The Social World of Children Learning to Talk

Authors: The Late Betty Hart Ph.D., The Late Todd R. Risley Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 320 pages, 6.0 x 9.0
ISBN: 9781557664204
Price: $34.95

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This fascinating companion to the award-winning Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children reveals how daily child-parent social interactions govern children's language and social development.

Based on unparalled data from 2½ years of observing the everyday interactions of 1- and 2-year-old children learning to talk in their own homes, Hart and Risley have charted the month-by-month growth of the children's vocabulary, utterances, and use of grammatical structures. The compelling narrative highlights reliability-tested research findings and is supplemented with numerous transcripts from observations and a list of 2,000 words of children's expressive vocabulary from 19–36 months of age.

This book is must-reading for professionals in speech and language, child development, psychology, and education who need to understand how children come to talk as much and as well as their parents and caregivers.

Learn more about Hart and Risley's unparalleled study which shows the importance of talking often to young children in their companion book, Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children.


Review: JASH

"[An] important contribution to the understanding of children's communication in everyday settings. It is a book well worth reading and owning as a resource."

Review: Topics in Early Childhood Special Education

"I sincerely believe that Learning to Talk will be an excellent addition to an early childhood special educator's professional library."

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
  1. The Social Dance of American Family Life
  2. Observing Children and Families Talking
  3. A Social World
  4. Developmental Change
  5. Becoming Partners
  6. Staying and Playing
  7. Practicing
  8. The Range Among Well-Functioning Families
  9. Meaningful Differences
  10. Talking as a Social Dance

Appendix A: Child Vocabulary in 100 Utterances, 19-36 Months
Appendix B: Steps in Describing the Social Dance
Appendix C: Steps in Explicating the Social Dance

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