What Are the 4 Cornerstones of Language Development?

3 min read

Last Modified 25 August 2023 First Added 25 August 2023

Language development is a remarkable journey that shapes a child’s ability to communicate effectively, understand their surroundings, and express themselves.

This article explores the cornerstones that contribute to language development: listening to speech, babbling and speaking, reading skills, and learning to write.

1. Listening to Speech

Early exposure to language and conversations is vital. Babies are born with an innate ability to distinguish important sounds which evolves over time. Research has shown that this process is instrumental in their linguistic growth.

To encourage your babies development in this area, consider using speech-enhancing toys like the Early Learning Centre Singing Animal Keyboard. This will enable your child to pick up on key skills while having fun and enjoying themselves.

Engage in communication with your child and expose them to diverse conversations and possibly languages if you are a bilingual household. Narrating your child’s environment can also aid in honing their skills, whether mentioning what you see or what you are about to do.

Activities like playing ‘house’ with your toddler can aid them in learning new words such as different rooms, furniture, meals, and routines. There are endless doll houses for children to choose from.

Mum in kitchen with toddler baking.

2. Babbling and Speaking

Learning to speak is a key aspect in children’s development. Babbling eventually transforms into full words, sentences, and social interactions.

Studies have revealed the social function behind babies’ babbling, highlighting its significance for a child learning to speak.

Parents can engage their children by having meaningful conversations, reading aloud, and even using toys like the Vtech’s Bluey Ring Ring Phone, which provides a relatable character angle for communication practice. Let your mini explorer have their own toy phone to practice their communication skills on.

Baby uses phone with parents.

3. Developing Reading Skills

Reading is not just a skill; it’s a gateway to the world. While the timeline for reading proficiency varies among children, it’s essential to encourage this process. Reading together as a family creates a positive environment for language development and gives children the opportunity to hear how you read versus how they read and learn any differences.

Explore learning to read toys to find resources that can engage your little one. Activities like shared reading and discussing stories, enhances language skills and cognitive development. Check out our baby books range to choose your next story.

Have a read of our article, Why Reading to Your Child is Important, to find out more information on why reading will aid your child’s development.

4. Learning to Write

The ability to write is a culmination of language development efforts. It connects listening, speaking and reading skills, allowing children to communicate effectively. Research has emphasised its significance in the upbringing of children.

To aid in this cornerstone, consider products like the Early Learning Centre Magnetic Playcentre, where children can draw, spell names and practice their writing and handwriting skills in an interactive manner. Additionally, have a look at our learning to write range for babies and toddlers to find the right resources to suit your child’s needs and learning style.

Child learning to write.


In the complexity of language development, these four cornerstones form the foundation that equips children to express themselves confidently throughout life.

By nurturing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, parents and family members play an indispensable role in shaping a child’s linguistic journey. To have a look at the different types of learning skills and developmental toys for children, look no further!

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