Language development is different for every child. There are many factors that influence language development in each child. While many argue that language development is a matter of nature versus nurture, there are definite factors that influence the development of language. Social, cognitive processes, linguistic, as well as perceptual and conceptual skills are factors that directly influence language development in children. Whether these factors are controlled by parents or nature, they are a serious factor in the development of your child’s language.


A child’s social environment directly affects his language development. Interaction with your child is crucial in developing social and language skills. According to the Literacy Encyclopedia, “The verbal environment influences language learning. From ages one to three, children from highly verbal 'professional' families heard nearly three times as many words per week as children from low verbal 'welfare' families.” It is imperative to not only speak to your child but also maintain conversation when your child is around. In addition to income, television also affects language development. When the social environment of the home is centered around watching television, language and verbal expressions, “talking” decrease.

Cognitive Processes

The way your child processes language cognitively affects the way her own language develops. How often your child hears you speak affects her cognitive processes in learning language. Children who are exposed to an unusually high proportion of examples of a language form learn at a faster rate than those who are not.


Your child’s linguistic ability directly influences his language development. In formulating his own vocabulary, it is not uncommon for your child to associate a new word with a current object he does not have a label (or word) to associate with it. It is also common that verb endings, such as –ing, infer a meaning to your toddler. It is common that your child will infer that this "meaning" is related to an activity, such as swimming, playing or running, rather than a completed stage or state, such as push off.

Conceptual and Perceptual

Conceptually speaking language skills are related to word knowledge. If your child has difficulty recalling a word, it is likely that she will know less about the object itself. In perceptual terms, your child’s auditory perceptual skill’s at 6 to 12 months is a predictor of their vocabulary size and syntactic complexity at 23 months.