This is a compact easy-to-read book written by two experts in the field of language development for parents. The layout makes it easy to dip in and out of relevant chapters, with such useful headings as: “Ideas for Parents”, “What Science tells us” and “Talking Point”.The advice, though mostly common sense, provides reassurance to anxious parents and also suggests useful practical suggestions for how to engage with children at every stage in their language development.
While useful as a reference book, the repetitive structure of the book does not make it enjoyable to read from cover to cover. At times, I found it a bit formulaic and a little too prescriptive, such as that you should only include “two or three ideas per sentence” when talking to children between the ages of 12 and 24 months. Although some readers might find this kind of detail very useful, it might also make some self-conscious parents spend less time communicating with their children in case they get it wrong. Overall though, this book would be a useful addition to a parent library in preschools and primary schools and anything that encourage parents to really talk to their children must be applauded.
Title: Talking Baby: Helping Your Child Discover Language
Authors: Margaret Maclagan and Anne Buckley
Publisher: Canterbury University Press
Date of Publication: 2019
Age Range: Adult
Reviewer: Carola Crawford, English teacher, Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College
How are you recommending this book: Recommended
Opening sentence: “People used to learn about what is normal in language development by watching older members of their extended families interacting with young children.”
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