North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Language Development and Communication (LDC)

Subdomain: Learning to Communicate

Goal: Children participate in conversations with peers and adults in one-on-one, small, and larger group interactions.

Skill Progression: Participate in conversations with peers and adults

Age: 4-6 Months

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Responds to sounds by making sounds

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the infant in face-to-face interaction with the adult and another unfamiliar adult. Observe the infant when no one is interacting with him.

Elicitation Strategy

Have the unfamiliar adult approach the infant and begin to smile and talk to her. Then have the familiar adult smile and talk to the infant. After a minute of back-and-forth communication, the familiar adult stops talking to the infant and just stares at her.

Behavior Observed

The infant shows more physical excitement and vocalizes more to the familiar adult than the unfamiliar adult. When the familiar adult stops smiling and shows no expression, the infant tries to get the familiar adult to smile and interact. When the infant’s efforts fail to make the adult interact, he vocalizes with displeasure.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage early childhood educators and parents to read the infant’s cues and respond immediately. Facial expressions and vocal intonation reveal the infant’s emotions. The child may also turn away when he is overwhelmed by too much stimulation. Adults should respond by giving the child a short break before trying to engage him again.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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