Finally, toddlers pass through the telegraph stage. According to Stilwell Pecci (1999:29) “There is no three-word stage as such. What follows is a period of two to three years of astonishing progress on a variety of fronts.” In fact, telegraph stage is the last stage of language acquisition that takes place before toddlers speak fluently.
This period begins at the age of two and half years. The toddlers’ utterances increase and develop very quickly. The pronunciation skills are developed in this period, they can link three, four or longer word utterances together and they are able to say clear sentences to convey the meaning but without accurate grammatical rules. Regardless to the fact that the utterances produced by toddlers in this stage lack the grammatical rules, they are considered sentence-like. This is because toddlers follow the same syntactic structure that is similar to the syntactic structure that adults use in their sentences.
In this stage, one can say that toddlers’ utterances are not randomly structured. On the contrary, they start to have some knowledge regarding sentence formation. For example, “what this?”,”Is a teddy no here,””where mummy”, “drink water please”, etc. However, the children may face some problems with saying some sounds such as/sh/, /ch/, /th/, /s/, /r/, /y/.
Additionally, they use words instead of actions to express their emotions, they are capable of copying the adults’ speech and they are able to open discussions with themselves and move from one topic to another. Surprisingly, toddlers produce sentence structures in different situations in a funny way.To conclude, the acquisition of the native language happens according to gradual stages which start from the date of birth till the pre-kindergarten stage. The important stages that toddlers pass through, as mentioned previously, are: pre-linguistic, holophrastic and telegraph.
A normal child goes through all of these stages in order to be able to converse and express his/her needs. Language helps the toddlers communicate with others confidently and comfortably. In other words, without having a perfect and a clear language, no one can communicate well. Accordingly, it is the parents’ role to monitor their children carefully in case that they show any disability that may hinder their proper communication with others. When a baby is sixteen-month of age or above, a new stage starts. It is called the two-word stage or the holophrastic stage. At this stage, children’s communication with others, especially their parents, becomes quite clearer.
After they have learned some words, rules and actions from the previous stages, they are able to produce a phrase with two long morphemes. For example, “my doll” which means that this is my doll, “doggy bark” which means the dog is barking, “mama eat” which means that please mama I want to eat. In addition, they show a great understanding of some simple directions and commands like “kiss mummy”, “give to daddy”, “stop” or “come Jojo” (brother’s name)’.
The toddler in that stage may use two words to show the location of something that he/she wants to get. They use two words in addition to pointing out. For instance, “teddy up” means that the toddler’s teddy bear is up on a table or something else. Similarly, when the babies want to complain that somebody hits him/her, they will also use two words like “Jojo hit”. Moreover, they will realize the categories of things in the surrounding environment.
For example, they will categorize biscuits as a kind of food that is eaten while toys are things that cannot be eaten. This means that toddlers use their own sense to distinguish between different things.