Talk to Me, Baby!: How You Can Support Young Children's Language Development, Second Edition

Author: Betty S. Bardige Ed.D.; Foreword Author: JoAnne Knapp-Philo Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 336 pages, 6.0 x 9.0
ISBN: 9781598579208
Price: $29.95

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With Thirty Million Words and other early language initiatives making headlines, the message is clear: Talking to young children matters. But how you talk to children makes a big difference—and this friendly, down-to-earth guidebook shows you how to engage with kids in ways that directly support their language skills and overall development.

Developed by celebrated early education expert Betty Bardige, the second edition of this warm and wise book takes you on a fascinating tour through six stages in a child's language development—starting with baby babbles and ending with kindergarten literacy skills. You'll get critical new research and updates in every chapter, plus an invaluable toolbox of downloadable resources that help you put the strategies into practice. A must-have for all early childhood professionals and parents, this book is your guide to playful, engaging talk that supercharges young minds and sets the stage for school success.


  • learn the language of pretend play and storytelling
  • include children in conversations—even when they're too young to talk
  • respond effectively to the questions children ask and the stories they tell
  • boost language skills with fun games and activities that build on children's natural curiosity
  • select playful, age-appropriate books, songs, and poems to share and enjoy together
  • engage children of diverse backgrounds and temperaments
  • explore the language challenges children might encounter and how to help them
  • help bilingual children develop skills in both languages
  • create language-rich communities where children's literacy skills flourish

WHAT'S NEW: Strategies based on up-to-date research; expanded focus on developing toddlers' language skills; and new emphasis on supporting children from low-income families. You'll also get a practical collection of downloadable resources: updated study guides for each chapter and handouts in English and Spanish.

Includes downloadable, printable handouts in English and Spanish:

  • The Power of Play Talk
  • Baby Babbles
  • First Words, First Stories
  • Off Like a Rocket
  • What Will They Think of Next?
  • From Language to Literacy


Review by: Margot Kaplan-Sanoff, Boston University Medical Center
"Talk to Me, Baby presents the world of the infant in terms parents can easily understand by Interspersing practical suggestions with well documented research findings. Parents and providers will recognize themselves and their baby in the examples Bardige provides and will experience the confidence that comes with knowledge and practical experience."
Review by: Karen Nemeth, Author/consultant at Language Castle LLC
"This new edition of the admired language development book, Talk to Me Baby! is filled with research-based content and engaging examples that todays families and early childhood educators need."
Review by: Joshua Sparrow, BTC and Head Start National Center on Family and Community Engagement
"Talk to Me, Baby! tells the compelling story of early language development in clear and simple terms and describes its miraculous manifestations in infant and toddler behavior so that these are easy to recognize. It is brimming with practical suggestions and resources for any parent and teacher interested in helping children learn not only to talk but to become lifelong learners."
Review by: T. Berry Brazelton, Professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School Founder, Brazelton Touchpoints Center

'This is a wonderful book and it should be read by every parent and professional who works with small children.'

Review by: Sarah E. Walzer, Chief Executive Officer, The Parent-Child Home Program
"Parents, educators, and policymakers at the local, state, and federal level must read this clearly and powerfully written account of why it is critical that as a country we support, foster, and fund the development of language and literacy-rich homes and care environments for all young children."

Table of Contents

About the Author
  1. The Power of Play Talk
  2. Baby Babbles
  3. First Words, First Stories
  4. Off Like a Rocket
  5. What Will They Think of Next?
  6. From Language to Literacy
  7. Building Language-Supporting Communities

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