Language Development from Birth to 8 Years

This timeline will identify progression of language development from birth to age eight.  It will highlight the important milestones for the age range.  

Birth to 6 months of age

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-Responds to voices and sounds

-Recognizes voices and tones

-Localizes to sounds heard

-Cries at different pitches to express different needs

- Smiles


-Produces phonemes/p, b, m/ in babbling

7 to 12 months

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-Listens when spoken to

-Responds to his/ her name

-Understands "no" and common objects (e.g., cup)

-Understands some simple commands

-Uses more complex babbling

-Uses speech intentionally

-Uses more gestures to communicate

-Produces first words

13 to 18 months

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-Points to one to three body parts

-Makes more requests verbally or with hand signals to communicate

-Understands additional simple commands

-Speech is mostly unintelligible to strangers

-Repeats more

-Expressive vocabulary of 5 to 20 words

19 to 24 months

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-Receptive vocabulary of 300 or more words

-Points to pictures in a book

-Understands five body parts and basic categories (e.g., food)

-Expressive vocabulary of 50 -100 words or more

-Names common objects

-Begins to use pronouns (I, me, you ), although still may confuse the use of each

-Begins to use possessives (my, mine)

-Begins to use two and three word in phrases

2 to 3 years old

-Receptive vocaulary of 500 to 900 words


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