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48 to 60 Months

Source: Adaptation of the Guide d'enseignement efficace de la lecture de la maternelle à la 3eannée, page 2.17 (2003)

  From the age of 48 to 60 months old, the child:

  • understands approximately 2300 words
  • plays in groups of two to five
  • may still mix up the “s” and “ch” sounds (for example, “sien” instead of “chien”), and “w” and “r” (“cawotte” instead of “carotte”)
  • uses intonation and gestures to reinforce the meaning of his/her words (for example, the child nods his/her head saying, “J'aime la pizza!” in a playful tone)
  • follows three-part instructions (for example, “Trouve le crayon jaune, trouve les bananes sur le dessin, colorie les bananes en jaune.”)
  • understands most questions beginning with “Qui, Quoi, Où, Quand”
  • articulates complete and grammatically correct sentences (for example, “Mon camion est dans ma chambre.”)
  • can identify rhymes (for example, “Il pleut, il mouille, C'est la fête à la grenouille!”)
  • shows curiosity by asking questions
  • is able to communicate ideas and abstract concepts
  • understands several common opposites (for example,  “grand” and “petit”, “chaud” and “froid”, “proche” and “loin”)
  • can answer the question, “Comment?”
  • is interested in stories and is able to listen to a story for a long time
  • can tell a story from pictures
  • can create stories with central characters and logical sequences of events, but the stories’ endings may not correspond to their beginnings

 To find out more...

  • Guide du développement du langage chez l’enfant en milieu exogame (in French with tips and advice in English for language development in a family where the parents don’t have the same mother tongue) | A practical guide for parents of children from 0 to 7 years old by SOFA (Yukon). Written in simple language, it contains useful information classified by the age of the child, and practical advice in French and English for life in a bilingual family (e.g. what the parents who speak different languages can do to support their child's language development). Interestingly, the author suggests the use of a few American sign language (ASL) gestures for the period from birth to six months, to allow the child to express a few basic concepts (I love you, thirst, hunger, etc.) that both parents can understand.
  • Votre enfant apprend à parler (Jean-Adolphe Rondal), Éditions Mardaga, 1998, 110 p. | A classic book about the stages of language development in children, written for parents and educators. Chapter 5 is particularly relevant for this age.
  • Tableau de l’acquisition des sons du français selon l’âge (table of French sound acquisition according to age – available in French only).
  • Increase in Vocabulary Understood (graph of French vocabulary progression)