American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Beyond Baby Talk Is Back

Beyond Baby Talk

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Guiding young children toward effective communication can pay a lifetime of dividends!

Language is about so much more than just words, and healthy communication is the foundation of a child's ability to succeed emotionally, socially, and academically. The first 8 years of life represent a critical period of language and literacy development. As the primary role models for a child who is beginning to speak, read, and write, parents and caregivers play a critical role in a child's development of these essential skills. 

Beyond Baby Talk, revised to help a whole new generation, highlights all of the essential steps and checkpoints to gauge a child's progress, as well as easy methods to:

  • Evaluate and monitor a child's spoken language development.
  • Enhance a child's literacy skills for improved spelling, reading, and writing abilities.
  • Understand and navigate environmental influences on language development such as television, texting, and slang.
  • Recognize the signs of language and literacy progress problems-and know when to seek professional help.

Readers Love the New Beyond Baby Talk!

I was very happy to find that it had extensive information regarding a child’s language development between the ages of 2 to 4.

Beyond Baby Talk is a wonderful guide for those moments where we wonder what 'should be' when it comes to our children and the world of language.

This book is such an amazing resource and should really be owned by every parent. There are so many great takeaways from this book, you’ll use it the entire first five years of your kiddos’ lives.

If you are interested in learning more activities that can help build strong language skills, have questions about what to look for in a day care or home care situation to optimize language development, or are curious how exposure to multiple languages may affect your child's language development, I highly recommend Beyond Baby Talk...

In this practical guide, Apel and Masterson explain how infants, toddlers, and children learn to speak, read, and write in clear and simple language that will help parents understand and bolster their children’s progress. Along with the compelling examples that illustrate the ways in which everyday interactions promote language and literacy, the authors provide a rich array of suggestions, resources, and guidance that will empower parents to fulfill their critical role in their children’s development.

Joshua Sparrow, MD
Associate Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School
Director, Strategy, Planning and Program Development, Brazelton Touchpoints Center Boston Children's Hospital

Beyond Baby Talk combines accuracy with readability to produce an excellent resource for parents, caregivers, and clinicians alike.

Dr. Arthur C. Maerlender Jr, PhD
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

As a father of two older daughters and a young son, I was especially drawn to Beyond Baby Talk’s chapter on the influence of gender and birth order on language development. I expect that I will pick this book up repeatedly as my son grows, to review important details about language and literacy development.

J. Michael Metts D.O., FACOP, FAAP
Chair, Department of Pediatrics, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Des Moines University

Did You Know?

  • Three-year olds can talk about the past and the future
  • Kindergarten children tell stories with actual plot
  • Most children can learn two languages as easily as they can learn one
  • Good communication and social manners give your child a social advantage

About the Authors

Kenn Apel, PhD, CCC-SLPKenn Apel, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor and chair of communication sciences and disorders at the University of South Carolina and a widely known researcher and educator in language and literacy development and disorders.

Julie J. Masterson, PhD, CCC-SLPJulie J. Masterson, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a nationally known educator and researcher in speech, language, and literacy development. She is a professor of communication sciences and disorders at Missouri State University.

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