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Talking and Learning with Young Children

Talking and Learning with Young Children

December 2015 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Children learn to talk through interaction including involvement in many thousands of conversations with adults and other children. These conversations provide the framework for exploring relationships, understanding the world, and learning – in its widest sense. This book explores how children learn to communicate using language, how they use language to learn and the role of adults in the process. It examines how adults  can support children to learn by involving them in positive interactions, meaningful conversation and by helping them play, explore and talk with each other. 

The book includes:

  • examples of children and adults talking and learning together
  • case studies of successful approaches that support language and learning in early years settings
  • points for reflection and practical tasks

Informed by the author’s own experience working with young children, families and practitioners, and from his involvement in the England-wide Every Child a Talker (ECaT) project, it links key research findings with successful practice to inspire practitioners to develop skills when talking with children, influence how adults plan for talk in settings and gain insight into how language develops in the home.  

Introduction: Talking successfully with children
How and why do children learn to talk?
Babies and adults communicating and learning together
Towards first words
Talking with two-year olds
Different experiences of talking at home
Quality talk in settings
Talking effectively with groups of children
Pedagogy and practice that influences talk
Communicating complex ideas

Not adopted for this module but is being inspected by child development module lead potentially for next year's reading list.

Ms susan Gunn
Centre For Early Childhood, Worcester University
September 29, 2023

This is an excellent text, but it doesn't cover the full scope of communication development across the lifespan as required in my subject. Students have been directed to specific sections of this text for additional reading when doing units on young children.

Dr Suzanne Hopf
School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University - Albury Wodonga Campus
December 2, 2020

This is a book which gives guidance on talking and learning with young children. for early years practitioners it gives some valuable insights into how to have conversations and develop exploratory talk to enhance learning.
There are good overviews of theory and the role of the adult in guiding the learning.
The case studies are particularly useful for those already working with children.

Ms Katrina Jane Foy
School of Education, Aberdeen University
November 2, 2016

A brilliant book providing the basis for the importance of talk and how this can be developed to be meaningful and effective enhancing learning and life skills.

Mrs Claire Garven
Faculty of Education (Frenchay), University of The West of England
December 1, 2015

This book offers an excellent resource for those with an interest in/or studying the development of early language. The examples of practice and the theoretical underpinning will help students to realise and understand the value of taking and learning with young children.

Miss Susan Score
Early Childhood Studies, Somerset College of Arts & Technology
February 22, 2016

A contemporary text written with great clarity, I found this engaging and interesting, Michael Jones tells you what he's going to explain and then does just that. Excellent, a great source of knowledge.

Ms Caroline Brooks
Learning and Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University
January 5, 2016

This is a very clear and easy to read book yet the topics are addressed comprehensively. Particularly good was the debate about the use of 'Standard English' whilst acknowledging and respecting the language used in a child's home.

Mrs Ann Gorecki
Faculty of Education, Winchester University
December 14, 2015

This is essential reading for Year One students just beginning their training as either Early years practitioners or primary teachers. The book provides good insight into the development of talk and how talk can be encouraged to be meaningful and effective.

Mrs Claire Garven
Faculty of Education (Frenchay), University of The West of England
December 1, 2015

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