Sunday, May 22, 2011

Look Who's Talking: How to Enhance Your Child's Language Development, Starting at Birth by Laura Dyer

This is a great book for parents and teachers that focuses on how children master the complex process of language learning. With chapters on red flags that could indicate a child has a language delay or disorder to a comprehensive overview of different developmental milestones important to the language acquisition process, Dyer covers an impressive range of topics about language development in children between the ages of birth to seven years. Although there is interesting information throughout the book, like using music to support language development and how to help children master pre-literacy skills, the information I enjoyed the most was related to preverbal and gestural communication. So often people focus on the acquisition of words in language development and don't appreciate the behaviours that must be developed in order for words to eventually emerge. Simple gestures like waving and pointing, eye contact, being able to shift gaze between a person and an object, and even learning that people respond to the cry of an infant are all necessary precursors to more formal language acquisition.

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