This publication is concerned with the early stages of language acquisition and is designed for use by early childhood teachers, nursery nurses, special education teachers and others working with children experiencing difficulties in learning to talk. Procedures are described that can be used to assess a childa s current skills and plan activities to increase communicative competence. The programme described is based on a developmental sequence that moves the early skills of joint attention, turn--taking and appropriate play to the more complex skills of asking and answering questions. Other issues discussed include sound development and intelligibility, the use of augmentative and alternative communication as stepping stones to speech, working with children and with families. The second edition has an expanded focus on the place of communicative intentions in early language development.