Language is of central importance in children’s development and vital for their success at school and in the world beyond. Designed for the many professionals involved in encouraging language development, Early Language Development, originally published in 1990, will enable them to get to grips with the practical issues of helping children with language difficulties.
John Harris provides an invaluable summary of recent research on language development and how it relates to the practical concerns of language assessment and language teaching. Readers are given a clear account of the ways in which research has expanded our understanding of just what language is and how this has led to different approaches to language assessment. Various theories of language development are summarised and discussed in terms of their implications for language teaching. Dr Harris also describes different ways of encouraging language development and explains how teachers and therapists can overcome the special problems faced by children with particular difficulties, such as visual impairment, hearing impairment, general learning difficulties, and environmental deprivation.
With its emphasis on the relevance of research-based knowledge to practical concerns, the book provides a useful bridge between the world of research and practice. It will be of particular interest to teachers of young children, speech therapists, and child psychologists, as well as to students taking courses on child development, and to parents of young children.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations. Preface. Part 1: Describing Children’s Language 1. The Structure of Early Language 2. Meaning in Children’s Language 3. Using Language Part 2: Explanations of Language Development 4. Is Language Learned? 5. Developmental Approaches to Children’s Language Part 3: Language Assessment 6. Practical and Theoretical Issues in Language Assessment 7. Sources of Linguistic Information 8. Standardised Tests of Children’s Language Part 4: Approaches to Language Teaching 9. Strategies for Improving Language Learning: The Behavioural Approach 10. Strategies for Encouraging Language Development: Naturalistic Approaches 11. The Implications of Children’s Characteristics for Language Teaching 12. Who is the Best Person to Teach Language? References. Name Index. Subject Index.