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marauder76's avatar

What is the average age when a child is able to identify all the letters of the alphabet?

Asked by marauder76 (390 points ) November 23rd, 2009

At how many months or years of age is a child typically able to identify all 26 letters of the alphabet? I am not asking about reciting the alphabet or singing the ABC song. I mean the age when a child can say the name of a letter that’s shown to him/her, or can find & point to a letter when asked to do so (e.g., “Where’s the B?”).

Any thoughts from either personal experience or otherwise would be appreciated.

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26 Answers

faye's avatar

My kids were four because I was willing to teach them to read more than play house, I know, no inner child here

madsmom1030's avatar

My daughter started recognizing the letters at about 2 and a half. by 3 and a half she could say the alphabet. she just started kindergarten and they have been reading these short books and on the second week she got out her book and read the whole thing to me.she is like a little sponge and loves learning to spell new words and to read- might be from her momma since everyone will tell you i always have a book with me! it just depends on the child.

chocomonkey's avatar

My son is 2 and a half and just beginning to show an interest in letters and numbers. It seems like he can identify most of the 0–9 numbers now (especially #1 for Thomas the Tank Engine), and maybe 5 or so letters (mostly the ones in his name), and the “P” or “B” on elevator buttons.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I would say the average age is 5 years old. Many children learn at an early age however. Five years old average comes from the fact that they learn this very skill in kindergarten at that age. Of course there are always the “late bloomers” as well but they will have plenty of time to catch up :)

avvooooooo's avatar

They’re tested on it about halfway through kindergarten, I believe. So that’s when they’re supposed to know them all.

I had trouble with “Q.” But who really uses that letter anyway?

YARNLADY's avatar

New grandson 2 yrs 3 months’ older 3 grandsons, right around 2½; first son 3 + years, second son 18 months.

MacBean's avatar

I could already read when I started speaking, so you can’t really go by me. And twenty years ago when I was in kindergarten, that’s when they taught us the alphabet. My nieces and nephews who are starting school now, though, have classmates who are at a slight disadvantage if they start kindergarten without knowing the alphabet. The times, they are a-changin’!

oratio's avatar

@MacBean At what age would that be(starting kindergarten)?

avvooooooo's avatar

@oratio Five. It varies by state or whatever, but generally its five by the beginning of September.

MacBean's avatar

I started kindergarten at four and turned five in March during that school year. I think @avvooooooo might be right, though, and starting at five is more common.

avvooooooo's avatar

@MacBean They’ve got different educational laws now and they’re different for each state. But in general, kids start at 5. The cutoff date for when a child must turn 5 is different according to where you live. In Georgia, its September 1.

marauder76's avatar

How are these “Great Answers” if they are completely off topic? Focus, people!

YARNLADY's avatar

Some people give out GA for participation, regardless of content, and others, like myself, give GA to answers that are good regardless of whether they go directly to the question or not. Some people even give GA to a series of quips that make up a good discussion.

avvooooooo's avatar

I see nothing whatsoever irrelevant here.

MacBean's avatar

Until, of course, we started discussing what is and isn’t off-topic, and why people are giving GAs. Then it got off course…

marauder76's avatar

I guess there’s no one right way to use Fluther, and obviously anyone can deem anything they choose a great answer. To me, Fluther is a great tool for gathering info/feedback/consensus on issues that don’t fit squarely in the old Googletron. But it takes time to come to the site and scroll through the answers. Thus, it’s frustrating to see a given thread devolve into something completely unrelated. @avvooooooo, I am not sure how you can fail to see the irrelevance of your info about GA school start dates in response to my original question about typical language acquisition. Anyway, to each his own, but that’s just my $.02.

avvooooooo's avatar

I was talking about ages that kids start kindergarten. The grade and age at which children are required to know the alphabet. It is, indeed, related to the question at hand of when a child is able to identify all letters of the alphabet. For many, its when required. At what is generally age 5. In kindergarten. Both related and relevant.

marauder76's avatar

Completely illogical. I asked when children typically demonstrate a specific skill, not when schools are required to introduce a topic. Maybe tangentially related, but hardly relevant, and certainly not responsive to my query.

avvooooooo's avatar

@marauder76 One more time. Some children only learn and demonstrate a specific skill when required to. Many children do not have parents that take the time to teach them before they are required to know. So the answer is that some children demonstrate the skill when required by the school system and not a moment before. Again, related and relevant. As well as responsive to your query.

