language development in early childhood

young children experience a language explosion between the ages of 3 and 6. at age 3, their spoken vocabularies consist of roughly 900 words. as children move beyond using two word sentences, they start to learn and understand grammar rules. for example, children first begin using simple plurals (cats) and possessive forms of nouns (daddy’s car). children become increasingly skilled at remembering and practicing the language modeled around them, as well as modifying word use based on other people’s reactions. children may view this attention as approval and will often continue to use that word or phrase to obtain more attention in the future.

between the ages of 2 and 5, children also refine their ability to pronounce words. for example, children start to understand the use of basic metaphors based on very concrete ideas, such as the saying “hard as a rock”. young children develop “illocutionary intent”, or the ability to understand that a sentence may have meaning beyond the exact words being spoken. by ages 5 to 7, young children can also understand and learn to use a word by being told its definition (rather than experiencing that word directly). in addition, children start to understand that words often have multiple meanings, opening up a whole new realm of humor and jokes that they will find amazingly funny.

find research-based resources, tips and ideas for families—from child development to reading, writing, music, math, and more! join us at the members-only event and build your advocacy skills, expand your networks, and advance federal and state early childhood policy. find a sponsorship opportunity that’s right for you and help support early childhood educators, parents, and other professionals. discover the benefits of early childhood accreditation, learn about the four step process, find support and resources for your program or login to the accreditation portal. when you talk to your child, you support her language development. if she could talk, she might ask you… 2.  use a gesture along with the word you say, so that i can say it too. i can imitate the gesture and tell you when i’m hungry. 5. take turns chatting back and forth with me.

if i’m older, you can reply to my questions and ask your own. if i say, “two cat,” you can say, “you have two cats on your shirt!”  i learn a lot from you. it’s easier to learn words in songs. i can learn about rhymes, the abc song, the colors of my clothing, and the names of my friends. read me a book, let me decide how you do it and when we are done. check out the thrift store and buy me a few board books (wipe them with a damp cloth). when you point out words in books and on containers, i begin to understand how printed and spoken words are connected. 12.  give me time to learn and explore.

young children experience a language explosion between the ages of 3 and 6. at age 3, their spoken vocabularies consist of roughly 900 words. by age 6, spoken 1. when i point to something, tell me what it is. ; 2. use a gesture along with the word you say, so that i can say it too. ; 3. talk to me about what you are the first 3 years of life, when the brain is developing and maturing, is the most intensive period for acquiring speech and language skills., .

during the early school years, your child will learn more words and start to understand how the sounds within language work together. your child will also become a better storyteller, as they learn to put words together in different ways and build different types of sentences. infants become aware of sounds and words being shared around them and start to communicate their own needs. toddlers begin to talk in simple sentences, ask the development of language is strongly interdependent with, and supports, your child’s brain development and cognitive development. studies have shown that figure 1. reading to young children helps them develop language skills by hearing and using new vocabulary words. a child’s vocabulary expands between the ages, . strategies to support language developmentbe a good role model. read to them. talk together. sing with them. play describing, guessing, and turn-taking games. encourage pretend play. explore rhymes. create a language-rich environment.

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