Language Development in Children 9-10 Years What To Expect

Language Development in Children 9-10 Years What To Expect

Language development in children 9-10 years: Children at this age are applying what they learn in school to other aspects of their lives as well as other school subjects.

Their language skills are becoming more abstract and complex.

Children are also beginning to read and write more difficult sentences than they typcially use in their conversatons.

Analytical skills and other complex organization skills are aquired and children use speech and language for many social purposes.

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

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4th Grade (9-10 Years)

Expressive Language / What the Child Says

  • Uses language effectively for a variety of purposes/situations

  • Participates in group discussions

  • Gives accurate directions to others

  • Summarizes and restates ideas

  • Organizes information for clarity

  • Uses subject area information and vocabulary for learning

  • Give effective oral presentations

  • 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: 496-687 (9 years)

    Total # of different words in 100 utterance speech sample: 183-235 (9 years)

Receptive Language / What the Child Understands

  • Listens to and understands information presented by peers

  • Form opinions based on evidence

  • Listens for specific purposes

  • Demonstrates understanding of grade level content material

  • Understands jokes and riddles based on sound similarities


    "What kind of shows to cows like to watch?" 


  • 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

  • Understands most common idioms


    "You're a couch potato."

    "Break a leg."

    "I'm tied up."

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Narrative Development

  • Complex Episodes / Multiple Episodes

  • Stories include complex, embedded and interactive episodes


  • Reads for specific purposes

  • Reads grade level books fluently

  • Use previously learned information to understand new information

  • Follow written directions

  • Take brief notes

  • Link information learned to different subjects

  • Learn meanings of new words through knowledge of word origins, synonyms, and multiple meanings

  • Use reference materials

  • Explain the author's purpose and style

  • Read and understand a variety of literature

  • Compare and contrast in content areas

  • Make inferences from texts

  • Paraphrase content, include main idea and details

  • Read 120-150 words per minute (wpm)


  • Write effective narratives and explanations, and several paragraphs on the same topic

  • Develop a plan for writing, beginning, middle, end

  • Organize writing to convey a central idea

  • Edit final copies for grammar, punctuation, spelling

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  • 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)

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