Stage 2 Development

The second stage of a child's development in speech, listening, and language skills is a time when a child is becoming very inquisitive as well as interactive.

  1. Listening

    It becomes obvious that a child is developing good listening skills by the responses he/she gives to sounds in his/her environment.

    • looking around to find the source of sounds, possibly using his or her motor skills to move and locate what is making the interesting sound(s).
    • in a sitting position, either on someone’s lap, in an infant seat, or in a high chair, turning his head directly to the source of a sound when the object or person making the sound is at the child’s ear level. Once this skill is developed he/she will then be able to learn to look down at sounds that occur below his/her ear level.
    • showing an awareness to music by being calmed from crying by music, and then later actually responding to music by moving some part of his/her body upon hearing music
    • showing an awareness to softer sounds in the environment.
  2. Responding to Voice

    During Stage 2 development, voices become very important to the young child.  It becomes obvious that a child enjoys voices as much or even more than sounds from the environment.

    • visually searching for the person speaking when the speaker is out of the child's visual field.
    • responding to different types of voices with different facial expressions; a happy face in response to a happy voice, a serious face in response to and serious or angry voice, etc.
    • responding to his/her name
    • learning different words by responding to such phrases as; "Where's Mama?" or "wave bye bye" and participating in speech-gesture games like pat-a-cake.
    • identifying familiar objects by looking at them or reaching for them when asked, "Where's the _________________?"
  3. Vocalizing

    During Stage 2, a child seems to come alive with making speech sounds and then repeating the sound patterns he/she has just learned to use. This is referred to as babbling stage and is a very important stage since the sounds being practiced are the sounds a child will use for speaking.

    • a series of sounds is repeated on one breath of air such as “babababa”. That sound practice then leads to including other sounds in the patterns such as — "babamama" or "mamawawa". It is best when the child gradually includes all of the sounds we use in speaking during his/her babbling practice, giving the child ample opportunity to develop the sounds needed later for speaking, as well as learning to sequence the sounds necessary for later speech.
    • other sounds will be practiced during this stage of vocal play such as growling, grunting, sounds to indicate he/she is rejecting something or to denote displeasure.
    • during Stage 2 development, some of the sounds used in babbling actually get shaped into words such as "Mama", "Dada", identification or naming of familiar objects, etc.
    • this is the time when a child learns to change the volume of his/her voice and learns to use his/her voice, instead of crying, to get his/her wishes known.