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Guess how many words a six year old has!

Feb 18, 2022

Babies are actively learning, processing, and gradually producing the speech systems they hear around them.

As they experience new things and new situations, they are generating billions of synaptic connections per second – think of these like sparks going off in their brains forming a web of knowledge!

Young children typically understand or recognise more words than they actually use when speaking. In fact, by the time they are around two years of age, they will probably be able to understand most things we say or talk about, but not necessarily be able to talk back. Two-year-olds have a minimum of about 50 words that they can produce. This is where their frustrations and the “terrible twos” can kick in!

As they start to talk, their vocabulary develops and children learn many new words quite rapidly. Once they start reading and going to school, they can learn words through reading as well as hearing language.

By the time they are six, children know an incredible 10,000 words (or thereabouts – that’s the average number!)

The more you talk with your child – about the environment around you, the things you are doing and experiencing, the books you are reading, the food you are eating – the more opportunity they have for picking up new words and expanding their vocabulary.

They will continue expanding their vocabulary and by the end of secondary school, children know about 60,000 words. And we keep learning new words throughout our life, as we encounter specialist vocabulary and new contexts either in real life or in books. How amazing is that?

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We explore the real science behind how young children learn to speak, along with tips for learning languages with your little people and some awesome FREE languages treats!  

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