Language Development in Young Children


This topical guide will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse and other sources. Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Note that some videos may be viewed online, and journal titles will take you to the publisher’s homepage.

mom reading to child


52 Simple and Fun Activities for Dads and Kids: Simple Ways for Busy Dads to Connect with Their Kids
Brent Johnstone
Brent Johnstone, 2016.
This book presents ideas that will help parent/child interaction flourish on a weekly basis.
Call#: HQ 756 .J65 2016

Fun Activities to Help Little Ones Talk
Kathy Blair
Amazing Things Press, 2015.
This short book has activities and games to further language development in an easy and fun way.
Call#: P 118 .B5756 2015 

Helping Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities
Daniel Franklin, Louis Cozolino
New Harbinger Publications, 2018
Based in cutting edge research in neuroscience, education, and the principles of attachment-based teaching, this important guide for parents offer tools and practices to help children transcend language-based learning difficulties, do better in school, and gain self-confidence and self-esteem.
Only available as an eBook 

It Takes Two to Talk: A Practical Guide for Parents of Children with Language Delays
Jan Pepper and Elaine Weitzman
Hanen Centre, 2017
This newly revised guide shows parents how to help their child communicate through talking during daily activities.
Call#: LB 1139 .L3 I88 2017

Language Acquisition and Development
Misha Becker & Kamil Ud Deen
MIT Press, 2020
This book offers an introduction to the study of children’s acquisition and development of language from a generative/universal grammar-based theoretical perspective, providing comprehensive coverage of children’s acquisition.
Only available as an eBook.

Let’s Talk About Talking: Ways to Strengthen the 11 Skills All Toddlers Master Before Words Emerge
Laura Mize, 2017
This book informs about the 11 skills and shows simple ways to increase these skills in children. It is designed for parents and professionals.
Call#: WL 340.2 .M6996 2017

Let’s Talk Together: Home Activities for Early Speech & Language Development
Cory Poland and Amy Chouinard
Talking Child, 2008
This book provides caregivers and parents with over 55 activities that are designed to enrich children’s speech and language abilities.
Call#: LB 1139.5 .L35 .P762 2008

My toddler’s first words: a step by step guide to jump-start, track, and expand your toddler’s language
Kimberly Scanlon
Scanlon Speech Therapy, 2019
With expert guidance and specific instructions and numerous examples, you will learn how to appropriately stimulate and catapult your toddler’s communication.
Call#: LB 1139 .Sca636 2019

Talk to Me, Baby!: How You Can Support Young Children’s Language Development
Betty Bardige
Brookes Publishing, 2016
This easy-to-read book shows parents how to talk to and play with children in ways that support their emerging language skills.
Call#: LB 1139 .L3 .B365 2016
Also available as an eBook

Talk With Me! : The Big Book of Exclamations 2
Teri Kaminski-Peterson
Chatterbox Books, Inc., 2018
This book has activities to promote language through imitation, turn taking, and shared fun.
Call#: PZ 7 .P4848 2018

Talking with your toddler : 75 fun activities and interactive games that teach your child to talk
Teresa Laikko
Ulysses Press, 2016
This book teaches you how to stimulate speech using everyday play, using fun and engaging activities.  With proven therapies and easy-to-follow activities, it makes an ideal home companion.
Call#: P 118.5 .L35 2016
Also available as an eBook 

Time to Talk: What You Need to Know About Your Child’s Speech and Language Development (Audio book)
Michelle Macroy-Higgins
Tantor Audio, 2017
This audio book answers questions about language development that many parents have. It addresses many topics like language acquisition, expected milestones, etc., and it informs on how to enhance language and communication.
Call#: LB 1139 .L3M23 2017

Yoga for Speech-Language Development
Susan E. Longtin
Singing Dragon, 2017
This book explains how yoga relates to language development and shows many ways to use yoga to enhance language acquisition, development, breath support, motor planning, and more.
Call#: WL 340.3 .L866 2017
Also available as an eBook 


Celebrating Language and Literacy for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos
43 min; DVD
Teaching Strategies, 2008
This DVD presents two programs that show how everyday routines, experiences, and environments support children’s emerging language skills.
Call#: P 118 .C392 2008

It Takes Two to Talk: A Guide to Promoting the Communication and Development of Children with Language Delays
126 min; DVD
Hanen Centre, 2006
This DVD is a companion to the It Takes Two to Talk guide. The program shows how parents and caregivers can promote early language development in everyday routines.
Call#: LB 1139 L3 .I88 2006

