The meaning makers : learning to talk and talking to learn


The meaning makers : learning to talk and talking to learn

Gordon Wells

(New perspectives on language and education)

Multilingual Matters, c2009

2nd ed

  • : hbk
  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 318-328) and index



The Meaning Makers is about children's language and literacy development at home and at school. Based on the Bristol Study, "Language at Home and at School," which the author directed, it follows the development of a representative sample of children from their first words to the end of their primary schooling. It contains many examples of their experience of language in use, both spoken and written, recorded in naturally occurring settings in their homes and classrooms, and shows the active role that children play in their own development as they both make sense of the world around them and master the linguistic means for communicating about it. Additionally, this second edition also sets the findings of the original study in the context of recent research in the sociocultural tradition inspired by Vygotsky's work and includes examples of effective teaching drawn from the author's recent collaborative research with teachers.


Acknowledgements Prologue Introduction Notes on Transcription of Dialogue Extracts Chapter One The Children and Their Families Chapter Two Learning to Talk: The Pattern of Development Chapter Three Learning to Talk: The Construction of Language Chapter Four Talking to Learn Chapter Five From Home to School Chapter Six Helping Children to Make Knowledge Their Own Chapter Seven Differences between Children in Language and Learning Chapter Eight The Centrality of Literacy Chapter Nine The Children's Achievement at Age 10 Chapter Ten The Sense of Story Chapter Eleven A Functional Theory of Language Development Chapter Twelve Towards Dialogue in the Classroom Chapter Thirteen The Interdependence of Practice and Theory Epilogue References

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