Iris Hambling is a speech therapist of some repute having worked in education and
hospital clinics for 46 years. She also has qualifications in Specific Learning Disorders and SPELD. She has been in private practice for 30 years and has written several therapy
Stella Karaman qualified as a speech therapist more recently and works within the education sector. She has also had experience in hospital clinics.
I found this book particularly interesting as having been part of a number of children’s lives watching them develop over a number of years. Language has always been a fascinating subject to me and having two children of my own and now 6 grandchildren from 14 years of age down to just under a year old I have had a lot of years to observe the repetition and mimicking of adults that is part of the child’s learning progress.
I sat down with Abby aged 4 with this book slowly going through the pages with her reading the words and watching her reaction. At times she looked at me as though I was stupid and with this “I know this stuff” look on her face. As the words and pictures became harder for her, we played a game to help her guess what they were. I found the whole experience quite fascinating.
Next I sat down with Quinn aged 11 months. Quinn looked with interest at the pictures and at me sounding out the words for her. Not having much in the way of language skills yet, this book was probably a bit beyond her comprehension, but I definitely think as time goes on and we keep repeating the words and pointing to the pictures she will get the idea fairly quickly. It’s amazing how such a small person does actually communicate their wants and needs.
I believe the most important thing an adult can do when speaking to a child – either reading a book or communicating day to day things, you speak clearly. A lot of adults mumble, so it’s no wonder some children mispronounce words or use them in the wrong context. I can see this book being a very good tool for parents and teachers to use with other methods of communication.
Reviewed by Christine Frayling
Big Words for Little Tongues
by Iris Hambling and Stella Karaman
Published by Xlibris