3.1 Children use listening and observation skills to make sense of and respond to spoken language and other forms of communication. Children enter into the exchange of information around what they see, hear, and experience. They begin to acquire an understanding of the concepts of language that contribute to learning.
a React to familiar voices, sounds, words, facial expressions, and gestures
The child may gaze at a familiar face, turn her head toward a familiar voice, or become quiet when she hears a comforting sound.
b React to simple, familiar words and actions
The child may look at or turn towards an object in response to a request, such as "Look at the ball," imitate an action, such as clap her hands when you do, or make a vocalization when someone walks near.
e Use one or two words to respond to "what," "who," "whose," and "where" questions in context
The child may correctly answer simple questions, such as: "What is this picture?" with "Dog" or "What are you doing?" with "Eating a cracker"; "Who is this?" with "Mommy"; "Whose coat is this?" with "Mine"; and "Where is the ball?" with "Here it is!"
3.2 Children develop skills in using sounds, facial expressions, gestures, and words for a variety of purposes, such as to help adults and others understand their needs, ask questions, express feelings and ideas, and solve problems.
a Use a variety of sounds to communicate
The child may use distinguishable sounds or cries when he is hungry, uncomfortable, sleepy, gassy, or afraid.
b Make sounds or signs in response to people and the environment
The child may make gestures or sounds in response to people or the environment.
c Experiment making different sounds
The child may coo—"oo," "ah," or "oh"—or babble—"bababa," "dadada," or "mamama."
d Combine words and gestures
The child may wave "good-bye" while saying, "Bye-bye" or hold her arms out while saying, "Up."
e Use consistent combinations of sounds or signs to indicate specific objects or people
The child may say "dada" to mean daddy or sign "apple" by making a fist, placing the knuckle of the right index finger against his cheek, and pivoting his hand back and forth.
f Respond to simple requests or comments with non-verbal or verbal answer
The child may respond verbally or with simple gestures to comments, such as "I wonder where the ball went."
g Use single words to communicate
The child may use single words for a variety of communicative purposes both in play and in daily living.
h Ask others to label unfamiliar objects.
The child may frequently ask "What is that?" in her quest to build vocabulary and understanding.
i Produce two-word phrases
The child may imitate or produce a two-word sentence with meaning, such as "Daddy go" or "My turn."
j Talk or vocalize to self during play
The child may talk to objects, toys, or imaginary people while playing. Try not to interrupt the child's play experience; provide additional opportunities for the child to practice language and communicate his ideas through frequent opportunities for natural social interactions and peer play.
k Use multi-word phrases and full sentences
The child may communicate using correct sentence structure, such as "I'm wearing my birthday shoes."
o Demonstrate correct grammar usage more consistently
The child may use pronouns, such as "I," "he," "she," or "they" and verb forms, such as "run," "rolled," or "kicking," correctly. At this stage, some grammatical rules may be over-generalized, such as using the "ed" for all past tense verbs as in "He runned."
The child may spontaneously use newly acquired vocabulary after seeking its meaning, such as stating, "the tiger looks ferocious!"
q Relate a story or event with increasing detail and coherence
The child may repeat or add to a story, relate a well-developed story of his own experience, or accurately repeat a familiar rhyme or song.
3.3 Children develop skills that help them interact and communicate with others in effective ways.
a Gaze at familiar adults
The child may keep his eyes on the faces of familiar adults.
b Respond when name is said
The child may turn her head or look at the caregiver when she hears her name.
c Use gestures and sounds to communicate and interact with others
The child may use social conventions for greeting another, such as waving "hello" or "good-bye" or smiling.
d Engage in give-and-take interactions
The child may maintain eye contact and use sounds, facial expressions, gestures, or words to engage in a back and forth exchange one-on-one with another person, each waiting for a response before replying, often in imitation.
e Respond to speech by attending to who is speaking
The child may listen while others are speaking or singing and engage verbally or non-verbally.
f Laugh, smile, or giggle at something funny
The child may laugh, smile, or giggle at things she finds funny or silly.
g Initiate communication with others
The child may initiate communication with other people for a variety of purposes, such as making a request for something she wants using words or gestures.
h Demonstrate turn-taking in play and conversation
The child may engage in back and forth conversations with a peer or adult, and cooperate in simple games or activities that require turn-taking.
i Use language appropriately with different audiences
The child may use different words and communication styles depending on who is listening, such as using a higher pitched voice to engage a baby.
j Use language appropriately depending on the situation
The child may make a relevant comment during group planning, relate a story, or ask for information about something that interests her. The bilingual child may adjust her language choice and communication style to fit the situation or the person with whom she is communicating.
k Adjust intonation and volume of speech for a variety of settings
The child may whisper around a sleeping baby but call loudly to a friend across the playground.
