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Language development from 2 to 3 years

It’s good to talk

Between their second and third birthdays your child should make distinct advancements in language development. Their vocabulary will probably double and they will start speaking in longer sentences. Strangers will probably be able to understand most of what they say by the time they reach three years of age.

Your child should now be able to follow two-part instructions (e.g. 'Get your teddy and put it on the chair') and string two or three words together to talk about and ask for things. One of the best ways you can help their language development is to immerse the family in language. Speaking to each other, listening to each other, reading with each other and writing with each other are all means by which the family can develop their language and communication skills together.

It is important to include your child in conversations, as it will allow them to voice their own opinions and be heard. When they make mistakes in their speech you should correct them without being harsh.


While each child's development will be different, your child should continue to make progress with increasing vocabulary, improving sentence structure, and progressively correct grammar.

While most differences in development are well within the range of normal, there are times when parents are right to be concerned. If a child's speaking capabilities seem to stall or regress, you should get help.


When your child makes mistakes in their speech model the correct form of the word.


You know your child best and will know if they are making steady progress.


Include your child in conversation and listen attentively to them.