University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Languages Young Children Speak in Illinois

Published: September 3, 2021

A child’s first three years is the most intensive period for acquiring speech and language skills. A baby’s first words may come gradually or suddenly, or be barely recognizable, but no matter the language, these early efforts are often celebrated developmental milestones.

Early words help babies interact with their caregivers and often have similar meaning across languages. 

Language Resources

Are you interested in learning more about the languages young children speak in Illinois? Do you have questions about young children’s language development? Both the Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM) and the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse (EIC) offer resources on these topics.

Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map

  • Languages Spoken at Home This webpage includes maps and lists of the top 30 languages spoken or being learned by children age 0-5 in Illinois.
  • IECAM database This tool helps users find the number of limited English-speaking households (“Spanish” and “other languages”) 2005 through 2019 (latest data available) by state, county, township, municipality, legislative districts, school district, zip, Chicago Community Area (CCA), and by ISBE and IDHS regions.

Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse

EIC Resource Guides

These resource guides list books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse.

Illinois Early Learning 

If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, contact the Illinois Early Intervention program for a free evaluation. To find the office that serves your area call 800-843-6154 or visit the Illinois Department of Human Service’s Office Locator.