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Talking Baby: Helping your child discover language

  • In this fascinating and informative book, Margaret Maclagan and Anne Buckley – two specialists in children’s language development – explain the subtle and extraordinary process in which children learn to talk and the very important role that parents and grandparents can play.

    Combining a comprehensive understanding of speech development with fascinating scientific facts – did you know babies cry with an accent? – Talking Baby offers numerous practical suggestions and real-life examples of how parents can best help their children to learn to talk. The authors also provide many ideas for ‘talking’ topics, as well as ways to use the everyday things in life to encourage children’s comprehension and speech.

    Based on their combined 40 years’ of experience the authors also address some of the more commonly asked questions by parents such as:

    • Why can my child imitate a word accurately but continues to use the wrong pronunciation in his speech?
    • Do second and other children talk later than first children?
    • Is it better to use grown-up language to talk to young children than ‘baby talk’?
    • My child is repeating words a lot, especially when excited – does this mean she’s stuttering?
    • My 18-month-old child isn’t saying anything? Should I be worried?
    • How early can I start reading to my child?
    • English isn’t my first language, but I want my children to speak English!


    Talking Baby is required reading for every parent, grandparent, educator, student or anyone working with children … I highly recommended it.’ – Elisabeth Duursma, EdD, senior lecturer in early childhood literacy, University of Wollongong

    I highly recommend this fabulous new book on how babies learn to talk. The authors provide fun facts and practical suggestions to parents … a truly enjoyable read! – Dr Anita Szakay, Lecturer in Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney

    The authors emphasise from day one the importance of talking to newborns, laughter, simple words, reading and games through to school age… This delightful book will help parents to understand and nurture their child’s natural language development.’ – Jeremy Hornibrook, Otolaryngologist and Adjunct Professor Department of Communication Disorders, University of Canterbury, NZ

    Dr Patricia Champion MBE, Developmental Psychologist and Clinical Director Emeritus at The Champion Centre, Christchurch says, ‘A detailed yet accessible journey through the origins and subsequent unfolding of child language.’

    This beautiful book is a joy to read,’ says Dr Nikki Turner, Associate Professor, University of Auckland.





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  • Review of Talking Baby

    Blue Wolf April

    Interview with Margaret Maclagan and Anne Buckley, authors of Talking Baby

    The talk 080516

    Library Journal


  • Penny Johnstone, producer of ABC's Baby Talk podcast, interviews Anne Buckley, co-author of Talking Baby.