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Plenty of exciting changes will occur to your child in their first few years, but one of the changes you should pay attention to is their communication skills. Adena Dacy of the National Association for the Education of Young Children explains that children are expected to achieve average communication milestones by a certain age. Dacy states that these milestones help parents and teachers assess if a child’s development is on track because each stage contributes to the further growth of their communication skills.
So if you want to monitor their progress, you should pay attention to these milestones of language acquisition:
Emission of sounds Are you hearing a wide variety of sounds from your newborn? Though they may sound odd, this indicates that they’re on track with learning languages.
A study by the University of Würzburg researchers shows that healthy infants up to six months of age vocalize to interact with people or communicate any discomfort. These sounds may sound random to most parents, but the researchers pointed out that this allows infants to expand their sounds by their fourth or fifth month. By this time, they’d add consonant- and vowel-like elements into their babbling in preparation for the next milestone.
Introduction of words Your baby will continue to make non-verbal replies, or fun animal sounds around their first two years. These sounds are important because they set the stage for the next milestone: words!
The language acquisition milestones listed by Maryville University indicate that babies between six and eleven months will attempt to say their first words. This is also usually when they first say “mama” or “dada,” making it an exciting milestone for parents to look forward to. They should be able to name objects or people using two to three words once they turn one and speak brief phrases before they turn two.
Start of expressive language Kids need to learn phrases before they turn two because typical kids speak in two- to four-word sentences by age two to three. Their progress will get even more exciting by the time they reach five when they should be able to use different types of sentences.
Our article entitled ‘What Should My Six and Seven-Year-Old Be Learning?’ shares that their ability to express themselves will expand by the time they reach six and seven. Typical kids at this age could speak in complete sentences and even crack a joke during conversations due to their advanced language skills.
Construction of complex sentences You still need to pay attention to several language milestones, even when your child can speak in complete sentences. After all, their vocabularies are still expanding as they grow older.
The Verywell Family’s article on how kids learn languages shares that kids do not resemble adult language until they reach the age of eleven. So, during the pre-teen years, parents should assess if their kids can create although-type sentences and form more complex sentence constructions. For instance, they may say, “Although I had no money, I looked for ways to help my friend.” instead of “I had no money, but still helped my friend.”
These language acquisition milestones aren’t only fun to look forward to and important for parents and teachers to take note of. You can assess your child’s language abilities through these milestones and help them get the proper support they may need.
This article was written by Rosetta Joseph