Turns toward a familiar sound then locates range of sounds with accuracy.
Listens to, distinguishes and responds to intonations and sounds of voices.
Quietens or alerts to the sound of speech.
Fleeting Attention – not under child’s control, new stimuli takes whole attention.
Stops and looks when hears own name. (by 12 months )
Gradually develops speech sounds (babbling) to communicate with adults; says sounds like ‘baba, nono, gogo’. (by 11 months )
Gazes at faces and copies facial movements, eg. sticking out tongue.
Concentrates intently on faces and enjoys interaction.
Uses voice, gesture, eye contact and facial expression to make contact with people and keep their attention. (by 12 months )
Some children will be exposed to two languages from birth. They are known as Simultaneous bilinguals. Simultaneous bilingual children
- start to show signs of understanding words from the age of four months onwards. They usually learn to respond to their name first.
- start to babble in what sounds like nonsense words when they are about 6 to 7 months of age (Cruz-Ferreira, 2006; Pearson, Navarro, Oller, & Cobo-Lewis, 2010). Although some elements of babbling may sound like one language and others like another, babbling is not clearly linked to a particular language (Pearson et al., 2010).
Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods.
Pays attention to dominant stimulus – easily distracted by noises or other people talking.
Responds to the different things said when in a familiar context with a special person (e.g. ‘Where’s Mummy?’, ‘Where’s your nose?’).
Understanding of single words in context is developing, e.g. ‘cup’, ‘milk’, ‘daddy’
Uses single words. (by 16 months )
Frequently imitates words and sounds.
Enjoys babbling and increasingly experiments with using sounds and words to communicate for a range of purposes (e.g. teddy, more, no, bye-bye)
Likes being with familiar adult and watching them. Developing the ability to follow an adult’s body language, including pointing and gesture.
Learns that their voice and actions have effects on others.
Uses pointing with eye gaze to make requests, and to share an interest. (by 18 months )
Simultaneous bilingual children
- can understand as many as 250 different words in total, (that is, in both their languages combined) by the age of 13 months.
- say their first words between the ages of 8 and 15 months (De Houwer, 2009b).
- may start out saying words only in a single language, or in both.
- at 15 months, may be delayed by 2 or 3 months in their ability to distinguish new words that differ in small ways (e.g., “bit” vs. “bet”) in comparison to monolingual children (Byers-Heinlein, Burns, & Werker, 2010).
Listens to and enjoys rhythmic patterns in rhymes and stories.
Enjoys rhymes and demonstrates listening by trying to join in with actions or vocalisations.
Rigid attention – may appear not to hear.
Selects familiar objects by name and will go and find objects when asked, or identify objects from a group.
Beginning to put two words together (e.g. ‘want ball’, ‘more juice’) (by 24 months )
Uses different types of everyday words (nouns, verbs and adjectives, e.g. banana, go, sleep, hot)
Beginning to ask simple questions.
Gradually able to engage in ‘pretend’ play with toys (supports child to imagine another’s point of view).
Looks to others for responses which confirm, contribute to, or challenge their understanding.
Simultaneous bilinguals usually reach the 50-word mark before the age of 20 months. (This relates to total vocabulary in both languages). Their vocabulary in each language is likely to be smaller than that of monolingual at 24 months (so need to consider total conceptual vocabulary). A monolingual child would be expected to have a vocabulary of 50+ words by 24 months. For a simultaneous bilingual a delay of 6 months in the vocabulary development of each language is normal.
Most bilingual children will start putting two words together by 24 months. Early word combinations may consist of two words from the same language, or one word from each language. Children may combine words in each of their two languages from the very beginning, or just in one.
Single channelled attention. Can shift to a different task if attention fully obtained – using child’s name helps focus. (by 36 months )
Listens with interest to the noises adults make when they read stories.
Recognises and responds to many familiar sounds e.g. turning to a knock on the door, looking at or going to the door.
Identifies action words by pointing to the right picture, e.g., "Who's jumping?" (by 30 months )
Understands 'who', 'what', 'where' in simple questions (e.g. Who’s that/can? What’s that? Where is.?).
Developing understanding of simple concepts (e.g. big/little)
Learns new words very rapidly and is able to use them in communicating.
Uses action, sometimes with limited talk, that is largely concerned with the ‘here and now’ (e.g. reaches toward toy, saying ‘I have it).
Uses a variety of questions (e.g. what, where, who).
Uses simple sentences (e.g.’ Mummygonna work.’)
Beginning to use word endings (e.g. going, cats)
Uses language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.
Enjoys being with and talking to adults and other children.
Interested in others’ play and will join in.
Responds to the feelings of others.
From as early as 24 months simultaneous bilinguals use their two languages differentially and appropriately with others (e.g., Genesee, Paradis, & Nicoladis, 1995).
A monolingual child has a vocabulary of 200+ words by 30 months. For a simultaneous bilingual a delay of 6 months (in the vocabulary development of each language) is normal.
Listens to others in one to one or small groups, when conversation interests them.
Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall.
Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories.
Focusing attention – still listen or do, but can shift own attention.
Is able to follow directions (if not intently focused on own choice of activity).
Understands use of objects (e.g. "What do we use to cut things?’)
Shows understanding of prepositions such as 'under', 'on top', 'behind' by carrying out an action or selecting correct picture.
Beginning to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.
Beginning to use more complex sentences to link thoughts (e.g. using and, because).
Can retell a simple past event in correct order (e.g. went down slide, hurt finger).
Uses talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next, recall and relive past experiences.
Questions why things happen and gives explanations. Asks e.g. who, what, when, how.
Uses a range of tenses (e.g. play, playing, will play, played)
Beginning to accept the needs of others, with support.
Can initiate conversations.
Shows confidence in linking up with others for support and guidance.
Talks freely about their home and community.
Forms friendships with other children.
Simultaneous bilinguals will typically be saying sentences of up to four words around the age of 36 months. This age is also considered as a normative milestone for bilingual children's use of different grammatical systems, although many bilingual children show evidence of separate grammatical systems from around age two and earlier (De Houwer, 2009b).
A monolingual child has a vocabulary of 500-100 words between 26-48 months. For a simultaneous bilingual a delay of 6 months (in the vocabulary development of each language) is normal.
For some children starting nursery will be their first real exposure to English (though they may have had some passive exposure through TV and older siblings before this). These children are known as Sequential bilinguals. They are likely to go through a ‘silent period’ when they are first exposed to the new language. This can last from a few months up to 1 year.
Following 3 months of exposure to the new language a child should be beginning to show some basic understanding of the new language.
Sustains attentive listening, responding to what they have heard with relevant comments, questions or actions.
Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly when appropriate.
Two-channelled attention – can listen and do for short span.
Integrated attention – can listen and do in range of situations with range of people; varies according to the demands of the task.
Understands humour, e.g. nonsense rhymes, jokes.
Demonstrates understanding of “how?” and “why?” questions by giving explanations.
Able to follow a story without pictures or props.
Understands instructions containing sequencing words; first…after…last, and more abstract concepts – long, short, tall, hard soft, rough.