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




Patricia H. Manz, Tamique Ridgard, Nina E. Ventresco, Jamie Whitenack, Jacqueline Faison, Marisa Solé, Diamond Carr, and Yin Cai

Brief Type



  • Early Head Start Home-Based Option (EHS)


This chapter illustrates the development of an intervention for low-income, ethnic minority infants and toddlers that is based in cultural meaningfulness and accessible through community-based developmental services. Research showing differential effects of book sharing interventions for children of varying socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds (Manz, Hughes, Barnabas, Braciello, & Ginsburg-Block, 2010; Mol, Bus, de Jong, & Smeets, 2008) fueled the intentional development of Little Talks for low-income, ethnic minority infants and toddlers who receive early intervention through home visiting programs. Iteratively formulated in partnership with parents and staff in Early Head Start (EHS) home-based services, Little Talks blends stakeholders’ values with research-informed practices for bolstering young children’s language development. The favorable impacts of Little Talks found for parents and children, especially those who are Spanish speaking and newly immigrated, reveal the promise of intentionally developing interventions in a manner that embraces the strengths and values of children for whom it is intended. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods



For More Information

Manz, P. H., Ridgard, T., Ventresco, N. E., Whitenack, J., Faison, J., Solé, M., Carr, D., & Cai, Y. (2018). Little Talks: A modular treatment approach for promoting infant and toddler language acquisition through parents’ preferences and competencies. In S. Sonnenschein & B. Sawyer (Eds.), Academic socialization of young Black and Latino children (pp. 165-186). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-04486-2_8
Author Contact Information:
Patricia H. Manz


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches