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This research driven book is a resource for early childhood educators to help parents explore the importance of language development in children as early as birth. It provides an engaging approach to increasing language skills through interactive games and activities.This book addresses recent research that supports the idea that the socio-economic 'achievement gap' can mostly be accounted for by variations in the quality of early language experience. It is designed to help caregivers of children from birth to first grade build active, engaging, and productive language skills in young children. It includes both explanations of research and effective practices for building language, as well as games, rhymes, and anecdotes. The book takes a developmental course, beginning by discussing babies' babbles and moving through first words, question-asking, pretend play, and school language. It also looks at bilingualism, child-care, and building family-friendly communities.
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About the Author

Betty S. Bardige, Ed.D., has dedicated her career to assuring all children a promising start and a lifetime of equitable learning opportunities. As a developmental psychologist, educator, and parent, she knows that early experiences have unique power. Children who enjoy lots of rich, responsive, playful interaction with parents and caregivers develop emotional security, confidence, and increasingly rich language. As their language and knowledge grow, they ask ever more interesting questions and gain more from books, conversation, exploration, and play. Children whose language lags can fall further and further behind without extra supports.Dr. Bardige's professional work has focused on those critical early years when children build foundations for relationships, resilience, and lifelong learning. A passionate and prolific writer and speaker, she collaborates with local and statewide initiatives to help parents, early educators, and engaged communities support young childrena (TM)s language, literacy, and social-emotional development.As an activist, consultant, and foundation leader, Dr. Bardige has worked for more than 30 years to strengthen systems, programs, and policies that affect young children and their families. She chairs the Brazelton Touchpoints Foundation board, and is a member of the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation board. She has worked with educational and family-serving organizations on program development, evaluation, curriculum, and strategic planning, and has served on boards of local, state, and national organizations, including Smart from the Start, The National Association for Family Child Care, and Facing History and Ourselves. Her nonprofit work fuels her passions and expertise.

Reviews

August 2009 issue "The style is engaging and encourages the reader to dip in and out rather than to read through...This is an excellent book, with a wealth of resources and ideas." "The style is engaging and encourages the reader to dip in and out rather than to read through...This is an excellent book, with a wealth of resources and ideas." "A significant contribution to the field of early childhood and language development . . . beautifully integrated theory, research and practice through vignettes and examples." --Billie J. Enz, Ph.D."Early Childhood Program Coordinator and Professor, College of Education, Arizona State University" (12/22/2008) "A must have for all adults who interact regularly with young children. Betty Bardige has a real knack for making complex developmental concepts accessible to all of us!" --Laura Justice, Ph.D., CCC-SLP"Professor of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University" (11/18/2008) "A research-based practical response to increasing young children's vocabulary, particularly useful in helping to assure a more positive trajectory for poor children than that determined by the well-known Hart and Risley study." --Andrea DeBruin-Parecki, Ph.D."A research-based practical response to increasing young children's vocabulary, particularly useful in helping to assure a more positive trajectory for poor children than that determined by the well-known Hart and Risley study." (11/18/2008) "A wealth of good ideas for things to do with children . . . The chapters on learning to read are among the best a reader is likely to find." --Betty Hart, Ph.D."Professor Emeritus of Human Development and Senior Scientist, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, The University of Kansas" (11/18/2008)

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