Language is the main way in which human beings communicate.
Language can be: thought, gesture, written, read, spoken, listened to, understood.

Each child learns the language of their own community.

Being able to work well in society depends on having the ability to communicate effectively.

The Sequence of Language Development.

Age Language Development Promoting Language Development
Newborn baby Cries when hungry, or uncomfortable, or lonely.
Makes contented little sounds.
Make eye contact with the baby.
Respond to crying. Talk to baby.
6 weeks Responds when spoken to -looks towards the sound, kicks or stops crying.
Responds vocally with smiles, coos and gurgles.
Pause in conversation to listen to baby's response.
Give a running commentary when changing and feeding the baby.
3 months Playful cooing and gurgling.
Imitates facial expressions. Blows raspberries.
Make funny faces and smile.
Allow baby to pay attention without background noise from the television. Use baby's name.
6 months Enjoys music and rhymes. Practices sounds: goo, der, adah, ka.
Shouts to attract attention. Laughs, chuckles and squeals in play.
Make sound effects for toys and objects brrrrmmm, miaow, splash! Imitate baby's sounds.
Sing and say nursery rhymes.
Chewing textured food helps to exercise the muscles needed for speech.
9 months Tuneful babbling - dad-dad, mum-mum, bab-bab. Copies sounds and simple words made by adults. Begins to recognise own name.
Attempts to join in actions of familiar rhymes e.g. playing Pat-a-cake.
Understands simple, single words - No, Bye-bye.
Play games - Ride a cock horse, games with actions.
Peekaboo - hide toys and ask, Where�s it gone?
Make allowances for stangers inhibiting baby's response.
1 year Says first words - labels for people, animals and familiar things. Points to desired objects. Understands simple instructions - come here, clap hands. Waves bye bye. Wean away from bottle and dummy.
18 months Points and uses single words.
Echoes the ends of words.
Name parts of the body - nose, eyes, toes.
Use simple clear language with repetition.
Provide a stress free environment.
2 years 2 word phrases e.g. Mammy gone, coat on.
Asks questions - What? Who? Where?
Over generalises - all men are Daddy.
Telegraphic speech - Me go bike.
Use stories, rhymes and finger plays. Answer questions.
Listen carefully and responsively.
Feedback corrections in natural conversations.
Be alert to hearing difficulty or need for Speech Therapist.
3 years Longer sentences. Learns new words quickly.
Word order is incorrect.
Uses words to protect own rights - It�s mine!
Talks to self to order play and plan thinking.
Asks questions Why? Who? What for? Enjoys rhymes and melody.
Reports past events uses incorrect word endings - runned.
Ask open ended questions.
Give time and opportunity to reply.
Suggest vocabulary.
4 years Wide vocabulary. Intelligible speech with few errors.
Tells long stories with a sequence of events.
Encourage child-child and child-adult conversations
5 years Uses over 2000 words appropriately.
Enjoys jokes and riddles.
Understands - colours, shapes, numbers, opposites - big/little.
Asks questions to gain information.
Offers own opinion.
Provide interesting activities and outings so the child has something to talk about.
Enjoy sharing books and stories.
7 years Able to read. Writes a paragraph. Encourage reading and writing activities.
Make learning fun!

Language Development is amazing!

A one year old says single words. A 7 year old uses language to ask and answer questions, to share ideas, to negotiate with others, to express feelings and to absorb new knowledge.

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