The lack of logic here is your refusal to consider my relevant answer as relevant. It is not my answer or the knowledge that it is indeed answering the question.

marauder76's avatar

My question: ”...average age when a child is able to…”
Your answer: ”...that’s when they’re supposed to know them all…”

You are supposed to answer the question asked, and I bet you would be able to if you tried.

avvooooooo's avatar

1. A child is able to do so when they are taught to do so.

2. As some are not taught until they are required, some are not able until they are required.

3. As a great many children fall into the group that are not taught at home, they are able to do so when they are taught at the time that a school deems necessary and will hopefully be able to do it when they are tested on it.

I have answered the question asked time and time again. Just because you do not like the answer does not mean that it is incorrect or irrelevant.

marauder76's avatar

Again you conflate “being taught” with ability. One cannot be “taught to do so” until he has the requisite cognitive/developmental/language acquisition skills. And that was precisely what I was seeking to learn—the average age when a child acquires this ability.

I understand the mental leap you are making, but it is not responsive the initial query. I am not asking you about Georgia school curricula, start dates, standardized tests, etc.

Thus, your answer made Fluther less useful for me, and I will be less likely to use the site for this type of question in the future.

TBSYL

avvooooooo's avatar

You asked: “the age when a child can say the name of a letter that’s shown to him/her, or can find & point to a letter when asked to do so (e.g., “Where’s the B?”).”

I told you that they can do so when they are taught to do so. They cannot eat with a fork until they are handed a fork and shown what it is and what to do with it. Similarly, they cannot know what “B” is until they are taught what it is. That is the way it is. It will not change, however much you protest. A child cannot acquire knowledge without being introduced to it.

If you wish to know when a child acquires the cognitive ability to learn something, ask that question. But that is not the question that you asked.

If you go on about how something is not answering your question as asked when it is answering your question if you stop protesting long enough to think about it, the problem lies with you and not the answer.

I never once mentioned anything about standardized tests. I only mentioned the age requirements for starting school because it is relevant to the question and the age at which children can be expected to know something.

Again, if you choose not to accept a perfectly valid answer, maybe the problem isn’t with the answer.

Disclaimer: avvooooooo holds a B.S. in Consumer Journalism. A large part of that degree, the “consumer” half, was satisfied by completing a large number of courses in Child and Family Development. avvooooooo is qualified to answer questions as asked about child development by virtue of her years of study in that area.

marauder76's avatar

Again, you conflate “being taught” with ability.

You say: “They cannot eat with a fork until they are handed a fork and shown what it is and what to do with it.”

I can hand a fork to a four-month-old child, show him what it is and what to do with it, yet he will still lack the ability to use it. The same result would ensue if I tried to teach a four-month-old the alphabet.

I will be sure not to ask you about the average age when a child can start walking, at least not unless I want to know about the Georgia gym curriculum.

Congrats on your Consumer Journalism degree, and goodnight!

avvooooooo's avatar

@marauder76 Again. You asked a question. It was answered. If you wanted to know something different, you should have asked that question instead of the one you did.

A 30 year old may have the ability to use a fork, but if they are never taught they will never know. The question that was asked was answered. If you have a different question that you wish to know the answer to, perhaps you might want to ask that question.

As walking is purely developmental, unlike language, the average age is at a little over a year when muscles and balance develop. When these things develop and they are ready, a child will begin the process of learning to walk.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)

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