What should I expect my child's speech and language development to be during elementary school?

Use this guide! Choose a grade level to learn about common developmental milestones and school expectations for children at that level.

Suggestions for parents and caregivers

In early elementary grades (K-2)

  • Talk with your child frequently
  • Read a variety of books; read often and talk with your child about the story
  • Help your child focus on sound patterns of words such as those found in rhyming games
  • Have your child retell stories and talk about events of the day
  • Talk with your child during daily activities; give directions for your child to follow (e.g., making cookies)
  • Talk about how things are alike and different
  • Give your child reasons and opportunities to write

In later elementary grades (3-5)

  • Continue to encourage reading; find reading material that is of interest to your child
  • Encourage your child to form opinions about what he or she hears or reads and relate what is read to experiences
  • Help your child make connections between what is read and heard at school, at home, and in other daily activities
  • Talk aloud as you help your child understand and solve problems encountered in reading material
  • Help your child recognize spelling patterns, such as beginnings and endings of words (e.g., pre- or -ment)
  • Encourage your child to write letters, keep a diary, or write stories
Remember, every child is unique and will reach these milestones in different ways and times. The language spoken at home and cultural norms can influence the way that we communicate.
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