Language and speech development in children from 1 to 2 years

child speaking skills

After following how they develop speech skills in the youngest children aged 0 to 12 months, the speech therapist Sofia Valneeva will also present to us the characteristic features in the language and speech development of children from 1 to 2 years old.

What does the child between the ages of 1 and 2 express?

● It begins to use words.
● His first words appear around 12 months.
● At 18 m.a.s.l. the child knows between 20-40 words.
● At 24 months, the child may have about 100 words in his vocabulary.
● Can show several parts of his body.
● Uses names of objects, actions and names of people.

How does a child between the ages of 1 and 2 express themselves?

● Between 12 and 14 months it uses grimacing and pointing.
● Between 12 and 18 months communicates with isolated words.
● Expressed in simple two-word sentences between 18 and 24 months.
● Produces the sounds - "p, b, m, t, e" in combination with vowels.
● Says no clearly.
● Names what is drawn on an object picture.
● Uses two-word negative phrases, for example: "He doesn't want."
● Asks the question "Where?".
● Talk about yourself, calling yourself by your name.

What provokes the need for communication in the child between the ages of 1 and 2?

● To express his needs and to ask for something
● To name something
● To imitate the sound or word spoken by the adult
● To protest and express his displeasure

What does a child between the ages of 1 and 2 understand?

● It understands simple instructions and simple questions.
● At the age of 2 understands between 200 and 500 words.
● By 18 months of age, understands the questions “Where?”, “Who?” or “What?” in a given context.
● Pays attention to the meaning of words, not just the sounds.
● Understands short phrases.
● Understands when told no.
● Listens when parent shows and reads picture books.
● Can remain attentive for about 6 -7 min when engaged in an activity.

How to stimulate language and speech development in children from 1 to 2 years old?

● Read to the child books with simple stories illustrated with colorful pictures.
● Give him a good speech pattern by saying the words correctly. Avoid baby talk.
● Repeat the words that are new to him often without insisting that he repeat them.
● Give him simple instructions like: "Give me a hand!", "Throw the ball!" etc. Help him with gestures,
if he has difficulty understanding you.
● Describe out loud what you are doing.
● Encourage him when he tries to communicate.
● Ask him what he is doing, what he is seeing.
● Play games with the child such as lotto, memory, finding the same and different pictures.
● All games related to animals are interesting for children of this age. Name the animals and imitate the sounds they make – “This is a cow. The cow is mooing.", "It's a dog. The dog is going baw-baw,' and so on.

When is there cause for concern about the language-speech development of the child between 1 and 2 years?

● If the child mainly expresses himself with gestures
● If he does not use short sentences by the age of 2 years
● If he speaks no more than 5 words
● If he does not understand simple instructions
● If he does not use his toys as intended and does not invent games with them
● If he does not respond to daily instructions such as: "Come let me wash your hands.", "Come eat.", etc.
● If it does not imitate, if it produces few sounds, if it does not have any onomatopoeia such as: "meow", "meow", "bow-bow", etc.
● If he does not make requests aimed at a specific person - "Mom, give!".

Author: Sofia Valneeva

Sofia Valneeva is a practicing speech therapist with 20 years of professional experience. Conducts therapy for children with various communication disorders - dyslexia, developmental dysphasia, dyslalia, etc. For contact: 0887/853-303 or e-mail:


Look more:

Signs of problems in the language and speech development of children from 0 to 6 years

Games that stimulate children's speech and thinking

When does the child speak and how to stimulate his speaking skills

How to teach a child to recognize colors


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