A simple guide to the first 5 years of communication development.
- understand up to 50 words and some short phrases
- follow simple instructions
- point to familiar objects when names
- point to some pictures in familiar books
- say 6 to 20 single words - some easier to understand than others, but becoming more consistent
- copy lots of words and noises
- name a few body parts
- use objects in pretend play
- follow simple two part instructions
- respond to simple wh-questions, such as 'what' and 'where'
- point to several body parts and pictures in books when named
- understand when an object is 'in' and 'on' something
say more than 50 single words
- put two words together
- use their tone of voice to ask a question
- say 'no' when they do not want something
- use most vowel sounds and a variety of consonants
- start to use 'mine' and 'my'
- follow more complex two part instructions (e.g. give me the teddy and throw the ball)
- understand simple wh-questions, such as 'what', 'where' and 'who'
- understand the concepts of 'same' and 'different'
- sort items into groups when asked
- recognise some basic colours
say four to five words in a sentence
- use a variety of words for names, actions, locations and descriptions
- ask questions using 'what', 'where' and 'who'
- talk about something in the past, but may use 'ed'
- have a conversation, but may not take turns or stay on topic
- answer most questions about daily tasks
- understand most wh-questions, including those about a story they have recently heard
- understand some numbers
- show an awareness that some words start or finish with the same sounds
use words, such as 'and', 'but' and 'because', to make longer sentences
- describe recent events, such as morning routines
- ask lots of questions
- use personal pronouns and negations
- count to five and name a few colours
- follow three part instructions
- understand time related words such as 'before' and 'after'
- start thinking about the meaning of words when learning
- understand instructions without stopping to listen
- begin to recognise some letters, sounds and numbers
use well formed sentences to be understood by most people
- take turns in increasingly longer conversations
- tell simple, short stories with a beginning middle and end
- use past and future verbs correctly
- use most speech sounds, but still may have difficulties with 's', 'r', 'l' and 'th'