Supporting Early Language Development

Spirals for babies and toddlers

By Marion Nash, Jackie Lowe, David Leah

© 2013 – Routledge

136 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415697569
pub: 2012-08-17
US Dollars$46.95

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About the Book

Early years practitioners, parents and carers, child minders, health visitors do you need effective ideas for giving your babies and toddlers support to become confident talkers?

National research shows that poor language and communication skills have a profound effect on the life chances of children and young people. This highly practical book will enable you to give children in your care the help they need to build their crucial language skills at the earliest point in their development.

Based on the author’s highly regarded SPIRALS language development programme, the book provides over 40 tried and tested sessions to help develop children’s early speech, language and communication. Each language concept is introduced one at a time and builds on the most frequently used words by infants. It suggests ways to use music, repetition, simple meaningful gestures and signing to reinforce children’s understanding.

Features include:

    • Clear guidelines for introducing specific games and activities at the right developmental level for babies and toddlers to develop their language skills from 0 to 3 ½ years
    • Ideas for progression based on child development
    • Insights into the underlying psychology of the activities we suggest
    • Advice on when to begin to use small group activities
    • Guidance on what to do if a child is reluctant to join in.
    • Practical suggestions for involving parents as partners
    • Photocopiable recording sheets
    • Suggestions for further reading and resources.

Written by a leading authority in the field, this exciting new resource provides everything you need to support young children's language skills at the earliest point in their development.

Table of Contents

Chapter headings will focus on key concepts in the developmental language sequence of babies and toddlers

Each chapter will be in a session format giving practical guidance to the user. All the elements will be included in every session. This is done so that any session can be used by a practitioner as a standalone resource without having to refer back to previous session notes. There will be a Hello Song at the beginning of most session and a Golden Reminder of key aspects of effective practice in a text box on the last page of every session.

Each session will provide a format for putting the key concepts into a jingle because simple songs and rhymes have been shown to support very young children‘s attention and memory recall.

The language concepts covered will be introduced one at a time with advice that this should be secured through using the session several times and monitoring in the setting .before moving on to any opposite concept (For example big/little, in/out on/under ).

The nouns will focus on the most frequently used words by infants, e.g. mummy, daddy, cat, ball, teddy, box and the familiar names will be used as a basis to demonstrate to the child the verbs and descriptors related to them, (e.g. on, in, big, little) as in big teddy, little teddy, teddy in the box, teddy jumps out.

The need for clear concise practitioner language is emphasised. This is based on the overwhelming research that children need clarity and measured pace when adults talk with them and some vulnerable children will need language input simplified even more than others.

Based on brain based research in language development the actions will be accompanied by key words in order to build the child’s word bank and understanding.

Use of simple meaningful gesture and signing is advised where the practitioner feels it is appropriate.

About the Authors

Marion Nash is a Chartered Educational Psychologist with 23 years' experience and a specialist interest in early speech, language and communication.. Since 2002 Marion has provided SPIRALS language training for early years settings, primary schools, speech and language therapy service teams and local authorities. The course is also offered via ‘I Can', the national speech and language charity.

Jackie Lowe is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist currently working with the 'I Can' nursery centre in Plymouth supporting children with specific language impairments.

David Leah is a Consultant in Further Education at Spirals Training.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten


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