Language Development Milestones 8-9 Years

Language Development Milestones 8-9 Years

In children 8-9 years, grammar knowledge is complete and children are also better at thinking about language and how it is organized and relates to itself.

Synonyms, categorization, and figurative language are among their newest language skills.

By 3rd grade, children’s academic, phonological, and language skills should be good enough to allow them to “read and write” to learn new information.

Socially, children at this age become more responsible. They are much more like “little adults.”

Speech and language development growth charts can help you track your child’s progress and make sure they are meeting every milestone. 

3RD GRADE (8-9 Years)

Expressive Language / What the Child Says

    • Uses most parts of speech, all grammar is acquired

    • Exceptions to grammatical rules are mastered

    • Uses and understands passive sentences 

    • Uses clear and specific vocabulary in conversation and discussions 

    • Uses subject related vocabulary 

    • Asks/answers factual and inferential questions 

    • Explains what has been learned 

    • Uses a variety of words, not just the same ones over and over 

    • Gives synonyms and categories in word definitions (7-9 years) 

    • Production of figurative language increases (7-9 years) - Examples: “Don’t let the cat out of the bag.”  “It is raining cats and dogs.”

    • Begins to understand jokes and riddles based on sound similarities (7-9 years) - Example: “What kind of shows to cows like to watch?”   “Moo-sicals”

Receptive Language / What the Child Understands

    • Listens attentively in group situations 

    • Follows 4-step and higher directions

    • Understands direction words 

  • Demonstrates understanding of grade level content material

Narrative Development

    • Complex Episodes / Multiple Episodes 

    • Narratives have a theme, character, plot, logically sequenced, temporally ordered, initiating even, action, consequences, emotion, and resolution. Contain at least 5 story grammar elements (example: setting, characters)


    • Summarizes a story accurately 

    • Fully understands basic phonic patterns 

    • Uses word analysis skills when reading 

    • Re-reads and corrects errors when necessary 

    • Predicts and justifies what will happen next 

    • Compares and contrasts 

    • Asks and answers questions about the reading material 

    • Use acquired information to learn about new topics 

    • Read grade level books fluently 

    • Uses clues from language content and structure to help in understanding what is read 

    • Reads 100 words per minute

    • Reads 300 sight words


    • Plans, organizes, revises, and edits 

    • Includes details in writing 

    • Writes stories, letters, simple explanations, and brief reports 

    • Spells simple words correctly, corrects most spelling independently or with a dictionary for help 

    • Cursive writing is written clearly


    • Opens and closes conversations appropriately 

    • Stays on topic, takes turns, and uses eye contact during conversation 

    • Clarifies and explains words and ideas when conversation breaks down, gives background information or definitions of words 

    • Uses language to inform, persuade, and entertain 

    • Ability to take others’ perspectives increases which also increases the ability to persuade (7-9 years)

    • Uses language to establish and maintain social status (7-9 years)

Sound Hearing Audiology and Speech – Dr. Robin Zeller, Ph.D.
50 Hazelwood Drive, Jericho NY 11753
Audiologist, Speech Language Pathologist, Speech Therapy, Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss Treatments for Adults and Children