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Early Years: An International ResearchJournalPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ceye20
Teaching and learning communication,language and literacyCeri Roscoe aa Institute of Education , Manchester Metropolitan University ,Published online: 03 Nov 2009.
To cite this article: Ceri Roscoe (2009) Teaching and learning communication, languageand literacy, Early Years: An International Research Journal, 29:3, 293-294, DOI:10.1080/09575140903180701
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09575140903180701
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Early YearsVol. 29, No. 3, October 2009, 293298
ISSN 0957-5146 print/ISSN 1472-4421 onlineDOI: 10.1080/09575140903180701http://www.informaworld.com
Taylor and FrancisCEYE_A_418245.sgm10.1080/09575140903180727Early Years0957-5146 (print)/1472-4421 (online)Book Review2009Taylor & Francis0000000002009Professor PatBroadheadp.email@example.comTeaching and learning communication, language and literacy, by Ann BrowneLondon, Paul Chapman, 2007, 232 pp., 18.99 (paperback), ISBN 1-4129-0209-6
In her usual accessible fashion, Ann Browne has written a book that provides supportand guidance for both students and practitioners in a range of settings on how veryyoung children develop the ability to communicate. Not only does she explorelanguage development, but the book offers practical advice on good practice, identi-fying key elements of Early Years provision and how they are capable of supportingthis most complex process.
It is interesting that Ann Browne begins her exploration of communication,language and literacy with a discussion on play a crucial aspect of young childrenslives and education and one that is recognised as fundamental in the learning process.As such, Chapter 1 offers a fairly comprehensive exploration of the principles andpractice of play, in a range of Early Years settings, making it appropriate for a widerange of readers including practitioners, parents, other adults and university studentson both Early Childhood studies and Initial Teacher Training degrees who might needto explore both theoretical and practical perspectives.
Chapter 2 explores speaking and listening in some depth, using real examples ofconversation to illustrate clearly to all how it might be possible to extend and developa rich context for talk. This is no mean feat when we consider how sophisticated thethinking needs to be in Early Years settings if practitioners are to plan activities thatwill be valuable, interesting, engaging, and actually build upon childrens existingcommunication and language skills. There is a real recognition here that childrengenerally have extensive language knowledge before they arrive at a particular settingand that practitioners need to recognize and build on this. She also explores the wayin which adults act as a model across the various modes of communication, recogniz-ing how important it is for the practitioner to acknowledge this and develop appropri-ate behaviours to demonstrate to children. These aspects are repeatedly considered insubsequent chapters which explore reading, writing, inclusion and working withparents and other adults. The final chapter offers and not only explores examples ofplanning that show how to plan for progression in learning but also identifiesresources that are appropriate for the learning a really useful feature of this text.
The whole text manages to combine exploration of theory interwoven with refer-ences to documentation followed by practical examples of activities that might fosterparticular skills, knowledge or understanding. Her ideas for practical activities areinteresting and varied, and, I suspect, able to offer something for everyone. The formatof each chapter is roughly similar with a general discussion followed by a clearlyboxed-in conclusion which summarises the key points made, followed by guidancefor further reading for those who might wish to extend and develop their thinking.
294 Book reviews
This recognisably repeated format aids the reader in searching for particular informa-tion and the text can be dipped into or read as a whole.
The only downside to this book is that it refers extensively to documentation thathas now been superseded, namely the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stageand the National Literacy Strategy complete with the Searchlight model for readingcueing systems and phonic schemes of work. However, this does not detract from thevalue of the text itself, with the writer demonstrating a real understanding of veryyoung children, their views on the world and how we might create valuable opportu-nities for them to learn, develop and extend their ability to communicate across arange of activities and provisions.
Ceri RoscoeInstitute of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
Email: C.Roscoe@mmu.ac.uk 2009, Ceri Roscoe
The handbook of play therapy, 2nd edn, by Linnet McMahon, London, Routledge,2009, 281 pp., 20.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-415-43942-8
This is a revised textbook which has clearly been popular over the years within andprobably beyond the field of play therapy. It introduces the reader quickly and lucidlyto theoretical perspectives relating to the relationships between emotional trauma andplay. There are aspects of this book that would be of considerable interest to anyoneinterested in further developing their own understanding of play more generally inrelation to children with emotional trauma who are located in mainstream settings.This is by no means just a book for the play therapist specialist but is also I shouldthink a key text for the developing and experienced play therapist.
Chapter 1 looks at the emotional, therapeutic and healing qualities of play includ-ing the early and playful bonding of the baby with the significant adult. It links thedesire to play with the importance of this early bonding process and has implicationsfor those working with babies in childcare settings as well as giving insight intoformative experiences more generally. This chapter usefully inter-connects differenttheoretical positions in accessible and natural ways, helping readers to develop theirown basis for the theoretical underpinning of practice. The chapter tells us that chil-dren feel free to play when they feel secure and contained in a familiar world. Thischapter introduces the idea of babies as omnipotent, which is a strange but veryarresting concept. The chapter talks about the nests of babyhood and, for me as aplay researcher, this links in interesting ways with my own observations of play inolder children where they use the materials to hand to create their boundaried playspaces or dens within which they explore their embedded and developing under-standings of the world around them and their place within it.
From this opening chapter, the book moves into a systematic, well-conceived setof chapters dealing with different aspects of the therapeutic domain. It is explicit aboutthe different processes of therapeutic play and their underpinnings. It goes on to focusin subsequent chapters on the early years, on helping troubled families, on disabilitiesand illness. Chapter 7 looks at therapeutic play for children experiencing separation,loss and bereavement in families. Again, I felt that this is an especially importantchapter for those in mainstream settings as well as in supporting the professional