Typical student behavior and appropriate teacher behavior by student stage of language development are summarized in the following chart.

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Sample Student Behaviors

Sample Teacher Behaviors


·Points to or provides other non-verbal response

·Actively listens

·Responds to commands


·Language focuses on conveying meanings and vocabulary development


Early Production

·One-word responses

·Short utterances

·Asks questions that can be answered by yes/no and either/or responses

·Models correct responses 

Speech Emergence

·Participates in small group activities

·Demonstrates comprehension in a variety of ways

·Focuses content on key concepts

·Provides frequent comprehension checks

·Uses performance-based assessment

·Uses expanded vocabulary

·Asks open-ended questions that stimulate language production

Intermediate Fluency

·Participates in reading and writing activities to acquire new information

·Fosters conceptual development and expanded literacy through content