The first 3 years of our life are crucial for the acquisition speech & language abilities. It is this period where the human brain is most potent in its developmental cycle and where it starts to recognize important sounds such as their mothers’ voice etc. As babies grow, they begin to sort out phonemes that compose the words of their mother tongue. This age sets the wheel of speech & language development in motion which gives humans the communication that makes us supreme on this planet.

Children vary in their development of speech and language skills. However, they follow a natural progression for mastering the skills of language. These milestones help to determine whether a child’s speech & language development is age appropriate or not.

You can note below the developmental stages of language and articulation for your child. These may not be a benchmark of normal development but have been derived as a standardization. We have taken reference from “Reels Index” for the below information. If your child fails the below mentioned development stages, then you may require to consult a speech therapist and initiate a rehabilitation process via speech therapy.

Age Chart for normal expressive language development

Zero to 3 Months:

This age is dominated by frequent crying and basic vowel sounds like “E” & “A”
We can also observe a special cry for “pain & hunger”, cooing sounds and a vocal sign for pleasure.
Occasionally one may notice the child responding to sound stimulation.

Three to 6 Months:

This age sees and introduction of sounds like “P”, “B” & “M”. One can notice laughs while playing and generally babbling starts from around the fifth month.
While alone, the child can be observed making noises and sounds while playing and there is observed to be a vocalization with 4 or more syllables.

Six to 9 Months:

In this age babbling takes to the next level where we can observe 2 syllables with repeats & combinations. One also finds the child to respond with vocalization when called. This is the age when child starts to name things in his own language.
In this age the child also tries to mimic sounds, songs etc without any “True Words” and makes appropriate use of some gestures like shaking head for affirmation or rejection.

Nine to 12 Months:

First “True Words” appear in this age like “Mama”, “Dada”, “Bye-Bye” etc. One may often notice vocalization with varied Jargon patterns wherein there are short sentence utterances of 4 or more syllables without true words. One can also observe an attempt to imitate new words.
Near about a year of age, one can observe the child talking to its toys and occasionally using around 3 words with some accuracy.

Twelve to 16 Months:

Once the child is a year old, we notice development in attempts to obtain desired objectives by mixing voice and sign gestures like pointing. During this period consonants such as “T”, “D”, “W”, “N” and “H” appear along with some “True Words” within the “Jargon” patterns.
Herein general conversation is attempted using mixture of true words and gestures.

Sixteen to 20 Months:

At this age the language development pattern sees a new twist wherein we notice more dependency on words rather than gestures to express needs and wants. The child starts to imitate 2-3 word sentences as well as environmental sounds such as that of motors, animals etc. By twenty months in general the vocabulary of the child is placed between 10—20 words.

Twenty to 24 Months:

After 20 months, child start formulating simple 2-3 word sentences like “daddy come”, “go bye-bye”, “Play with doll” etc. Hereon, the child also refers to self with own name and begins using certain pronouns with syntax errors.

Twenty Four to 30 Months:

After 2 years of age the language ability of the child shows improvement and the child begins to ask help with personal needs such as to wash hands or go to toilet etc. One can also note the use of personal pronouns such as “I, You, it, He, she, me” etc. in the speech. During this period, the child is also able to name at least one colour and repeat two or more numbers.

Thirty to 36 Months:

At this age, the child is able to discriminate gender differences clearly. The child is able to talk and narrate work done, day to day experiences as well as speak first and last name when asked.

Thirty Six to 42 Months:
At this age, the child is able to clearly identify five or more primary colours when asked. In terms of language addition, the child is able to make use of words like “can’t, do not” etc; prepositions like “in, on” as well as plural markers.

By the end of 3.5 years, the child would have acquired more than 1000 words in his/her vocabulary and would be able to use 3 word sentences fluently or non-fluently.

Forty Two to 48 Months:
As the child reaches the age of four, he/she is able to name all colours and people around, can speak non-fluent or fluent 3-4 word sentences. Most important development however is that the child is able to use present and future tense while talking.

Four to 5 Years:

Between the four to five years of age, the child is able to enact a story using body posture and gesture as an expressive language. His/her language also shows usage of simple past and past continuous tenses along with past regular verbs such as “went”, “did” etc.
Another important language development which takes place is that the child is able to use all “Why” questions.

Five to 6 Years:

After 5 years of age the child is able to speak 5-6 word sentences and is able to match words to object. Hereon, there is a constant increase in vocabulary week on week

Six to 7 years:

By 7 years of age the child is able to use double adjective, nouns and phrases and one can observe a fluency in speech.
By this age the child is able to articulate all sounds in his language.

Let us look into the normal “Speech Development Articulation Index” for both boys and girls:

The Chart below shows the childs articulation development i.e. from what age till what age the sounds emerge and are mastered mastered by both Girls and Boys. One can simply look at the development on ones child accordingly and seek Speech Therapy Assistance in case of a delay:

Speech Therapy

Speech development-articulation Index

If you require any speech therapy assistance or counselling regarding your child, you can contact India Speech and Hearing Centre by filling the form below. You can find our contact information by reaching our contact page

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