Receptive Language
Expressive Language
9-12 months
  • Gives objects upon request
  • Understand simple questions (“Roll the ball,” “Kiss the baby,” “Where’s your shoe?”)
  • Looks at objects named
  • Responds to “no”
  • Says “mama” or “dada”
  • Imitates non-speech sounds
  • Says one or two words
  • Vocalizes with intent
  • Uses adult like intonation patterns
1-2 years
  • Points to several basic body parts when asked
  • Follows simple commands
  • Listens to simple stories, songs and rhymes
  • Points to pictures when named
  • Answers “What’s that?” questions
  • Imitates animal sounds
  • Names objects
  • Has a vocabulary of about 20-100 words
  • Uses some one- or two- word questions (“Where kitty?” “Go bye-bye?” “What’s that?”)
  • Puts two words together (“more cookie,” “no juice,” “mommy book”)
  • Refers to self by name
2-3 years
  • Understands differences in meaning (“go-stop,” “in-on,” “big-little,” “up-down”)
  • Follows two step commands (“Get the book and put it on the table”)
  • Listens to and enjoys hearing stories for longer periods of time
  • Understands action words
  • Responds to simple questions
  • Identifies object by function
  • Has a vocabulary of about 50-250 words
  • Combines two or three words to talk about and ask for things
  • Uses action words
  • Asks for assistance
  • Answers yes/no questions
  • Uses plurals
  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds
  • Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time
3-4 years
  • Hears you when you call him from another room
  • Follows two to three step commands
  • Answers simple “Who?”, “What?”, “Where?”, and “When?” questions
  • Identifies parts of an object
  • Understands descriptive concepts
  • Has a vocabulary of about 1300 words
  • Talks about activities at school or at friends’ homes
  • People outside of the family usually understand child’s speech
  • Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words
  • Uses prepositions
  • Uses possessives
4-5 years
  • Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about them
  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school
  • Has a vocabulary of about 2000-2500 words
  • Uses sentences that give lots of details (“The biggest peach is mine”)
  • Tells stories
  • Communicates easily with other children and adults
  • Says most sounds correctly except a few like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th
  • Says rhyming words
  • Names some letters and numbers