Bridging the Vocabulary Gap: What Research Tells Us about Vocabulary Instruction in Early Childhood (2010). This article written by Tanya Christ and X. Christine Wang and published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children gives early childhood educators information on how educators can help children learn new words. The article can be found at: http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201007/ChristWangOnline.pdf
My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development (2012, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform). This book by Kimberly Scanlon is geared toward parents, but has tips, techniques and activities that early childhood educators may find helpful when working with children 18-36 months old.
Strategies to Promote Communication in Infants and Toddlers (2009). This guide provides early childhood educators with information on how to promote communication skills in infants and toddlers. Published by the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, the guide can be found at: http://www.igdi.ku.edu/interventions/Promoting_Communication_rev3-19-09.pdf
Indicators of Individual Growth and Development for Infants and Toddlers (IGDIs) are a set of measures designed and validated by the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project for use by early childhood educators to monitor infant and toddler growth and progress. One of the IGDIs measures growth in children’s early communication. Additional information can be found at: http://www.igdi.ku.edu/index.htm.
Early Head Start has a tip sheet on supporting infant and toddler language development. The tip sheet (Number 42) can be found at: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/ehsnrc/Early%20Head%20Start/family-engagement/language-culture/EHS-Tip-Sheet-42.htm
The Zero to Three organization has a range of resources geared toward promoting the early language and literacy of infants and toddlers. The resources may be found at: http://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/early-language-literacy/tips-tools-early-lit-and-lang.html
Baby Signing 1-2-3: The Easy-to-Use Illustrated Guide for Every Stage and Every Age (2007, Source Books). This book by Nancy Cadjan describes how to use signs with infants and toddlers and includes a baby sign language dictionary.
Sign Language with Babies: What Difference Does It Make? (2010). This article written by Susan Kubic Barnes in the Dimensions of Early Childhood (volume 38, number 1) provides readers with background information on using sign language with babies and summarizes the research findings. The article can be found at: http://sprechende-haende.de/cms/upload/pdf/Sign_Language_With_Babies_What_Difference_Does_It_Make_Susan_Kubic_Barnes_Volume_38_Issue_1.pdf.
Baby Signs: How to Talk with Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk (2009, 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill). This book by Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn is a guide for teaching parents how to sign to their babies starting at 7 months old using the American Sign Language approach. Although the book is targeted to parents, early childhood educators may find it helpful for teaching young children the most common signs. The book includes ASL signs and “baby-friendly” alternatives.
Beyond Twinkle, Twinkle: Using Music with Infants and Toddlers (2010). This article provides early childhood educators with information on how to use music activities with infants and toddlers in a child care setting. The article can be found at: http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201003/ParlakianWeb0310.pdf.
Songs, Rhymes, and Finger Plays. Zero to Three has compiled a list of songs, rhymes and finger plays in English and Spanish. The list can be found at: http://www.zerotothree.org/early-care-education/early-language-literacy/songsengspan.pdf
The eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care has a list of favorite children’s rhymes, finger plays and songs that early childhood educators can use with young children. The list can be found at: http://campus.extension.org/mod/data/view.php?id=9296
Book reading activities
The eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care has a list of book reading activities, or story stretching activities that educators can use to connect activities with children’s favorite books. The activities can be found at: http://campus.extension.org/mod/data/view.php?id=6759
Reading Rockets is an organization dedicated to teaching children to read. The website contains articles and videos on topics related to teaching children how to read, including information on strengthening children’s language skills. While the information on the website is primarily focused on school-age children, there is a section of the website devoted to young children and early childhood educators. This information can be found at: http://www.readingrockets.org/atoz/preschool_child_care/
General Early Childhood Education Practices
Creating Language-Rich Preschool Classrooms and Environments (2004). This article by Laura Justice provides information that early childhood educators may use to set up classrooms that offer children language opportunities. While the article is geared toward preschool-age children, professionals working with infants and toddlers may find the information helpful. Published by the Council for Exceptional Children, the article can be found at: http://ici-bostonready-pd-2009-2010.wikispaces.umb.edu/file/view/Creating+Language+Rich+Preschool+Classroom+Environments.pdf
Teaching Our Youngest: A Guide for Preschool Teachers and Child Care and Family Providers (2002). This guide provides early childhood educators with research-based activities that can help children develop strong language skills, as well as other emergent literacy skills. The guide was published by the Early Childhood-Head Start Task Force of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/teachers/how/early/teachingouryoungest/index.html
Dual language learners
Strategies for Supporting All Dual Language Learners. This guide present different ways that educators can support the language development of dual language learners. The guide is available at: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/docs/dll-strategies.pdf
Selecting Culturally Appropriate Children’s Books in Languages Other than English and How to Use Bilingual Books.
The National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness has published guides for educators on strategies they can use to support the language development of dual language learners. The guides can be found at: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/center/NCCLRQuickGuide.htm
One child, two languages: A guide for early childhood educators of children learning English as a second language (2008, 2nd edition, Brookes Publishing Company). This book by Patton O. Tabors describes second language learning for young children and provides educators with suggestions for techniques to facilitate children’s language learning.