Language & Literacy Development
23 min; DVD
Learning Seed, 2012
This observation of preschoolers shows them engaged in activities that exemplify the extraordinary advancements in language and literacy that children make at this age.
Call#: LB 1731.6 .L364 2012

Simply Talk: Language as a Foundation for Literacy
20 min; DVD
Little Lantern Learning Inc., 2012
Ideas for new parents using conversation for learning.   Also in Spanish.
Call#: LB 1140.5 .L3 Si577 2012

Teach Me to Talk. Listen and Obey 1
60 min; DVD, 2010
This DVD targets parents or caregivers to toddlers who do not process language and obey as well as others his age. There are 3 strategies to enhance language and listening in this material.
Call#: WL 340.2 .M69L 2010

Teach Me to Talk. Listen and Obey 2
60 min; DVD, 2010
This DVD is targeted at 2-4-year-old children who are not learning language at the typical pace and struggle to obey. This had ways to improve language ability and ability to understand and listen.
Call#: WL 340.2 .M69LO 2010


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Professional association for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Multiple resources for professionals.
Members: 800-498-2071; Non-Member: 800-638-8255

The Hanen Centre
Professional organization for parents, educators, and speech-language pathologists to help young children learn and develop language. Offers programs for parents to help their children. or 1-877-426-1225


Infants & Young Children, 28(1), 18-31
Using Signs to Facilitate Vocabulary in Children With Language Delays
Susan Hendler Lederer and Dana Battaglia. (2015)
The purpose of this article is to explore recommended practices in choosing and using key word signs (i.e., simple single-word gestures for communication) to facilitate first spoken words in hearing children with language delays.

Young Exceptional Children, 4(4), 10-15
Supporting Emergent Literacy in Play-based Activities
Mary Frances Hanline. (2001)
This article provides tips for parents and caregivers on play activities that promote early literacy and that can be incorporated into natural environments.  Available as a PDF.

Infants & Young Children, 27(3), 207-219
Everyday Child Language Learning Early Intervention Practices
Carl Dunst et al. (2014)
This article describes a language intervention model that includes 4 components: interest-based child learning opportunities, the everyday family and community activities that are sources of interest-based child learning, the methods for increasing child participation in the everyday learning activities, and the use of responsive teaching for promoting child communication and language learning while children are engaged in the activities.

Young Exceptional Children, 20(1), 41-50
Coaching Parents to Use Naturalistic Language and Communication Strategies
Yusuf Akamoglu and Laurie Dinnebiel. (2015)
The purpose of this article is to describe family coaching strategies and their implementation features to teach parents to incorporate specific NT strategies into their family routines and activities.  Available as a PDF.

American Journal of Play , 6(1), 39-54
Talking It Up: Play, Language Development, and the Role of Adult Support
Weisberg et al. (2013)
This article explains how play is beneficial to language development and how adults need to help guide children in play that has learning benefits.  Available as a PDF.

Web Resources

Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development
This page offers age-appropriate ways that parents can engage their young children to help develop speech and language abilities.

Communicating With Baby: Tips and Milestones From Birth to Age 5
This free toolkit details communication skills that parents should expect to see in their child by age and tips for how to support children’s development through daily reading. PDFs also available in Spanish.

Encouraging Bilingual Babies and Toddlers (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

How I Communicate (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

How I Understand (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Identify the Signs of Communication Disorders
ASHA’s Identify the Signs campaign educates about typical communication development as well as the early warning signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders.

Learning by Listening to Language
Exploring the sounds of language is an important part of learning how to read and write. Spend time listening, talking, and reading together to build your child’s skills and confidence. These games will help your child begin to demonstrate an understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds. Also available in Spanish, Polish, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, and French.

Moments That Matter: Talking with Your Baby (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Talk, Listen, and Learn
Young children are developing their ability to express themselves through language. You can help your child build vocabulary and conversation skills by talking together. Also available in Spanish, Polish, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, and French .

Talk Together (IEL)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Learning Project. Also available in Spanish, Polish, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, and French.

Things to Do While You’re Waiting: Language and Literacy (IEL)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Learning Project. Also available in Spanish and Polish.

When to Take Your Child to the SLP
This guide will take you through disorders for which speech, language, or communication issues are a component and offer resources that you can use to educate yourself on how speech therapy can help your child.