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Language Development and Language Impairment: A Problem-Based Introduction

ISBN: 978-1-119-13456-5
416 pages
August 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
Language Development and Language Impairment: A Problem-Based Introduction (1119134560) cover image


Language Development and Language Impairment offers a problem-based introduction to the assessment and treatment of a wide variety of childhood language developmental disorders.

  • Focuses for the most part on the pre-school years, the period during which the foundations for language development are laid
  • Uses a problem-based approach, designed  to motivate students to find the information they need to identify and explore learning issues that a particular speech or language issue raises
  • Examines the development of a child’s phonological system, the growth of vocabulary, the development of grammar, and issues related to conversational and narrative competence
  • Integrates information on typical and atypical language development
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Table of Contents

Companion Website vii

Preface ix

1 Overview 1

1.1 The Effects of Preschool Language Impairment 1

1.2 The Ambient Language 3

1.3 Typical Language Development 9

1.4 Atypical Language Development 21

2 The First Year of Life 33

2.1 Introduction 33

2.2 Social Development and Language Learning 35

2.3 Cognitive Development and Language Development 53

2.4 Speech Production in Infancy 61

2.5 Speech Perception in Infancy 71

2.6 Further Problems 80

3 Sounds 91

3.1 The Learning Task 91

3.2 The Role of Perception 94

3.3 The Production of Vowels 102

3.4 The Production of Consonants 114

3.5 Further Problems 127

4 Words 133

4.1 Early Vocabulary Development 133

4.2 Learning to Label: First Steps 138

4.3 Building a Lexicon 148

4.4 Lexical Growth and Individual Differences 152

4.5 Beyond Nouns 157

4.6 A Bridge to Syntax 163

4.7 Further Problems 166

5 Combining Words 175

5.1 Introduction 175

5.2 Transcribing and Analyzing Language Samples 177

5.3 Verb Forms 193

5.4 Interrogatives: Asking Questions 201

5.5 Complex Sentences 212

5.6 Further Problems 223

6 Beyond the Sentence 229

6.1 Introduction 229

6.2 Early Pragmatic Competence 231

6.3 Discourse Skills 1: Conversations 235

6.4 Discourse Skills 2: Telling Stories 250

6.5 Presupposition 256

6.6 Pragmatic Language Difficulties: Implications for Treatment 258

6.7 Further Problems 261

Appendix 1: The International Phonetic Alphabet 269

Appendix 2: Reliability and Validity 271

Appendix 3: Sensitivity and Specificity 275

Appendix 4: Techniques for Exploring Speech Perception in Infants 277

Appendix 5: Grammatical Analysis Using the LARSP Profile 279

Index 291

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Author Information

Paul Fletcher is Emeritus Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University College Cork,
Ireland, where he was previously Professor. He has also held professorships at the University of Hong Kong and Reading University.

Ciara O’Toole is Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy at the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University College Cork, Ireland. Her teaching and research interests are in the area of pediatric communication development and disorders. She has a particular interest in bilingual language acquisition.

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"This publication meets the specific needs of speech and language therapy students by integrating language impairment and language development throughout the text...the text will be of use to student clinicians throughout their course and to qualified clinicians as they develop their paediatric practice, as well as to those in related areas. From the outset, readers are presented with knowledge and theories in an applied context, rather than being required to make the leap of application alone...an excellent resource for all involved with teaching and learning in this area." - Lorette Porter, First Language, 2017

“…merits a place on a list of core texts. Its structure, focus and emphasis on self-directed learning resonate well with the competencies required of autonomous professionals and make it a valuable addition to the resources available to further our understanding of the skills and competencies of young children as they navigate the world of language and communication.” - the Journal of Clinical Language Studies
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