Language Development Guide for Young Children

By Julia Gorham

Language development is absolutely essential for the normal and complete development of every human being. Although language development is complex, children learn to speak their home language with ease in only 4 years of age.

  • Language development is learned through social interaction and many of the first words are used for interaction with others.
  • Vygotsky regards language as the foundation of acquiring intellectual skills, as the child needs a form of language to be able t o form concepts to learn.
  • According to Chromsky, language is inherent in all children and needs to be only enhanced by social contact.
  • At 18 months children will use two or three – word phrases. Children may have a vocabulary of 300 words, but they may understand more words.
  • At two to three years. A vocabulary of about 900 words is used. They correctly pronounce all vowel sounds a, e, i, o and u.
  • At three to four years, the past tense of the verb appears in their speech. Speech becomes more complex, with more adjectives, adverbs, pronouns and prepositions. Pronunciation improves greatly. Vocabulary is about 1 500 words. They correctly pronounce the sounds , p, b, m, and h.
  • At four to five years language is more abstract. Children vocabularies include 2 500 words. They correctly pronounce the sounds: f, j and sh.
  • At five to six years, children use complex sentences. They use correct pronouns and verbs in the present and past tense. It has been estimated that the child understands approx 6000 words. They correctly pronounce the sounds: ch, v, r and l.

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