Baby Language Quiz!

New parents wonder, “When will my baby begin to speak?” and “Is his speech and language on track?” When do you think your baby actually begins to develop the structures and skills needed for speech and language development? Even before birth! Your baby can hear your voice and other environmental sounds in utero. He will not be able to see well at birth, but he will be able to hear everything, and even to discriminate one sound from another. We can see newborns tuning in to human communication; they seem to seek human faces, especially when we are talking to them.

Yes, babies’ brains are truly incredible. At birth they actually contain more neurons than they need, and a “pruning” process takes place within the first two years. Because of baby’s experiences during this time, including the language she hears, the neurons needed to remember and use these bits of information are retained, and other neurons become dormant. Your baby’s experiences will actually shape her brain, and you can provide just the right experiences for your baby to thrive cognitively, linguistically, physically and emotionally. So it’s crucial that you give your baby the right experiences and watch her development through those early years.

But how much do you really know about your baby’s language development? Is your baby right within the typical range for babbling? Pointing? Using single words? Using short phrases? Speaking in sentences? Is your child more advanced? Does your toddler need a little extra support?

Interested? Take this quiz, then click on ANSWERS at the bottom. Hope you do well!

At what age should your baby –

  1. Attend to short stories?
    Answer: 6 months to a year
  2. Use 2-word utterances consistently like "more juice," "daddy come," "no bed"
    Answer: 1 year to 18 months
  3. Tells some personal information, like his name and age
    Answer: 2 to 3 years
  4. Copies and draws some easy alphabet letters (like O, C and V)
    Answer: 3 to 4 years
  5. Tries to imitate speech sounds she hears
    Answer: 3 to 6 months
  6. Understands "yesterday," "today" and "tomorrow"
    Answer: 4 to 5 years
  7. Understands 2-step directions like "Get your book, then sit on the couch."
    Answer: 2 to 3 years
  8. Learns to attend to your gaze, touch and tone of voice (as basis for conversation)
    Answer: Birth to 3 months
  9. Understands and uses some color and shape words
    Answer: 3 to 4 years
  10. Says numbers 1 – 10, recognizes and names most when pointed to
    Answer: 4 to 5 years
  11. Understands about 100 words (receptive vocabulary)
    Answer: 1 year to 18 months
  12. Starts using the suffix -ing ("Doggie running")
    Answer: 2 to 3 years
  13. Cries differently for different reasons (happy, upset, bored, hungry, dirty diaper, in pain, etc.)
    Answer: Birth to 3 months
  14. Speaks very clearly (but might have some common articulation errors)
    Answer: 4 to 5 years
  15. Uses contractions (can’t, don’t, isn’t, etc.)
    Answer: 3 to 4 years
  16. Asks the meaning of unfamiliar words
    Answer: 2 to 3 years
  17. Fills in the next predictable word in story when adult pauses
    Answer: 18 months to 2 years
  18. Uses about 2000 different words (expressive vocabulary)
    Answer: 3 to 4 years
  19. Asks questions about a story being read
    Answer: 2 to 3 years
  20. Uses some 6-word sentences
    Answer: 3 to 4 years

Photo courtesy of Colin Maynard, Unsplash


Coming Soon

  • More free downloadable resources
  • "Joy Gems" – telling your stories
  • IEP information and process
  • Instructional videos
  • Page and resources for SLPs
  • Page and resources for teachers
  • Webinars and teleseminars
  • The Joy of Language store