The Stages of Listening and Talking 4 – 5 years

Therapist’s name: _______________
Contact Address and Telephone Number:
Speech and Language Therapy Services
Nithbank Hospital
(01387) 244530
[email protected]
Useful Web Sites:
Reviewed: June 2009
Review Due: June 2012
The Stages of Listening and Talking
4 – 5 years
This leaflet is a guide to how your child’s speech
and language develops. Each child will develop at
their own rate.
By 4 years you child may:
Understand complex language about time e.g.
‘yesterday’, ‘next week’.
Understand describing words like hot / cold, full /
empty and colours.
Answer simple ‘when’ questions.
Carry out commands requiring understanding of
sequences ‘bring me the cup then get your coat on’.
Use more adult like sentences.
Use imagination to talk about things that have not
happened to them e.g. ‘I suppose ….’, ‘I hope …..’.
Use a wider vocabulary and more complex sentences
of at least 5 – 8 words.
Use pronouns e.g. his / her, linking words like ‘if’
and ‘then’, future and past tenses.
Be making friends.
Plan ahead i.e. ‘what are we doing tomorrow?’.
By 5 years your child may:
Understand nearly 3000 words.
Understand opposites i.e. long and short.
Seem to understand most of what they hear.
Use speech that is clear to all listeners.
Name the days of the week in order.
Use order e.g. first, second and third.
Answer ‘what happens if?’ questions.
Use almost correct grammar.
Play games with rules.
Give threats, insults, promises and praise.
Some ideas to try with your child:
Encourage good listening by asking your child
to close their eyes and name the sounds they
hear e.g. ticking clock. Try party games like
Simon Says.
Read a story to your child then encourage
them to tell you the story. Ask questions to
help them.
Talk about things that are going to happen and
that have happened as well as here and now.
Encourage your child to ask about words he /
she doesn’t know.
Let your child make the most his chances to
talk. Turn off the T.V, radio, computer ipod,
CD player.
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