Language development is one of the most amazing capacities of the young mind. Researchers have studied the brain during this phase and continue to uncover new and exciting things about how language is acquired and developed. Did you know:
- Around 18 months, many children can say about 50 words. At this age, most children also begin using new words after hearing them only once.
- Whether children learn words in a rush or more slowly, by the time they reach their second birthday, they’re typically using between 250-350 words.
- Only six months later, the word total nearly doubles to about 600 words.
I was amazed every time I watched my own children go from wordless to nonstop talking in a matter of months. And the best part of language development for me, besides the fact that I had yet another conversation partner, was that it took a lot of the guesswork out of parenting. My children could finally express their wants, needs, and feelings (for the most part). This is known as expressive language. Expressive language is defined as the ability to communicate thoughts and feelings. It is a powerful communication tool and there are things parents can do to encourage their child’s development of expressive language. The latest newsletter from LBCC’s Healthy Families & Healthy Start Early Literacy Program is a great resource for tips and activities that will build expressive language in young children. The newsletter is written in three parts that correspond to various age ranges of language development (babies, 2-3 year-olds, and 4-5 year-olds) and gives expectations and ideas for each. Check out the newsletter and remember that the best thing parents can do to encourage language development is use your words.