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 use most grammatical constructions of their home language well.

Skill Progression: Use most grammatical constructions of home language well

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List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

No observable skills

2-4 Months

No observable skills

4-6 Months

No observable skills

6-8 Months

No observable skills

8-10 Months

No observable skills

10-12 Months

No observable skills

12-15 Months

No observable skills

15-18 Months

Produces primarily nouns

Produces holophrastic speech (i.e., one word may mean many things)

18-21 Months

Omits grammatical markers, such as “a” or “the”

Produces two-word utterances; produces telegraphic speech, using only key words (e.g., “Car go”)

21-24 Months

Produces pronouns

Understands and uses: Agents (e.g., mama) Actions (e.g., run) Objects (e.g., cup) Recurrence (e.g., more) Cessation (e.g., stop) Disappearance (e.g., all gone)

24-27 Months

Produces regular possessives (e.g., mommy’s) emerge

Combines 2-3 words

Produces and between nouns (e.g., “I want juice and cookies.”)

27-30 Months

Produces the following morphemes: Present progressive verbing (adds"ing" to words) Prepositions (in, on) Regular plurarls (e.g., dolls, horses)

Produces have and do as auxiliary verbs (“Do you like apples?”)

Produces infinitive verb phrases with hafta, wanna, gonna. (e.g., “I wanna go”)

30-33 Months

Produces the following morphemes: Irregular past tense (e.g., "came," "went") Regular past tense (e.g., "jumped")

Starts a sentence with and, because or so (e.g., “And I runned.”)

Uses to as a preposition to indicate direction toward (“giving it to the baby”)

Produces can, will, be as auxiliary verbs + negative forms (e.g., can’t, won’t, don’t)

33-36 Months

Produces the following morphemes: Uncontractible copula (“Who’s here? I am.”)

Produces complex sentences (combines independent clause and dependent clause) such as “I have the game that you gave me.”

Produces compound sentences (two or more independent clauses or simple sentences combined by and, but, or) such as “I ate and I went to bed.

Produces infinitive phrase “have got to..."

36-42 Months

Produces the following morphemes: Articles (a, the) Third person regular verbs (“he goes”, “she eats”) Contractible copula use of is (“here’s the ball”) Uncontractible auxiliary (“He is” in response to question, “Who is…?”)

42-48 Months

Produces the following morphemes: Articles, Irregular past tense, Regular past tense, Third person regular verbs, Contracted copula, Irregular third person singular verbs (“she has” “she does”)

48-54 Months

Produces the following morphemes: Contractible auxiliary verbs (“they’re coming”)

54-60 Months

Produces indefinite negatives, including nothing, nobody, and no one

Produces all types of simple and complex sentences

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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