This book takes a child-led approach to encouraging language development. We hope you enjoy discovering more about how language grows and ways you can choose to nourish its development in your child. The main focus in this book is on babies and young children. As it's useful to see the progression of language development throughout all the preschool years, we've included milestones up to age five. But do remember that individual children will progress through these stages at different rates. By school age your child will: * speak your language and have a working vocabulary of up to 5,000 words. * complete complex sentences, describing their world and instructing those in it! * produce almost every sound in their language reasonably correctly. * be ready to learn new and abstract ideas through their own and others' use of language * be ready to learn to represent language through written words (reading and writing) * be ready to learn maths The development of language through the preschool years is a remarkable journey. But it is not one that your child will make alone. Children make this journey because people around them talked to them while they were a baby and then kept right on talking. In the first third of the book, we describe your baby's language development alongside their physical development in the first 18 months. Then we talk about play, because play is the way young children learn. In the middle section, we explore your child's very early acquisition of words, how they use them and the sorts of things they talk about. We also cover the exciting development that happens when your child can put two words together and then talk about more complicated things. We look at the variety in children's progress with language which can involve particular stages - saying 'no' and asking lots of questions are two of these. At the end of every chapter we include a summary of tips for parents.