Little Talks: A Modular Treatment Approach for Promoting Infant and Toddler Language Acquisition Through Parents’ Preferences and Competencies

  • Patricia H. ManzEmail author
  • Tamique Ridgard
  • Nina E. Ventresco
  • Jamie Whitenack
  • Jacqueline Faison
  • Marisa Solé
  • Diamond Carr
  • Yin Cai


The first three years of a child’s life are marked by rapid development, forming trajectories for ongoing development and learning. In the USA, almost half of the population of children under three experience levels of socioeconomic disadvantage that threaten their development and later success, particularly in the areas of language acquisition. Immigrant children are largely represented in this group. Given the pivotal role of parent–child interactions to children’s language development, early intervention should build upon parents’ cultural strengths and values. This chapter presents an overview of the development and evaluation of Little Talks, an intervention designed for home visiting programs serving low-income infants and toddlers. Little Talks was designed in partnership with low-income, ethnic minority parents and Early Head Start home visiting staff to ensure that it would be culturally meaningful and feasible. The Little Talks intervention is coupled with implementation supports to enable home visitors to tailor it to individual children and their parents. Emerging evidence supports Little Talks’ effectiveness in enhancing parents’ involvement in children’s learning activities and in preventing elevations in maternal depression, especially for Spanish-speaking, newly immigrant parents. Promising impacts on children’s communication and language skills have also been observed.


Early intervention Parent–child book sharing Infants and toddlers Home visiting Poverty 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia H. Manz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tamique Ridgard
    • 1
  • Nina E. Ventresco
    • 1
  • Jamie Whitenack
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Faison
    • 1
  • Marisa Solé
    • 1
  • Diamond Carr
    • 1
  • Yin Cai
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA

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