Below are some guidelines for speech/language developmental expectations in school-age children:

By the end of 1st Grade, a child should be able to:

  • Follow 2-3 step directions in order.
  • Remember information and respond to instruction.
  • Retell stories and events in a logical sequence.
  • Correctly produce all speech sounds, including the more difficult r, l, and s sounds.
  • Be understood nearly 100% of the time, even by new listeners and in new situations.
  • Speak fluently without frequent interruptions or repetitions.
  • Start conversations, take turns, and stay on topic.
  • Produce rhymes.

By the end of 2nd Grade, a child should be able to:

  • Answer questions about a grade-level story.
  • Understand concept words (e.g., time, location, quality, quantity).
  • Use complex sentence structures.
  • Use language to inform, persuade, and entertain.
  • Read and paraphrase a story.
  • Explain key elements of a story.
  • Organize writing to include a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Progress to more accurate spelling.

By the end of 3rd Grade, a child should be able to:

  • Participate in conversations and group discussions.
  • Use appropriate vocabulary.
  • Predict, justify, compare, and contrast.
  • Include details in writing.
  • Identify and correct most spelling errors independently.
  • Plan, organize, revise, and edit writing.

By the end of 4th Grade, a child should be able to:

  • Understand and use some figurative language.
  • Follow written directions.
  • Make inferences from written material.
  • Write multi-paragraph stories.

By the end of 5th Grade, a child should be able to:

  • Plan and make oral presentations geared to a specific audience.
  • Maintain eye contact and use appropriate gestures and facial expressions.
  • Understand and use root words, prefixes, and suffixes.
  • Develop a character and plot.
  • Write for a variety of purposes.