Last month, I attended a workshop presented by speech pathologist Joy Dowdy. In her presentation regarding speech and language development, she stressed the importance of reading to your child. She also shared developmental language milestones and common speech errors, as well as offering some tips on ways to correct those errors.
The milestones she addressed included receptive (understanding) and expressive. For example, by the time a child is 24 months of age, he or she should understand one-stage commands that contain three linguistic elements (Give me the book and the toy). He should be able to point to at least four body parts, five or more pictures, and understand the prepositions “in” and “on.” Regarding his or her expressive ability, he or she should be able to produce most vowels and the consonants m, b, p, k, g, w, h, n, t, and d. Sixty five percent of his speech should be intelligible. She should be able to use 50-200 words, combining two to three at a time.
I looked online and found some websites that offer speech and language milestones by the month and year. If your child is not developing accordingly, please see your pediatrician.
If you scroll down the page on the National Institute of Health website, you will find an interactive checklist. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/speechandlanguage.html
This article on Ages and Stages explains receptive and expressive milestones: http://members.tripod.com/caroline_bowen/devel2.htm
The American Speech Language and Hearing Association offers some valuable insights into children growing up with two or more languages: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/learn.htm. If your child is growing up bilingual or multilingual, you may also want to check out the article on this blog titled Bringing Up Children Bilingually.
If your child has articulation problems, you may want to get the book Teach Me How to Say It Right.