Early Language Development in Full-Term and Premature Infants

Early Language Development in Full-Term and Premature Infants

Early Language Development in Full-Term and Premature Infants

Early Language Development in Full-Term and Premature Infants

Synopsis

Designed to provide practical information to those who are concerned with the development of young children, this book has three goals. First, the authors offer details about patterns of language development over the first three years of life. Although intensive studies have been carried out by examining from one to 20 children in the age range of zero to three years, there has been no longitudinal study of a sample as large as this--53 children--nor have as many measures of language development been obtained from the same children. Examining language development from a broad perspective in this size population allows us to see what generalizations can be made about patterns of language development. This volume's second goal is to examine the impact of such factors as biology, cognition, and communication input--and the interaction of these factors--which traditionally have been held to play an important role in the course of language development. The comparative influence of each--and the interaction of all three--were examined statistically using children's scores on standard language tests at age three. The volume's third goal is to provide information to beginning investigators, early childhood educators, and clinicians that can help them in their practice. This includes information about what appear to be good early predictors of language development at three years; language assessment procedures that can be used with children below age three, how these procedures can be used, what they tell us about the language development of young children; and what warning signs should probably be attended to, and which can most likely be ignored. In addition, suggestions are made about what patterns of communicative interaction during the different periods of development seem to be most successful in terms of language development outcomes at three years, and what overall indications the study offers regarding appropriate intervention.

Excerpt

This book is designed to provide practical information to those who are concerned with the development of young children. First, the authors wish to acquaint these investigators, educators, and clinicians with details about patterns of language development over the first 3 years of life. Although intensive studies have been carried out by examining from 1 to 20 children in the age range of 0 to 3 years, there has been no longitudinal study of a population as large as 53 children, nor have as many measures of language development been obtained from the same children. Examining language development from a broad perspective in this size sample allows us to see what generalizations can be made about patterns of language development.

The second purpose of the book is to examine the impact of such factors as biology, cognition, communication input, and the interaction of these factors, which traditionally have been held to play an important role, on the course of language development. Biological factors and risk were considered by selecting half of the infants from a premature group and the other half from a group of full-term infants. a fairly detailed medical history was obtained on all the premature infants. Thus, the fact of prematurity and the conditions that stem from prematurity allowed us to study some of the effects of the biological state of the infant on language development. the cognitive development of all the children was measured periodically over the 3 years, and the effect of cognitive variation on language development was observed. Finally, a detailed analysis of mothers' language to and conversational interaction with their infants was carried out to determine those input factors that seem most important for language development. the comparative influence . . .

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