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Children's Peer Talk
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Book description

Inside and outside the classroom, children of all ages spend time interacting with their peers. Through these early interactions, children make sense of the world and co-construct their childhood culture, while simultaneously engaging in interactional activities which provide the stepping stones for discursive, social and cognitive development. This collection brings together an international team of researchers to document how children's peer talk can contribute to their socialization and demonstrates that if we are to understand how children learn in everyday interactions we must take into account peer group cultures, talk, and activities. This book will be of interest to students and researchers in the fields of language acquisition, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis, and related disciplines. It examines naturally occurring talk of children aged from three to twelve years from a range of language communities, and includes ten studies documenting children's interactions and a comprehensive overview of relevant research.


‘Child language researchers and early childhood educators have long focused on the opportunities to learn inherent in adult-child interactions. The chapters in this book make clear that peer interactions offer similarly rich, but very different, opportunities to acquire communicative and language skills. Readers of this book will understand the value of attending carefully to those opportunities and to the skills they promote.'

Catherine Snow - Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

'A major contribution demonstrating how talk children produce for each other provides important resources for learning a second language, discursive literacy, vocabulary learning, cognitive, linguistic and social development, with important implications for reorganizing classroom dynamics.'

Marjorie Harness Goodwin - University of California, Los Angeles

‘People live and develop in discourse communities. In the present volume, we learn how children's peer groups and peer activities serve as sites of learning and growth. This in-depth account forms an exciting and most welcome contribution to the literature.'

Roger Säljö - University of Gothenburg

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