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Pragmatic Language/Social Language Development Chart

AGE 0-9 mo. AGE 9-12 mo. AGE 12-18 mo.
 Briefly looks at people  Shouts or coughs to attract attention  Brings objects to show an adult
 Follows moving person with eyes  Shakes head “no” and pushes undesired  Requests objects by pointing and vocalizing or
 Quiets in response to sound (responds more objects away possibly using a word approximation
readily to speech rather than non-speech)  Waves “bye”  Solicits another’s attention vocally, physically
 Smiles/coos in response to another smile/voice  Affectionate to familiar people and possibly with a word
(1-4 months)  Begins directing others’ behavior  Gesturally requests action/assistance (may give
 Excites when caregiver approaches (1-4 physically and through gestures (pats, back wind-up toy to request reactivation)
months) pulls, tugs on adult)  Says “bye” and possibly a few other
 Aware of strangers and unfamiliar situations (1-  Uses pointing to learn new vocabulary conversational ritual words such as “hi”, “thank
4 months) (people in environment label things as you” and “please”
 Cries differentially when tired, hungry or in pain child points)  Protests by saying “no”, shaking head, moving
 Quiets when picked up  Extends arms to be picked up away, frowning or pushing objects away.
 Initiates vocalizing to another person  Participates in games such as “peek-a-  Comments on object/action by directing
 Enjoys being played with (4-8 months) boo” and “pat-a-cake” listener’s attention to it with a point and
 Differentiates vocalizations for different states:  Reaches to request an object vocalization or word approximation
hunger, anger, contentment (4-8months)  Begins to vary behavior according to  Labels objects
 Recognizes familiar people emotional reactions of others; repeats  Answers simple wh- questions with vocal
 Cries when parent leaves the room actions that are laughed at response (may be unintelligible)
 Imitates familiar sounds and action  Participates in vocal play, using content  Acknowledges speech of another by giving eye
and expression contact, vocally responding or repeating word
 Teases, scolds, warns using gesture plus a
vocalization or word approximation
AGE 18-24 mo. AGE 2-3 AGE 3-4
 Uses simple words or short phrases to  Engages in short dialogues  Engages in longer dialogues
express the intentions listed at the 12-18  Verbally introduces and changes topic of  Assumes the role of another person in
month level discussion play
 Names objects in front of others  Expresses emotion  Uses more fillers to acknowledge
 Says, “What’s that?” to elicit attention  Begins using language in imaginative ways partner’s message (uh-huh, ok)
 Begins using single words and two-word  Begins providing descriptive details to facilitate  Begins code switching (using simpler
phrases to command (move), indicate comprehension language) when talking to very young
possession (mine), and express problems  Uses attention-getting words such as, “hey” children
(got boo-boo)  Clarifies and requests clarification  Uses more elliptical responses
 Much verbal turn-taking  Pre narrative development begins with heaps  Requests permission
(collection of unrelated ideas) and sequences  Begins using language for fantasies,
(story elements linked by perceptual bonds) jokes, teasing
 Makes conversational repairs when
listener has not understood
 Corrects others
 Primitive narratives: events follow from
central core/use of inference in stories
 Topic maintenance for 3 turns and
provides explanations
 Requests more information to keep
conversation going
 Appropriate eye contact
 Terminates conversation appropriately
 Uses hints to get listener to do/get
 Refines speech to insure listener has
background information
 Role playing, temporarily assumes
another’s perspective-jokes with
conversation partner, provides warning,
AGE 4-6
 Uses indirect requests  Uses contingent queries to maintain a  Responds appropriately to questions involving
 Correctly uses this, that, here, there conversation time concepts
 Uses twice as many effective utterances as 3-  Creates interest in a listener by indirect  Will answer/ask “where”, “when”, “why”,
year old to discuss emotions and feelings references “how many”, “what do you do?”, “why do we?”
 Narrative development characterized by  Communicates knowledge about the world to  Extends topic
unfocused chains; stories have sequence of peers and adults  Asks permission to use other’s belongings
events but no central character or theme  Tells 2 familiar stories without pictures for help;  Uses such terms as, “thank you”, “please”, and
 Tells a story by looking at pictures includes all important parts “you’re welcome” appropriately
 Describes functions of objects  States a problem  Recognizes another’s need for help and
 Communicates cause-and-effect relationships  Sustains a topic for 4 turns provides assistance
 Provides information that is relevant to the
Taken from The Speech and Language Development Chart developed by Addy Gard, Leslea Gillman, Jim Gorman and other sources.Gard, A., Gillman, L., Gorman, J., and other sources, (2000). Pragmatic Language Developmental Milestones.Shulman, (1983). Pragmatic Development ChartWetherby, A., Cleary, J., Allen, L., Goldstein,
H., (2000). First Words Project: Improving Early Identification of Communication Disorders.Wetherby & Prizant, (2000). Major Stages of Language Development.

Courtesy of The Social Butterflies Club ™ Social Language Program