Stages of Speech Development

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Early Language Development (Vegetative and Cooing

VEGETATIVE (0-4 Months)

  • Common characteristics include CRYING, COUGHING and BURPING.
  • Child expresses itself vocally by crying to signal HUNGER, DISTRESS or PLEASURE.
  • These are instinctive noises- NOT LANGUAGE.

COOING A.K.A. GURLING OR MEWING (4-7 Months)

  • Common characteristics include COOING, LAUGHING, CONSONANT & VOWEL SOUNDS AND PITCH & LOUDNESS.
  • Examples of utterances include "Coo", "Ga-ga" and "Goo".
  • Child develops increasing control over vocal chords.
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Early Language Development (Babbling stage)

BABBLING (6-12 Months)

  • Common characteristics include REPEATED PATTERNSREDUPLICATED SOUNDS and EXTENDED SOUNDS & SYLLABLES.
  • Easily produced sounds include:MOST IMPORTANT STAGE IN THE FIRST YEAR.
    • STOPPED SOUNDS: Air is momentarily stopped from being released ('P') (Aspiration).
    • REDUPLICATION: The same vowel/consonant combination is repeated.
    • VARIEGATED BABBLING: As above except the vowel sounds changes (e.g. Da de).
    • CONSONANT CLUSTER: Where a number of consonants are combined as in /FR/.
  • Sounds begin to RESEMBLE ADULT SOUNDS more closely.
  • CONSONANT & VOWEL COMBINATIONS e.g. "Ba", "Ma" and "Da".
  • BILABIAL (CONSONANT) SOUNDS become more common.
  • When these sounds are repeated, they are REDUPLICATED MONOSYLLABLES e.g. "Baba", "Mama" etc.
  • Sounds have NO MEANING.
  • Baby makes FAR MORE NOISE THAN BEFORE.
  • At this stage the baby is LIKELY TO BLOW BUBBLES AND SPLUTTER.
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Early Language Development (Proto-Words Stage)

PROTO-WORDS (9-12 Months)

  • WORD-LIKE VOCALISATIONS.
  • Word-like vocalisations, NOT MATCHING ACTUAL WORDS BUT USED CONSISTENTLY FOR THE SAME MEANING (sometimes called 'SCRIBBLE TALK')
  • Examples include "MMM" TO MEAN "GIVE ME THAT" along with GESTURES such as pointing.
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Lexical & Grammatical Stages of Development

HOLOPHRASTIC STAGE (12-18 Months)

  • Babies start to make ONE WORD UTTERANCES e.g. "No"

TWO-WORD STAGE (18-24 Months)

  • Babies start to STRING TWO WORDS TOGETHER.

TELEGRAPHIC STAGE (24-36 Months)

  • THREE OR MORE WORDS get combined at this stage.

POST-TELEGRAPHIC STAGE (36 Months+)

  • More GRAMMATICALLY COMPLEX COMBINATIONS are made.
  • It is at this stage that the acquisition of KEY LITERACY SKILLS OF READING AND WRITING start to develop.
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Vocabulary Acquisition

AGE                    NUMBER OF WORDS USED

18 MONTHS                           50+

2 YEARS                                300

5 YEARS              APPROX. 3000

7 YEARS              APPROX. 4000

  • A child's ability to understand words WILL ALWAYS DEVELOP QUICKER THAN THEIR ABILITY TO USE THEM.
  • The increase in vocabulary between age 2 to 7 is so big that the figures can only ever be an estimation.
  • Children's first words relate to their IMMEDIATE SURROUNDINGS. They're connected to things that children can SEE, HEAR, TASTE, SMELL AND TOUCH, or that have a SOCIAL FUNCTION. Words that EXPRESS CONCEPTS AND MORE ABSTRACT IDEAS start to appear as the child becomes MORE SELF-AWARE AND EXPERIENCES MORE OF THE WORLD.
  • As they get older, children's vocabulary continues to increase, and their grammar becomes more accurate and complex. It's difficult to know for sure, but it's been estimated that 11-year-olds have a VOCABULARY OF AROUND 40,000 WORDS.
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Brown's Stages of Inflection Acquisition

1) PRESENT PARTICLE -ING e.g. I goING (although am will still be me missing)

2) PLURAL -S e.g. CupS

3) POSSESSIVE 'S e.g. Teddy'S chair

4) ARTICLES (A, THE) e.g. Get THE ball

5) PAST TENSE -ED e.g. I kickED it

6) THIRD PERSON SINGULAR VERB ENDING -S e.g. She loveme

7) AUXILIARY 'BE' e.g. It IS raining

  • and THE are used MOST FREQUENTLY, and -ED least frequently, but they're fourth and fifth in terms of acquisition. This suggests that IMITATION DOESN'T HAVE A STRONG INFLUENCE ON HOW CHILDREN ACQUIRE INFLECTIONS.
  • The -ING inflection is acquired the EARLIEST - probably because it represents the present tense, and the child will relate more to things happening 'now', than in the past or the future.
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