Sunday, October 19, 2008

At four years of age your child makes sentences that are short in comparison with older children, averaging five to six words, and the thoughts he expresses are unsophisticated. He understands the social and private power of language, has the basic principles of syntax in place and can produce well-constructed sentences of great variety in which the plural, pronouns and verb tenses are mostly correct.

Language Milestones for Four Years and Older

* Understands and begins to use opposites - big and small, high and low
* Describes recent experiences in the order they occurred.
* Follow complex, three-step directions in the right sequence
* Rhymes words
* Consistently uses past tenses or irregular verbs - went, drank, told
* Uses some irregular plurals - mice, leaves, sheep
* Uses articles "a" and "the" consistently
* Uses possessive form of nouns correctly
* Answers the telephone and gets the person requested by the caller
* Defines a word: school is where you study
* Responds appropriately to questions about quantity - how much, how long, how far, when.

Your child may still have problems pronouncing some consonants and combinations of consonants - sounds known as fricatives: sh, th, f, z, and s. Ethan used to say I fink so when what he wanted to say was I think so.. He used to say his name Efan too. Only 50% of children will have mastered all the sounds needed to speak the English language by the age five, and as late as seven, 10% will still have difficulty with at least one sound.
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