Babies are born programmed to learn language, and are actually quite adept at it. Their built-in language ability follows a universal timetable, one that transcends ethnicity and socioeconomic class. Here's an overview of what to listen for and when in your child's language development.
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Cooing; making long vowel sounds like "oo," "aa," and "ee."
Babbling using consonants.
Recognizing familiar words or names.
Pointing, grunting, and gazing to get her demands met; using her own invented words.
Saying his first real words, such as "Mama" and "Dada," a sibling's name, body parts, animal names, or noises like "woof, woof."
Identifying objects; following simple one-step commands like "Get the ball."
Saying 50 words; using verbs; asking "What's that?" to get name recognition.
Speaking in two-word sentences, such as "Drink milk" or "Play ball"; using the words "no" and "mine" frequently.
Conveying whole thoughts by employing just a few words, like saying "Mommy no socks" for "Mommy isn't wearing any socks today."
Speaking in longer sentences; putting several thoughts together to tell a story; using about 300 words; following a story line and remembering ideas from it; enjoying nonsense phrases.
Having extensive conversations with adults; using adjectives in detailed sentences; telling knock-knock jokes; asking questions with proper intonation.
Using expressive vocabulary of 2,500 words; understanding 14,000 words; expressing complicated thoughts like fears and dreams; saying "thank you"; using words to elicit reactions from others.
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