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Speech & Language Milestones

From 3- 4 years


Hearing and Understanding


  • Hears you when you call from another room.

  • Hears television or radio at the same loudness level as other family members.

  • Understands words for some colors, like red, blue, and green

  • Understands words for some shapes, like circle and square

  • Understands words for family, like brother, grandmother, and aunt



  • Talks about activities at school or at friends' homes.

  • Talks about what happened during the day. Uses about 4 sentences at a time.

  • People outside of the family usually understand child's speech.

  • Answers simple "who?", "what?", and "where?" questions.

  • Asks when and how questions.

  • Says rhyming words, like hat-cat

  • Uses pronouns, like I, you, me, we, and they

  • Uses some plural words, like toys, birds, and buses

  • Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words.

  • Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.


Hearing and Understanding


  • Understands words for order, like first, next, and last.

  • Understands words for time, like yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

  • Follows longer directions, like "Put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, and then pick out a book."

  • Follows classroom directions, like "Draw a circle on your paper around something you eat."

  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school.




  • Says all speech sounds in words. May make mistakes on sounds that are harder to say, like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th.

  • Responds to "What did you say?"

  • Talks without repeating sounds or words most of the time.

  • Names letters and numbers.

  • Uses sentences that have more than 1 action word, like jump, play, and get. May make some mistakes, like "Zach got 2 video games, but I got one."

  • Tells a short story.

  • Keeps a conversation going.

  • Talks in different ways depending on the listener and place. May use short sentences with younger children or talk louder outside than inside.



By the end of kindergarten your child should be able to do the following:



Follow 1-2 simple directions in a sequence

Listen to and understand age-appropriate stories read aloud

Follow a simple conversation




Be understood by strangers almost 100% of the time

Answer simple "yes/no" questions

Answer open-ended questions (e.g., "What did you have for lunch today?")

Retell a story or talk about an event

Participate appropriately in conversations

Show interest in and start conversations


If you have questions email us on how we can help!


What causes speech and language disorders?

There are many kinds of speech and language disorders and there are many reasons why they happen.

If you think that your child is having problems developing language, it's important to get help right away. Early therapy can:

  • improve your child's readiness for school

  • improve your child's self-esteem and confidence

  • prevent problems from getting worse

  • help your child get along with others

  • decrease frustration

  • reduce behaviour problems


Information from :


780 805.6645

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