Time Line of Language Development



first few days

Children can distinguish the melody and rhythm of the language they hear from those of other languages.

 7 months

Hearing children will start to babble (bababa, dududu); children exposed to sign language will begin a similar activity with their hands. The sounds may be those of any language in the world.

 10 months

The sounds used in babbling reduce to just those of the target language.

 1 year

The first words begin to be heard, including words for specific people (mama) and objects (doggie).

 1.5 years

Children already know about 50 words and start to combine them in two-word phrses like more cookie and see daddy. Learning rate is about 5 words per day

 2.5 years

Sentences rapidly start to grow beyond two words and increase in grammatical complexity.

7 years

The human capacity to learn language in this particular way begins to gradually fade.