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 ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.

Skill Progression: Asks questions

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List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

No observable skill

2-4 Months

No observable skill

4-6 Months

No observable skill

6-8 Months

No observable skill

8-10 Months

Requests actions (e.g., “Up” with arms) and/or requests objects (e.g., reaches toward adult)

10-12 Months

Gives objects to another to request an action (e.g., hands toy to adult to activate) (e.g. “mama”)

Asks for help from adult with gesture or vocalization

12-15 Months

Uses rising intonation to request information

15-18 Months

Points to request actions or information

Uses single words with intonation to request actions (e.g., “up”)

18-21 Months

Occasionally requests clarification (“huh?”)

21-24 Months

Requests information with gestures and words (points to and uses “questioning” expression)

Makes statement with rising intonation to ask a question (“Mommy go bye-bye?”)

24-27 Months

Asks “What that” questions for information

Uses three types of questions: 1) Word + intonation (e.g., “Drink?”) 2) What + noun with implied action (e.g., “What doggie (doing)?" 3) Where + noun (“Where blanky?”)

27-30 Months

Starts to ask “who” and “where” questions

30-33 Months

Asks “What…doing” questions

33-36 Months

Regularly asks for clarification

Asks a variety of questions, including “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “is,” and “do”

36-42 Months

Regularly requests clarifications

42-48 Months

Asks “why” and "how"

48-54 Months

Asks questions about how another person feels

Asks what words mean

54-60 Months

Asks about another person’s perspective (e.g., “What do you think about…?”)

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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