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How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life
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How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
In their first three years of life babies face the most complex learning endeavor they will ever undertake as human beings: They learn to talk. Now, as researchers make new forays into the mystery of the development of the human brain, authors Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, both developmental psychologists and language experts, offer parents a powerfully ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Plume (first published 1999)
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Feb 11, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Researchers in language development present the findings on language development from womb to 3 years to a general audience. There's so much information presented here and yet it's never dry or boring.

I picked this up because I wanted some ideas of what I could be doing with my toddler to encourage him to talk more (he clearly understands a ton more than the handful of words he'll actually say when he feels like it), but I kept reading it because I was fascinated to learn all the different skill
Kevin E
Jan 31, 2014 Kevin E rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that you labor through the middling, boring part, and then -- WHAM!-- you get that one "nugget" that made the entire book invaluable to read. I received much more than one, though--there was just a significant one that immediately enhanced my own personal communication style and added another-much deeper-dimension, while also allowing me to reframe and understand past events and conversations. It grabs your attention and interest right away, and then delves into the an ...more
Feb 08, 2008 Malbadeen rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: the cacophany of clueless Americans that love this crap
this book relay's in GREAT DETAIL the fact that most babies babble, then imitate, the articulate.
My favorite part is that each chapter ends with "activities" parents can do to further their child's language development.
My only regret is that I didn't read this in my leisure time while my kids were young enough to benefit, but rather went around blindly interacting with my kids unaware that I might be propelling their language abilities by leaps and bounds if only I had such pithy advice a
Dec 28, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
This account of how children learn language was fascinating and well-supported by research. It would be a fantastic shower gift for any parent who is interested in how their little ones learn to communicate. The best part, imo, are the instructions for how to conduct your own investigations with your own child. It's very fun to see your child learn language, and even more fun when you understand the process and know which features to watch for (e.g., properly using plurals).
Jul 27, 2011 Cal rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, nonfiction
Interesting book required by my language development class. This is a great book to use for class and presents the information in a comprehensible, readable way. I learned some really fascinating things about children's language abilities that I never knew! The audience of this book is mothers, not linguists, so don't be afraid to pick this one up and read it if you're a mom to be.
Jun 24, 2007 Rachael rated it really liked it
My new standard baby shower gift, but not just for parents - more a "how it happens" than a "how to teach it". The authors are both PhDs AND mothers, so the information is easily accessable, but not dumbed down, with everyday examples of language use as well as descriptions of experiements designed to test specific theories.
Aug 22, 2014 Allegra rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
I have to admit that I did not finish reading this book, but only because the info was repetitive after having taken a speech and language development course. In the half I read, I found the book interesting and well written for anyone to read, but definitely geared towards parents.
At one year and 8mths Cece is saying Daddy more clearly.
I think she can say Sleep instead of eep.
This book would be interesting to give an insight to the process but I think I would rather enjoy the rolling account of her speech development than analyze the process.
Jun 09, 2007 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
I LOVE this book, which I first read in a linguistics course in college. Babies and language are RAD. This book is neither too geared towards parents nor too scientific, so if doesn't matter if you have kids or you don't, or if you even like children at all.
Mary Messall
May 30, 2014 Mary Messall rated it really liked it
I wish this had been a little more technical/scientific in terms of linguistics and grammar, actually. But it does have some good material about a very interesting subject
Oct 21, 2007 Noelani rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: new parents. Anyone interested in speech development.
Fascinating book about speech development and how it is studied. Fun to compare it to what G is doing and try out the little "experiments" on him.
Alice Eccles
Feb 19, 2013 Alice Eccles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
A fascinating look at how babies and toddlers work to process language and learn to produce it themselves. The book is aimed at parents of babies, since each chapter contains exercises or mini-experiments to try at home with a child. It is amazing what researchers have been able to figure out about what babies know and can understand even before they are able to talk!
Apr 24, 2008 Kerry added it
Shelves: avt-resources
great information about typical language development in infants and children in first three years of life.
Sep 14, 2008 Stacie rated it really liked it
Excellent overview of child language development for any curious parents (to-be) out there!
Dec 22, 2015 Gina rated it liked it
Interesting to learn a little bit more about how one acquires language.
Jun 02, 2016 Stephanie marked it as to-finish-later
Pick up again when Livia is 9 months old!
Jan 26, 2014 Charity rated it it was ok
I keep hoping to get something out this
Nov 09, 2010 Kara rated it really liked it
Very interesting.
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