dada” can be tied to parents by infants and even used. The names of other family members or pets may also be understood when they hear them.

Comprehending more words by this age, babies will tend to jabber with tone and inflection that mimics conversation.

reference:https://www.northshore.org/pediatrics/ages-and-milestones/infant/

Happy Baby

BIRTH TO 4 MONTHS

  • expresses needs

  • cries  

  • when content makes small throaty noises

  • soothed by sound of voice or by low rhythmic sounds

  • imitates adult tongue movements when being held and talked to  

  • may start to copy sounds

  •  coos and gurgles

EYLF Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators - Children interact verbally and non-verbally for a range of purposes. E.g. “engage in enjoyable interactions with babies as they make and play with sounds.” (p.40)

4-8 MONTHS

  • enjoys games such as peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake  

  • babbles and repeat sounds

  • makes talking sounds in response to others talking  

  • copies sounds  

  • smiles and babbles at own image in mirror  

  • responds to own name

EYLF Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators - Children interact verbally and non-verbally for a range of purposes. E.g. “engage in enjoyable interactions using verbal and non-verbal language.” (p.40)

8-12 MONTHS

  • responds to own name being called, family names and familiar objects  

  • babbles tunefully  

  • says words like ‘dada’ or ‘mama’  

  • waves goodbye

  • imitates hand clapping  

  • imitates actions and sounds  

  • enjoys finger-rhymes

  • shouts to attract attention

  • vocalises loudly using most vowels and consonants - sounding like conversation

EYLF Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity - Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities. E.g. “share children’s successes with families.” (p.23)

1-2 YEARS

  • comprehends and follows simple questions/ commands  

  • says first name  

  • says many words (mostly naming words)  

  • begins to use one to two word sentences, e.g. ”want milk”

  • reciprocal imitation of another toddler: will imitate each other’s actions

  • enjoys rhymes and songs

EYLF Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators - Children interact verbally and non-verbally for a range of purposes. E.g. “model language and encourage children to express themselves through language in a range of contexts and for a range of purposes.” (p.40)

2-3 YEARS

  • uses two or three words together, e.g. “go potty now”  

  • ‘explosion’ of vocabulary and use of correct grammatical forms of language  

  • refers to self by name and often says ‘mine’

  • asks lots of questions  

  • uses pronouns and prepositions, simple sentences and phrases

  • labels own gender

  • copies words and actions  

  • makes music, sing and dance  

  • likes listening to stories and books

EYLF Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity - Children feel safe secure and supported. E.g. “children initiate interactions and conversations with trusted educators.” (p.21)

3-5 YEARS

  • speaks in sentences and use many different words  

  • answers simple questions  

  • asks many questions  

  • tells stories

  • talks constantly

  • enjoys talking and may like to experiment with new words  

  • uses adult forms of speech  

  • takes part in conversations

  • enjoys jokes, rhymes and stories  

  • will assert self with words

EYLF Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators - Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking. E.g. “Provide children with access to a range of technologies.