Language development in children varies from individual to individual. They pass through milestones and each stage displays various characteristics of language developments. E.g. cooing and babbling. If a child does not reach the milestones at some specific age speech delay is suspected and speech therapy is recommended.
Language development in children begins in the womb. A fetus is able to hear its mother’s voice as well as that of the surrounding environment. A week old child can distinguish between languages by suckling more vigorously when they hear familiar languages. They start by developing interest in listening and communicating with adults around them and can repeat vowel sounds and babble by six months. The babbling is characteristic of the native language. By 18 months, they are able to use two words combination and increase their vocabulary by age two. During the following four years, there is major development in vocabulary and the child increases their ability to construct full sentences. However, children may experience difficulties while pronouncing some phonemes and blends and often display incomplete understandings of many simple words.
By middle childhood, a child is able to interpret messages and can construct narratives with plots and cause effect relationships as well as sustain conversations about major topics. Minor speech and language disorders can be detected at this age which can be addressed by specialists. Early adolescence is a stage when language development is advanced and the child displays increasing awareness of the terminologies that are used in schools and can discuss lengthily about abstract topics. Their vocabulary is well advanced and at this stage boys and girls can hold private conversations. By late adolescent stage, a child’s grammar is refined through formal education and has acquired many terms related to various academic disciplines.