Approximate AgeExpressive LanguageAuditory Comprehnsion
2 to 4 monthsVerbal play through cooing, gooing, and laughing. Vowel sounds heard
such as ooohh, eee, and ahhh.
Turns head toward sounds
and can begin to
discriminate one sound from another
4 to 8 monthsBabbling begins. Some consonant
sounds can be heard
Anticipates an event ( i.e. peek-a-boo) and follows a line regard
(e.g. visually follows toy moving
across the floor) as well as joint attention (i.e. is capable of
visually attending to object
with a caregiver)
8 to 12 monthsSyllable variation (ex. Badugatada). First word approximations (dada for daddy). Non-verbal communicationRelates words with physical objects. Responds to simple phrases such as “no”
1 to 2 years10-15 words at 18 months, 40-50 words at 24 months. Uses mostly nouns and pronouns. Unintelligible jargon.Increased attention to toys. Knows a few simple commands with gestures. Points to simple pictures.
2 to 3 years150 words at age 2; 300-400 at age 3. Uses 2-3 word phrases frequently. Ask simple questions. Fluency can be poor. Vowel sounds are intact.Comprehension shows rapid increase. Responds to 2 step commands with prepositions (i.e. Pick up the ball and put it on the table)
3 to 4 yearsUses 600-1000 words and 3-4 word sentences. Pronouns and adjectives are used as well as some adverbs, prepositions, past tense, and plurals. Answers what, where & when questions. Understands 1500 words. Recognizes gender differences, plurals, pronouns, adjectives and colors.
4 to 5 yearsVocabulary increases to 1000-1600 words and 4-6 word sentences. Uses 3-4 syllable words. Articles appear. Improved fluency.Comprehends 1500-2000 words. Understands if, because, why, and when. Follows complex directions.
5 to 6 yearsvocabulary of 1500-2100 words. Uses complete 5-6 word sentences. Fluent speech. Many multi-syllabic words are used.Understands 2500-2800 words. Understands more complicated sentences