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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Melissa Bloomer Fichter, MA (George Washington University)
Description: This book introduces language development by presenting the basic concepts and terminology associated with the behavioral, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of language as they develop. This second edition maintains the format of its 1998 predecessor by presenting language development in a student friendly manner.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a textbook to teach undergraduate students in the beginning stages of their studies to focus on the essential elements of language development. Such a textbook is invaluable for students who are pursuing studies in speech and language pathology, as well as many other careers (e.g., education, child development, psychology, etc.).
Audience: According to the author, this book was written to present the essential foundational terms, concepts, theories, and observations that define our understanding of language development in a "student-friendly manner." The author is a respected educator who has been teaching this subject for nearly 15 years. He presents the foundational information in an uncomplicated manner, which allows students to apply these basic principles and processes to become better future practitioners.
Features: This book sets out essential elements to language development: biological maturation, cognitive development, linguistic patterns, behavioral principles, and social interaction. Each chapter is introduced with motor, cognitive, and social developments that set the stage for the developments in language during that period. The author includes essential terminology and definitions in the margins of each chapter, and concludes each chapter with a summary, review questions, and practice multiple-choice questions. Of particular note are the useful appendices (Major Communication Milestones and Language and Literacy Expectations by School Grade) that are both nicely formatted.
Assessment: This book presents the essential and foundational information that students must understand before pursuing further study in speech-language pathology in such a way that students are not overloaded with facts and theoretical discourse. The author presents theory as integrated into basic concepts and terminology, which varies from other language development texts that focus on theory first and foremost, and then discuss concepts and terms. This second edition is a good resource for students in the beginning stages of learning language development.