Speech Development of Preschool Child


Speech Development of Preschool Child

To vocalize is  a phase  of the  instinctive tendency  to manipulate,and is  based upon a tendency to respond to  stimuli by movement  and  for mental stimulation to  find expression in motor activity.

The  factors which contribute to  the modification and development of this  “expressive  instinct”  are play,  imitation and necessity.

The  stages  in the  development  of oral  language  as  given by Major and Kirkpatrick are readily traced. 

The  first vocalization is  reflexive crying in expression of discomfort which soon takes on variations  so that the cry of hunger is  quite distinguishable from that  of anger.

A little later (the  sixth week recorded by Major)  gurglings,  screams,  and cooings appeared as evidences  of energy or comfort.   During the first quarter of the first year there developed an iinderstanding of soothing and caressing sounds as well as other tones expressive of emotions.

An association of words  soon follows the understanding of tones. The  “playful  stage” begins with the  second quarter  of the  first year when what  is  called “prelinguistic” babbling comes into prominence.   During this period the  child may make nearly every sound of every  language.

Speech Development of Preschool Child

Speech Development of Preschool Child

Image Source

On the  last  quarter there appears  the tendency to  imitate the sounds  heard in the  speech of others.   Sometimes  it  is voluntary  in response to urgings  and again seems  to be almost  automatic. Tone,  inflection and even rhythm are  frequently  imitated long before  separate words  are articulated. Every baby at  some  age  has  his  little trick of “all-but-saying” “all  gone”  or “so big,” but  often the tendency  is  so pronounced that  the infant’s tireless repetition of sounds takes on the characteristics of adult conversation.

At this  same time an understanding of the  content  of the  speech of others  is  recognized and often a nine months  old baby will respond in action to requests  or statements.


The word learning stage may begin in the  last few weeks  of the  first year or may be  not until  the  second half of the  second year,  but as  soon as a child begins to use sounds  and words purposefully  and uniformly to express wishes  or ideas  the word learning period is  entered upon.

Pronunciation is  a matter  of motor coordination,  auditory perception and memory.  Every  investigation yields  interesting,  though largely  individual facts,  in respect  to  the  order of development  of pronunciation.

The  rate  of acquiring vocabulary  is  dependent upon the  child’s interests.   There are periods  of rapid increase as when interest  is given primarily to  objects  and acts,  and periods when only  few new words  are  learned when interest  is  occupied with the use  of words already acquired or with a new form of physical  activity.

The  kind of words  found in the vocabularies  of children of given ages  is  dependent largely upon the interests of the period. At  first when interest  is  in objects,  nouns predominate;  later when interest  turns  to action,  verbs  come  into prominence, though for a time nouns are used as verbs, as  are  also prepositions.Sometimes  groups  of words  are used before single words but more usually  the  opposite  is  true,  and single words are used with varying tones and  inflections  along with existing circumstances  to  convey a great  variety  of meanings.

The  first  step  in sentence making is  the  substitution of words for inflections and gestures.   With development  of mental gred4 the  child separates  a situation into  its elements,  recognizes  their relation and chooses words  and arranges  them to  express the  situation. Thus  “car”  said entreatingly with arms  raised as  father goes  to the door later becomes “go car Dada” and  finally  “I want  to  go  in the car with Dada” Other observations  of the development  of  language  during the  sentence  forming period is that: arrangement is  determined largely by imitation though interest  and attention are  factors;

that”most of the child’s first sentences have no subject,many are without an assertive verb,  while only a few are without an object;” and that “the  length of sentence is doubled in a few months, and complex and compound sentences appear and increase in number,  showing rapid growth  in mental  grasp and span of consciousness.”

Speech Development of Preschool Child Article Source ; The Psychology of preschool child Submitted by Iris Coldwell Frampton


You may also like...

Leave a Reply