Happy Learners - Receptive Language Milestones

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Receptive Language Milestones

All children develop at different rates and so reaching milestones slower or faster than peers does not necessarily mean that there is a concern. Differences of up to 12 months are very normal. However, it can help to identify areas where a child may warrant some additional support particularly when more than 18 months off a chronological milestone.

Development of Receptive Language

12 months

Knows own name, 'no' and a handful of other frequently used words

24 months

Can point to body parts. Understands simple phrases with two key words e.g. 'Give me the toy.'

36 months

Understands instructions involving past tense and negatives e.g 'Don't scare the birds' . Can understand two stage requests e.g. 'Go and get your Teddy and put him in the suitcase.'

48 months

Understands simple sentences with prepositions giving specific place e.g. 'The game is in the box on the shelf.'

5 years

Beginning to understand jokes and puns

6 years

More able to understand non-literal use of language

You may also find the following pages useful:

Attention Milestones

Expressive Language Milestones

Social Interaction and Play Milestones