LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: Let’s Listen, Let’s Talk Let’s Read, Let’s Write

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: Let’s Listen, Let’s Talk Let’s Read, Let’s Write

Let’s Listen, Let’s Talk, Let’s Read, Let’s Write is the area of learning that refers to language and literacy development; the child’s ability to understand and communicate the spoken and written language, in which he or she is immersed. Educators refer to this as receptive and expressive language.

A developing fetus is already constructing language by hearing and listening to its mother and the sounds and people around her. These are the first experiences of receptive language and continue every time a child hears the spoken word.

Expressive language is the ability to speak or communicate. This progresses from crying, smiling, cooing, and babbling, to single words, a few words, and then to sentences. Language is the most complex function of the brain. A child learns to express him or herself by learning from and using words they hear.

Indicators of a Child’s Progress through Early Language Development

Receptive language (hearing)
• Hears and distinguishes the sounds of words
• Recognizes sounds as letters and words (phonetic)
• Understands and follows two- to four-step directions
• Sits and pays attention to a story

Expressive language (speaking)
• Asks and answers relevant questions (asks for juice)
• Recalls words in a song or rhyme
• Can tell or repeat a simple story
• Understands and figures out meaning from books
• Uses words to express feelings and ideas
• Talks with other children during activities
• Makes up stories
• Speaks in increasingly complex sentences (three to 10 words)
• Talks in a group (more than two in a conversation)

Literacy (reading AND writing)
• Enjoys and uses books appropriately (opens front to back, turns pages)
• Recognizes pictures and text on a page
• Understands the meaning of some print (recognizes “STOP” on a stop sign or the "M" on the McDonald's arch)
• Recognizes familiar words (their name, “Dad,” “dog”)
• Imitates by writing some letters, names, and numbers
• Makes increasingly representational drawings (draws a face, a body, or a body with parts)

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