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 speak audibly and express thoughts, and feelings, and ideas clearly.

Skill Progression: Articulation/ sound production

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List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

Cries to express hunger, discomfort, pain, or distress

Vocalizes with non-speech-like burps, grunts, and coughs

2-4 Months

Gurgles and laughs

Coos; moves tongue throughout the mouth to make vowel-like sounds

Makes vowel sounds “ah,” “eh,” ”uh

4-6 Months

Nasal sounding consonants

Marginal babbling

Vocalizes “ma” or “mu”

Experiments with sounds such as “raspberries,” bubbles

Varies volume, pitch and rate of sounds produced

6-8 Months

Consonant-vowel sounds emerging (da, ma) for babbling

Imitates sound sequences in one breath

Babbles with some consonant-vowel sounds

Produces consonants /m, n, b, p, t, d/ in babbling

8-10 Months

Produces sounds /m, n, d, b, y, w/

Produces a wide variety of sound combinations

Beginning of adult speech (starting to develop certain vowels, syllables, diphthongs)

10-12 Months

Produces more back vowels, central vowels, and consonants

Imitates others coughs, laughs, funny sounds

Demonstrates intonation contours of the language and uses variegated babbling (non-reduplicative babbling) (i.e. "dagedagee")

12-15 Months

Produces consonants /b, m, n, t, d, w/

Produces word approximations (e.g., “muh” for milk)

15-18 Months

Attempts to combine consonants and vowels into words

18-21 Months

Speech may be less than 50% intelligible to unfamiliar persons

Produces consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) combinations, using consonant sound /p, b, m, n, t, d, h, w/

Repeats adult’s words and intonation

21-24 Months

Speech is at least 50% intelligible to unfamiliar persons

85% of children correctly produce the following: Initial sounds: /b, d, h, m, n, p/ Medial sounds: /b, m, n/ Final sounds: /m, p/

Uses VC (e.g., up), CV (e.g., bye), CVC (e.g., sad), and CVCV (e.g., puppy)

24-27 Months

Combines noises to make sound effects (e.g., “zoom-zoom,” “Brrring,” “Bang”)

27-30 Months

Speech is 60% intelligible

30-33 Months

Conveys ideas using pitch and intonation

33-36 Months

Speech is 75% intelligible

85% of children correctly produce the following: Initial sound: /t, g, k, f, w/ Medial sound: /f, g, k, ng, p, t/ Final sound: /b, d, g, k, n, t/

Produces all vowel sounds

Produces some consonant clusters (e.g., st, sp, bl, fr, sw, etc.)

Produces the syllable structures: CV, VC, CCV (sky), CCVC (stop), CVCC (dogs), and VCC (egg

Awareness of and ability to rhyme emerges

36-42 Months

May produce all 24 consonants (stops: /p, b, t, d, k, g/; fricatives: /f, v, s, z, h/, sh, th (as in “the” and “this”), zh; affricates: /j, ch/ liquids: /l ,r/; glides: /w, j/; nasals: /m, n, ng/

42-48 Months

80% intelligible

85% of children use: Initial sound: /kw/ Medial sound: /d/ Final sound: /f/

48-54 Months

90% intelligible

Emerging production of /r, l, s, ch, sh, z, j, v/

54-60 Months

100% intelligible, though errors on /s, sh, r, l, z, zh, ch, j, th/ may persist

85% of children correctly produce the following: Initial sound: /ch, j, l, s, sh, y, bl/ Medial sound: /ch, j, l, s, sh, z/ Final sound: /l, ng ch, j, s, sh, r, v, z/

Demonstrates few omissions or substitutions

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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