Stage 4 Development
A young learner entering into Stage 4 of development seems to recognize new words on a daily basis, understand many complex sentences, and can be observed listening to conversations of others. Additionally, during this stage of development, a child's speech is characterized by a significant decrease in the jargoning type of speech as new words and\ simple sentences with two-word combinations emerge.
This is the time when a child can be observed to listen to a wide variety of sounds in the environment, especially sounds that in some way carry meaning such as a dog barking, or the trash truck, or other children’s voices.
- ✳The stage 4 child now understands that objects in his/her environment have meaning and will easily look directly to the door when the doorbell rings, or at the phone when it rings, etc.
- ✳Following simple related two-step commands is becoming easy and the variety of commands a child can follow is now growing at a rapid rate. Commands such as, "Get your book and open it."
- ✳Repeating something someone just said is something the stage 4 child seems to enjoy doing as long as the phrase or sentence is no more than 3 or 4 syllables long.
Responding to Voice
The child's ability to understand what is being said to him/her increases daily, not only for words but also for sentences.
- ✳Understanding new words is part of a child's development in stage 4. The words include at least 6 verbal commands such as come, go, look, jump, etc., identifying at least 5 body parts on him/her self or a doll, identifying at least 3 clothing items, identifying a minimum of five pictures of simple objects.
- ✳Now the child is able to understand different types of words such as pronouns such as me, her, him when used in a sentence form. For example, "Give it to her."
- ✳The child is able to understand some prepositions such as "in" and "on." For example, he/she responds correctly when told to "Put it in the box", or "Put it on the table."
- ✳Beginning to understand time concept is also emerging when words such as "now" are used. For example, "Bring it to me, now," or "Now we are going."
The stage 4 child now shows an amazing ability to imitate words he/she has never said before when asked to do so as well as to generate new words he/she may not have practiced previously.
- ✳He/she uses 20 or more real words in his/her vocabulary regularly, will use a combination of jargon speech and real words while playing alone, may try to tell about an experience using both jargon speech and real words.
- ✳While playing, a child will name several of his/her familiar objects, refer to him/her self by first name, and include many speech sounds to represent the sound objects make such as "beep-beep" for the car horn, "meow" for the cat, "rrrr" for the car, etc.
- ✳Two-word combinations are very common at this stage. These two-word combinations include 2-word noun phrases such as “big car”, phrases with possessive pronouns such as "my car," 2-word phrases with demonstrative words such as "this car" or "that car", 2-word phrases containing a verb and a noun such as "car go."