Preschool Speech and Language Development
Language Development between ages
3 and 4 years
Between the ages of 3 and 4 years old a preschool child should be able to:
-name objects and use simple action words
-speak in short sentences (up to 4 words)
-tell a story or describe an event
-answer simple yes/no, what, who and where questions
-use pronouns to refer to themselves and others (me, you and I)
-follow 1-2 step directions relating to their daily activities.
-understand location concepts such as: in, on, out, under, and on top
-understand basic plurals, pronouns, and adjectives
-understand simple “wh” questions like: who, what and where.
-use language to request, label, greet, protest, gain attention and make comments
-make eye contact when communicating
-understand and participate in turn taking with others
-provide answers to questions that relate to the topic being discussed
Language Development between ages
4 and 5 years
Between the ages of 4 and 5 years old a preschool child should be able to:
-use longer sentences (up to 4 words in length)
-answer and ask more complex questions including where, when, and why
-produce grammatically correct sentences with the exception of irregular verbs
-use pronouns he, she, his, her, him, they, we, our and their
-carry out more complex commands with 2 or 3 actions
-understand if and because sentences
-understand longer, more complex sentences containing conjunctions and prepositions
-pay attention to short stories and answer simple sentences about them
-understand questions such as: where, when and how
-categorize objects according to form, color and use
Speech Development During the
Speech Development refers to the way children say sounds. Speech development can be broken into articulation/phonology, fluency, voice and oral-motor skills.
Articulation and Phonology:
-3 to 3 ½ year old children should be able to these sounds: m,p,b,w,t,d,n,y,h and all vowels
- 3 ½ to 4 year old children should be able to say:k,g,f and ng
- 5 year old children should be able to say: l, sh, ch, j, s,and z
- 6 year old children should be able to say: r and v
-By the age of 8 years old most children should be able to say all sounds of the English language including th and consonant blends.
Fluency- It is common for children ages 2-7 years to repeat whole words, phrase and to use “um” and “uh” in their speech.
Voice- By the age of 3 years old children should be able to change their vocal volume and pitch. Children’s voices should not be hoarse or nasal all of time.
Oral-Motor Skills - By the age of 3 years children should be able to eat a variety of food textures, imitate simple mouth movements and no longer drool.
-Provide good examples for your child by repeating back what your child has said using correct pronunciation and grammar. For children under 5 years of age, it is best to repeat the words for the children and not expect them to repeat it back to you.
-Talk to your child about his/her day -Slow your rate of speech down if your child begins to repeat sounds/words
-Make time to read and talk to your child about books. Ask your child to retell a story, label pictures in a book, and find objects that are described.
-Give your child directions within his/her daily routines. This includes finding objects that are described. For example, “go get your hat and your coat”.
-Expand your child’s language- if your child says “look ball”, you can respond with “Look at the big ball”
-Help your child categorize by doing activities such as sorting food, laundry, toys, shapes and colors
-Allow your child to participate in activities with you and your family and discuss the sequences of steps (i.e. preparing a sandwich).
-Ask your child questions that require a choice rather than a yes/no answer
Wethersfield Public School Preschool Speech and Language Services:
The Wethersfield Public School System provides preschool speech/language services to children from the age of three until the time they start kindergarten. These services include screening and assessment of students with suspected delays in the area of speech/language skills and treatment to those students who have been identified with a speech and/or language delay. These services are provided by Speech/Language Pathologists (SLP). SLPs are trained and experienced in identifying and assessing children’s communication skills.
If you have concerns regarding your child’s speech/language skills please or need more information please call: The Wethersfield Department of Special Services at (860) 571-8138