This book contains 12 papers contributed by leading scholars in the field of language development, studying variants of the languages which originated on the Iberian peninsula. The contributors examine language development in both typically-developing and language-impaired populations who are learning language in diverse learning conditions, including language contact, as well as monolingual and bilingual Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Euskera. This expansion and diversification of the database for studying language development is important because it creates new opportunities for testing theoretical claims. Our contributors reconsider theoretical claims relating to the purported adult-like nature of young children’s grammars. While some conclude, for example, that children in Mexico possess very adult-like semantic-pragmatic competence in the domain of the pragmatic implicatures associated with existential quantifiers, others conclude that, in particular sociolinguistic registers of Chilean Spanish, children are late to develop adult-like competence in plural marking. Taken together, the contents of the volume illustrate how the linguistic diversity found in the distinct learning conditions in which language develops offers a wealth of opportunities to further our understanding of linguistic and non-linguistic cognitive development.
Young Hispanic children are the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority population in the United States, representing diverse racial, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds. Educational skills and achievement lag significantly for this population, creating an unacceptable achievement gap at the beginning of Kindergarten that grows even further by the end of 3rd grade. What can we learn from the empirical literature, theory, programs, and policies associated with language and early learning for young Hispanics? What are the home and school factors important to differences in early cognitive development and educational well-being? In this timely collaboration, a renowned researcher and a seasoned practitioner explore these questions with a focus on specific instructional interventions that are associated with reducing the achievement gap for young Hispanic children. Chapters emphasize educational practices, including teacher competencies, instructional strategies, curricular content, parent involvement, and related policy. The text includes teacher-friendly artifacts, instructional organizers, and lesson descriptions. “The authors provide the combination of theoretical orientation, background knowledge, and practical experience that is needed to do justice to this topic.” —Nancy Commins, University of Colorado Denver “Fills a void in current research and will spark vital policy discussions.” —Patricia Gándara, Co-Director of The Civil Rights Project, UCLA