Language acquisition begins before infants speak their first word. Around 6 months of age, their early babble will likely reflect the sounds used in the language spoken around them, and over the coming months, the complexity of their babble will increase until they produce their first words. From this point forward, infants will continue developing spoken language rapidly and in a predictable sequence. For example, at 1 year, children communicate using just a few single words, by 2 years, most are stringing two or more words together, and by 5 years, children will have a vocabulary of at least 5,000 words, and their grammatical skills will be nearly adultlike.

While most children acquire language effortlessly, meeting language milestones late or progressing through development slowly is a ...

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