Language Development Checklist

Children learn to speak at predictable ages, and they learn about the different parts of language in a predictable order. If you are wondering whether your child’s language development is on track, check below for some developmental facts.

24 months

  • Children can say about 50 words and are combining words into short phrases (e.g., “more cookie”, “no juice”, “daddy car”).
  • They understand simple directions (e.g., “get your shoes”) and can point to familiar pictures in a book when named.

3 years

  • Vocabulary increases dramatically, small grammar words (e.g., on, me, mine, the) begin to appear, and 2-3 word combinations are frequent.
  • Children are generally understood by familiar listeners.

4 years

  • Sentences are more complex (with words like ‘and’ or ‘because’) and children are using words for size, location, quantity, and time.
  • Children are generally understood by less familiar people. They can get their message across in conversation and are producing many sentences that contain 4 or more words.
  • They can respond to simple “who?”, “what?”, “where?”, “why?” questions.

5 years

  • Most children can use many different sentence patterns and can say most speech sounds correctly (although they may still have some difficulty with a few sounds, such as r, ch, sh, th).
  • Children can pay attention to a short story and answer simple questions about it. They enjoy learning nursery rhymes, songs, and word play.

School years

  • Children learn to use language more effectively. They also develop their conversation and narrative skills, enabling them to tell stories, recount past events and experiences that are more detailed and interesting and easier to follow.

If your child seems to be falling behind other children of the same age we strongly encourage you to seek more information and to get the advice and help of a speech-language pathologist. If you live in B.C. the waitlist may be long, so it’s better to act now.

Contact Us

We may be able to answer some of your initial questions and refer you to appropriate services. You may contact us via email or by leaving a message on our voicemail.


Phone: (604) 822-0659