This book presents a unique, multi-faceted investigation of the language abilities of three older adopted Romanian orphans who experienced extreme deprivation in their early years. Serena, Gabrielle and Ingrid were aged 7 years, 6 years and nearly 4 years, respectively, when rescued by UK families from the orphanages where they were placed at or around their birth. In these institutions, an absence of social and psychological stimulation, nutritious food and physical exercise had left them completely dependent on care staff for their most basic needs, and effectively without language. The book presents the findings of a two year research study of the competencies in language, nverbal cognition and social and communicative behaviour which the girls acquired over several years in their new homes, and discusses the implications of their linguistic progress for the Critical Period Hypothesis and modularity. Detailed qualitative analysis of the girls' language in everyday conversation is combined with quantitative analysis of developmental progress and structural complexity and with the results of standardized tests. The authors argue that the girls' progress in language defies the predictions of current Critical Period models and offers evidence of modular dissociations between language and other cognitive domains. These findings are considered in relation to other research on language development in internationally adopted children.
Lisa Brown is a Chartered Research Psychologist (CPsychol) and a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Her background is in psychology, human communication sciences and mixed methods research. Lisa obtained her first degree at Sheffield Hallam University and then went to on to complete a postgraduate degree in Psychology with the Open University, obtaining a Distinction. Thereafter she completed her PhD in the Neuropsychology of Language at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. She has worked as a professional researcher on a number of multidisciplinary projects, including biomedical research and environmental education. Her expertise lies in applied psychology; applied linguistics; models of clinical psychology and neuropsychology; developmental approaches to assessment and intervention in clinical practice; psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics; community psychology; and qualitative methodology. Peter Jones is Principal Lecturer in Communication Studies in the Department of Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University. His research interests include theories of language and communication, the role of language in practical activity and the cultural-historical school of Lev Vygotsky. His recent publications include Activity, Activity Theory and the Marxian Legacy in Marxism and Education: Renewing the Dialogue, Pedagogy and Culture, and Bernstein's codes and the linguistics of deficit in Language and Education 27 (2).