3.4 Children develop competency in their home language while becoming proficient in English.
a Use home or first language
The child may predominantly—and sometimes exclusively—use her home language for some time as she becomes acquainted with the new language. She may continue to respond spontaneously to familiar words in the home language, such as clapping her hands when she hears the word for "clap."
b Demonstrate a period of adjustment to learning a new language
The child may stop talking in either language as he listens to the new language and focuses on learning the meaning of unfamiliar sounds and words.
c Follow simple directions in home language or in English
The child may follow verbal directions in either the home language or in English when accompanied by gestures and cues, such as coming when the teacher signals with her hand while saying, "Come here, please."
The child may use short phrases or groups of words in English while still using the home language for longer sentences or more detailed explanations.
e Use English for informal purposes and rely on home language for formal learning
The child may use English in conversations, but for deep learning and complete understanding, still prefer the use of the home language.
f Adjust communication form for the audience
The child may use the home language with family members and use English with English-speaking peers.
3.5 Children develop an understanding, skills, and interest in the symbols, sounds, and rhythms of written language as they also develop interest in reading, enjoyment from books, and awareness that the printed word can be used for various purposes.
a Focus intently on a book
The child may look at a book with no attempt to touch it.
b React when being read a book
The child may smile or coo when being shown the pictures in a book.
c Explore books with mouth and hands
The child may grasp and bring the book to her mouth to suck and chew on it. The child may shake, bend, or wave a book, or pat the pictures.
d Maintain attention when being read a book
The child may gaze at the page or point to illustrations while someone is reading a book to her.
e Vocalize when being read a book
The child may make vocalizations while pointing to pictures and may eventually ask, "What's that?" or use "book babble" imitating the sound of reading.
f Choose familiar books and repeat words or vocalizations in books
The child may seek out familiar books and repeat vocalizations and words heard when she was previously read the book.
g Point at or name objects, animals, or people in pictures, books or drawings
The child may point to pictures and label or describe them either independently or when prompted.
q Sustain attention to increasingly longer books and stories
The child may attend to longer stories or books, especially when there is animation and dramatic presentation or when the child is actively involved, such as imitating a phrase, word, or sound that is repeated in the story.
3.6 Children develop interest and skills in using symbols as a meaningful form of communication.
a Experiment with grasp
The child may grip a rattle or other toy and later a variety of drawing and writing tools using her fist and fingers.
b Watch others write and draw
The child may watch with interest as an adult or another child draws, paints, or writes.
c.a Scribble on paper spontaneously
The child may use a crayon, marker, or pencil to make marks and scribble on a piece of paper or other writing surface and eventually describe what the marks are meant to be.
c.b Demonstrate a pincer grasp
The child may pick up crayons, pencils, and even smaller objects using her thumb and forefinger.
d Experiment with a variety of writing tools
The child may use pencils, crayons, chalk, markers, pens, paints, sand, or write in the air with her finger.
e Imitate others who are writing or drawing shapes
The child may imitate what she has seen others write using traditional and nontraditional tools, such as making marks in the sand with a stick or drawing with a finger in pudding.
f Demonstrate controlled linear scribbles
The child may include identifiable shapes in his scribbles.
g Write letters, letter-like shapes, and inventive words
The child may write individual letters and strings of letters or letter-like shapes in groups.
h Use print in play
The child may write down the food order at an imaginary restaurant.
i Demonstrate an understanding that print holds meaning and that thoughts and ideas can be written down
The child may ask an adult to label a drawing or write down a story that he narrates.
j Form letters to approximate conventional forms
The child may form alphabet letters, and indicate that letters stand for spoken sounds, although not always correctly.
k Write his or her own name
The child may write, copy, and correctly label the letters in her name with increasing accuracy.
l Write familiar words using accepted writing format
The child may copy familiar or create pretend words, correctly writing left to right and top to bottom of the page.
The child may progress through developmental stages in rhyming beginning with identifying if two words or pictures rhyme, to filling in words to known songs, rhymes, and finger plays, to finally producing words that rhyme and making up her own rhymes.