• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Do all children learn language in the same way? Is the apparent “fast” vs. “slow” language learning rate among children a reflection of the individual child's approach to language acquisition? This volume explores the importance that individual differences have in acquiring language and challenges some of the widely held theories of linguistic development. Focusing on children ages one to three, the author describes characteristic differences in terms of vocabulary, grammatical, and phonological development, and considers whether distinctive “styles” of language development can be defined. In addition, the social and cognitive influences that can explain these differences are examined. The book concludes with a look at new language theories such as ecological, chaos, and connectionist approaches and considers what individual differences in development can tell us ...

Conclusions and Future Directions
Conclusions and future directions

In this chapter, I attempt to find out where we are and where we are going in our journey toward understanding individual differences in language development and their implications for how children acquire language. I first describe the present position, summarizing the complex research findings reviewed so far. I also make an agenda for future explorations. Some of those roads not yet traveled relate to some current trends in developmental theory and how they might apply to individual differences in language development. Finally, I consider how individual differences might deepen our understanding of language development.

Where are We?

If this book were a novel, it would be a long and complicated story, with multiple characters and a plot full of ...

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