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Listen to Your Child: A Parent's Guide to Children's Language (Penguin Health Books) Paperback – 26 Jan 1989

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (26 Jan. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140110151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140110159
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has published over 90 books, and was awarded the OBE for services to the English language in 1995. He is also the editor of The New Penguin Factfinder and author of How Language Works. He lives in Holyhead, Anglesey.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I always buy this book for new parents because it contains a wealth of fascinating material about learning to talk. The author, David Crystal, is a professor of linguistics with a special talent for simplifying technical information and making it interesting and relevant to the layperson. As a former student of linguistics myself, I can assure you that he manages to do this without sacrificing accuracy.
As the title suggests, the emphasis is on observing your child's language. The book explains what developments to expect at each stage from birth to the early school years. It also gives practical exercises you can do with your child to discover what pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar he or she has learned. These exercises are simple, often using the child's toys, and are designed in such a way that the child will not feel that he or she is being tested.
I believe that even the most observant of parents will find something in this book that they would otherwise have missed. For example, did you know that 3- or 4-year-olds tend to assume that things happen in the order in which they are said in a sentence and that this can result in misunderstandings? The author gives the following sentence as an example: 'Now, before you go out to play, I want you to put all your things away!' A child will pay attention to the order of the words 'go out to play ... put all your things away' and will go out to play first! As the author explains, it's all to do with subordinate clauses, and children do not fully master these until later.
This book also provides reassurance that what looks like a problem can actually be a sign of progress. For example, children go through a stage of producing incorrect past tense forms, such as 'goed' and 'knowed'.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since the big debate in 1957 between Chomsky and Skinner and the academic explosion of interest and research it engenderd, a great deal has been learned about children's language acquisition, knowledge which makes a parents time more joyful and interesting. Giving them real insight into what is actually happening and the various stages involved, Crystal has managed to write the essentials from all this research in a style and language understandable by the "average parent".

Language and its acquisition are such vital elements in life and David Crystal has provided a invaluable guide for parents who also want to travel thoughtfully on the journey.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Crystal's writing style is accessible and entertaining, and I would definitely recommend this for anyone who has a child or one in the family - I got it for listening to my baby brother-in-law! It doesn't talk down at all, it offers some practical ways of observing language acquisition such as recording but if you'd rather just know things like approximately when each stage of acquisition emerges, and why children say weird things like 'I goed home' then this is perfect.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a present, having already got my own copy. Unfortunately the new copy had some pages on the inside that were folded inwards, which is not ideal for a present.. Contents of book remain relevant despite the age of the book.
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Format: Paperback
Well researched, well thought-through and well-written. I have read most of David Crystal's books and always enjoy them. This is typical of his style as he obviously knows his 'stuff' and presents it in such a lightly witty manner.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating book that blends information about the complex way language develops with interesting case studies. I bought it as it was recommended by speech therapists as my older son as a speech delay but really have found it a much more interesting companion to my younger son's normal language development.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second book of David Crystal's I have been advised to read for my English language A level. This book was much more enjoyable than the first book I read: 'The English Language'. Whether that's due to the child aspect which I have we a strong interest in, or purely because it is a much shorter book and more to the point, I don't know. However what I do know is that I will definitely reread this book when I have my first child. I would recommend it to any new mothers as it contains a lot of useful information to get the best from your child. Excellent read, couldn't put it down!
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