Baron (linguistics, American Univ.) explores how children learn to speak from birth to age six. To explain the wide variations and individual differences in ``cracking the language code,'' Baron uses three composite children who represent three different types of language learners. Through these examples, readers can follow the intricacies of the learning process without getting bogged down in technical jargon. The book is divided into seven major chapters, each representing a stage in language development from the idea of language to first words, a grammar, and eventually sophisticated conversation. At the end of each chapter, Baron suggests techniques that parents can use to promote language development and addresses areas of concern. This good, basic introduction to language learning is appropriate for educators (particularly preschool educators) and parents. Some 30 pages of bibliographical notes at the end attest to its scholarly foundation and provide the interested reader with ideas for further research.-- Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, Md.
Naomi S. Baron is Professor of Linguistics and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at The American University in Washington, D.C. A Guggenheim fellow, she is the author of four previous books about language and has taught at Brown University, Emory University, and Southwestern University. Dr. Baron resides with her husband and their son Aneil in Bethesda, Maryland.