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Keep on Talking (KOT)

Early Language Development

Practitioners need an understanding of how early language develops in order to support children appropriately.

The communication tree below provides a visual model of typical language development, although all children are individuals and will progress at different rates.

communication tree

Text in Tree diagram:

The roots= Before 12 months, listening and attention

The soil = the child's environment

The trunk= Play, (symbolic play, imaginative play). Understanding (receptive language)

The branches= Talking, (expressive language). Pragmatic speech (social communication). Phonology (speech sounds).


The Child Monitoring Tool and Record of Communication and Language Development can be used to assess the language development of each child in your setting. The Communication and Language Group overview can be used to review groups of children.


kot children playing

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