Language Development in Children 10-11 Years What You Can Expect

Language Development in Children 10-11 Years What You Can Expect

Language development in children 10-11 years: Children at this age can prioritize, organize, plan, report, and summarize effectively.

Their writing is more complex than their conversational language. They also tell jokes using more complex language and ideas.

They are able to form their own opinion, present their point of view, and actively participate in discussions with others.

*NOTE: The ages and their corresponding grades are based upon guidelines followed in the United States. 

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5th Grade (10-11 Years)

Expressive Language / What the Child Says

  • Uses language effectively for a variety of purposes/situations

  • Gives accurate directions to others

  • Summarizes main points

  • Reports about information gathered in group activities

  • Organizes information for clarity

  • Make planned oral presentations appropriate to audience

  • Can explain relationships between meanings of multiple-meaning words (analogies) (9-12 years)

  • Uses more abstract and specific vocabulary and grammar, complex sentences in writing than in conversation (9-12 years)

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

  • Gives synonyms and categories in word definitions

  • 4 out of 5 words have a prefix or suffix

  • Uses more figurative language in conversation


    "I am in hot water."

    "That math problem is a bear."

    Total # of words in 100 utterance speech sample: 518-868 (11 years)

    Total # of different words in 100 utterance speech sample: 191-267 (11 years)

Receptive Language / What the Child Understands

  • Listens and draws conclusions in subject area

  • Form opinions based on evidence

  • Listens for specific purposes

  • Demonstrates understanding of grade level content material

  • Understands jokes and riddles based on word ambiguity (9-12 years)


    "Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know." - Groucho Marx

    "He is an unbelievable man." (Either the man is a liar, or he an incredible/awesome man.)

  • Understands most common idioms


    "You're a couch potato."

    "Break a leg."

    "I'm all tied up."

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Narrative Development

  • Complex Episodes / Multiple Episodes

  • Stories include complex, embedded and interactive episodes


  • Reads grade level books fluently

  • Prioritizes information according to the purpose of reading

  • Learn meanings of unfamiliar words through knowledge of root words, prefixes, and suffixes

  • Reads a variety of literacy forms

  • Describes development of character and plot

  • Describes characteristics of poetry

  • Analyzes author's language and style

  • Use reference materials to support opinions

  • Read 120-150 words per minute (wpm)


  • Writes for a variety of purposes

  • Uses effective vocabulary

  • Varies sentence structure

  • Revises writing for clarity

  • Edits final copies

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  • Maintains eye contact, uses gestures, facial expressions, and appropriate voice during group presentations

  • Participates in class discussions across subject areas

  • 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

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