EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE MILESTONES

Expressive Language Skills: Ability to communicate thoughts and feeling through vocalizations, gestures, expressions, or signs.

Age Milestone
3 months Cooing: Early vowel sounds a baby makes. (oohs and aahs)
4 months Laughing: Laughs or giggles when stimulated by silly faces and tickling.
5 months Razzing/raspberries: A great oral exercise your baby engages in possibly to gain attention.
6  months Babbling: When baby combines consonants and vowels. (da da da or ma ma ma)
7-9 months Protests: Protests when a toy is taken away.
10 months Mama/Dada meaningfully: Baby relates “mama” and “dada” with the caregivers
12 months Words: Meaningfully uses one to three words.
18 months

Jargon: Strings together many sounds, adding intonation and gestures as if they are asking a question or telling a story in another language.

Repeating: Repeats some words and begins using more words than gestures to communicate

2 years

Combines two words: Joins two words together. (bye dada) (want juice)

Asks questions: Asks questions with rising intonation.

Responds to Yes/no questions: May only shake head.

Words: Meaningfully uses approximately 50 words. Labels familiar objects by name

Produces animal sounds Identifies at least five pictures by name

Identifies self by name

Says “no”

Talks to self while playing

Intelligibility: Approximately 65% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener by age two.

2 1/2years

Phrases: Able to combine three to four words to form short phrases.

Intelligibility: Approximately 70% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener.

Words: Meaningfully uses 200 words.

Actions: Able to identify actions in pictures

Function: Able to identify the use of some objects.

Answers: Answers simple “wh” questions logically.

Able to use plurals and simple prepositions (in and on)

3 years

Words: Vocabulary of approximately 500-1000 words

Intelligibility: Approximately 75% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener.

Pronouns: Uses pronouns appropriately.

Answer more complex “wh” questions logically. (who, why, where, how)

Articles and Auxiliaries present: “the” and “a”, and “is” “am”

3 1/2years Able to use possessives and irregular past tense verbs.
4 years

Intelligibility: Approximately 95% intelligible to unfamiliar listeners.

Able to use regular past tense verbs.

5 years Able to compare similarities, repeat sentences, use adjectives for describing, name categories and complete analogies
6 years Defines words, may rhyme words, tell a story in sequence, repairs grammatical errors, and expresses quantity.

All children develop at their own pace. This chart identifies the average time line for milestone development. It is not to be used to determine whether or not your child has a developmental delay. If you are concerned about your child’s development, see a Speech-Language Pathologist.