How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life

How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life

by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
     
 

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In their first three years of life babies face the most complex learning endeavor they will ever undertake as human beings: They learn to talk. Now, as researchers make new forays into the mystery of the development of the human brain, authors Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, both developmental psychologists and language experts,

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Overview

In their first three years of life babies face the most complex learning endeavor they will ever undertake as human beings: They learn to talk. Now, as researchers make new forays into the mystery of the development of the human brain, authors Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, both developmental psychologists and language experts, offer parents a powerfully insightful guidebook to how infants—even while in the womb—begin to learn language. Along the way, the authors provide parents with the latest scientific findings, developmental milestones, and important advice on how to create the most effective learning environments for their children. This book takes readers on a fascinating, vitally important exploration of the dance between nature and nurture, and explains how parents can help their children learn more successfully.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Both mothers and specialists in infant language, Golinkoff (education, Univ. of Delaware) and Hirsh-Pasek (psychology, Temple Univ.) present an in-depth study of language development during the first three years of life. Beginning with the fetus and newborn, the authors take the reader through the steps and stages of language learning. The text is interspersed with activities readers can use to assess the specific development of their own children. While stressing the individual differences of children in using language, each chapter includes indicators of delayed development to alert parents and caregivers. How Babies Talk should be useful and interesting to anyone involved with young children. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--Kay L. Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This guide to how children learn language highlights the "extraordinary in the ordinary" and applies the latest scientific research to understanding the art of speech. Golinkoff and Hirsh-Patek, academics at the University of Delaware and Temple University respectively, draw from linguistics, psychology, and their own experience as mothers to plumb the depths of language learning. Their conclusion? Babies know a lot more than they're letting on. In fact, because of breakthrough studies that monitor fetal heartbeats, researchers now know that even before birth, babies not only recognize their mothers' voices, but can also discriminate between nursery rhymes they've heard before and those that are new. From that point, the authors discuss babies' early attempts at nonverbal communication, moving toward those hard-won first words, through the toddlers' "vocabulary spurt," right up to the preschoolers' Herculean struggle to master not only the niceties of grammar, but also the social aspect of knowing what to say and when to say it. Using techniques that track babies' gaze, heartbeats, and bottle-sucking rates, the book does an impressive job of taking readers behind the scenes of each of these milestones. While they stress that "children's minds are rich with language-learning resources," the authors emphasize what parents and caregivers can do to help the process along; suggestions include using "infant-directed" language, commonly known as "baby talk" so that words, phrases and vowels stand out amidst the endless stream of adult talk, and engaging in "rich interpretation" of a toddler's two-word sentence by expanding on the thought without offering corrections. How Babies Talk takes arefreshingly reassuring tone about speech delays, asserting that most children eventually catch up to their more loquacious peers. When it comes to language learning, the authors declare, "nature and nurture are involved in an intricate dance with each other. `' This book will certainly help parents learn some new steps.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452281738
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/2000
Edition description:
REISSUE
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
574,328
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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