The objective of this study was to demonstrate hemispheric language dominance in normal children. Fifteen normal children were evaluated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using an age-related silent word spelling paradigm. The data were analyzed with the cross-correlation method, and lateralization indices were calculated in language regions as determined by Talairach coordinates. Activation foci were detected in the left inferior frontal area and were strongly lateralized, with language lateralization indices of 0.74 ± 0.21 (age 7-12 years, nine subjects), and 0.79 ± 0.18 (13-18 years, six subjects). The indices were similar to those for adults (0.83 ± 0.21, four subjects). Our study established that language is strongly lateralized to the left hemisphere in children as young as 7 years of age. (J Child Neurol 1999;14:78-82).