SPEECH MILESTONES FOR FOUR-YEAR-OLDS
Four years old is such a lovely age. Many four year olds are in Kindergarten, getting ready for Prep. Four year olds are generally quite effective communicators, and can tell us if something is wrong and describe what has happened. They’re getting at better at explaining, negotiating (sometimes it’s endless) and participating in conversations. They can also give instructions well- sometimes we don’t see this as an achievement!
They generally have a grasp on past, present and future tense. This means they are using past tense forms (e.g. jumped, ran), present tense (e.g. jumping) and future tense (e.g. will jump). This also means that they can talk about, and understand conversations that are about things that have happened in the past, or are going to happen. For example, understanding the difference between ‘what did you do..’ questions and ‘what are you going to do..’ questions.
Colours, numbers and shapes are also coming together quickly, and most four year olds can count at least to five, and name most colours.
They are able to answer questions about a story they know, or have heard. This includes who, what, where, why, and how questions. They are able to tell stories that mostly in order and use words such as ‘but’ ‘and’ and ‘because’ to make longer sentences.
At four years of age, most children are in kindergarten and getting ready to enter Prep. Skills that will assist them in Prep include their concept knowledge (colours, numbers and shapes), fine motor skills (tying shoe laces, holding a pencil) and early literacy skills.
Early literacy skills do not include knowledge of the alphabet, but rather an awareness of sounds in words. Words can be broken up into sounds (e.g. cat = c.. a.. t) and sounds can be put together to make a word ( e.g. m.. oo.. n = moon). This is an important skill for later reading and spelling. Early literacy skills also include being able to notice the first sound in words, and recognising words that rhyme. These early literacy skills are more important that alphabet knowledge at this age, as without these, the alphabet isn’t able to be used for reading and writing!
Lastly, four year olds should be easily understood by others when they talk. This means, a stranger should have no trouble understanding your child’s speech. They may be some speech errors that are still resolving, such as difficulties with ‘l’ ‘r’ and ‘th’.
If you have any concerns with your child’s speech or language development, give Teagan and her team at Talk Time a call to get your child back on track.