Lois M. Bloom Collection
Lois Bloom’s research for more than 35 years was based on intensive longitudinal studies of how children acquire language in relation to developments in thinking, emotional expression, play, and social interaction in the first three years of life. In addition to the consistencies among the children she studied, her research also revealed systematic variation and individual differences among them. She persistently argued that language acquisition depends on a child’s dynamic contents of mind in acts of expression and interpretation rather than on passive biologically determined mechanisms. Her published research papers about some of the most important aspects of grammar and discourse children acquire in the first few years were collected in Language Development from Two to Three, 1991 (Cambridge University Press).
Her first longitudinal study introduced the study of meaning into child language research for explaining how children begin to acquire formal aspects of adult grammar (Language Development: Form and Function in Emerging Grammars, 1970, the M.I.T. Press). Her case study of a single child (One Word at a Time: The Use of Single-Word Utterances Before Syntax, 1973, Mouton/deGruyter), the first published child language research using video-recorded data, introduced the importance of infant cognition for determining the words children learn and the transition from single-words to early phrase structure.
Having begun her professional career as a speech therapist with children having difficulty acquiring language, she came full circle with the publication of Language Development and Language Disorders with Margaret Lahey, 1978 (John Wiley and Sons), which proposed guidelines based on results from her studies of normal language acquisition for creating assessment and intervention plans for children with language delay and disorders.
In 1981, she began a video-recorded longitudinal study of relations among the developments in emotional expression, cognition, and language by 14 infants from 9 months of age, before speech, until the emergence of phrases and simple sentences at the end of the second year. The results were published in several empirical and theoretical papers, culminating in The Transition from Infancy to Language: Acquiring the Power of Expression, 1993 (Cambridge University Press, winner of the inaugural Eleanor E. Maccoby Book Award from the American Psychological Association, Division 7), and the monograph, with Erin Tinker, The Intentionality Model and Language Acquisition: Engagement, Effort, and The Essential Tension, 2001 (Society for Research in Child Development).
Among other honors, her contributions have been recognized by the Society for Research in Child Development with the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award; by the American Psychological Association, Division 7, with the G. Stanley Hall Medal for Distinguished Contribution to Developmental Psychology; by the Association for Psychological Science with the James McKeen Cattell Award in Psychology; and with the Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, and many professional organizations.
In her non-professional life and after retiring in 1998, she has been active in historic preservation, horse riding, playing golf, and as a Docent at the New York Botanical Garden. An avid gardener, her Connecticut garden was twice exhibited in The Garden Conservancy Open Days program. She and her husband, Robert H. Bloom, and daughter, Allison Bloom, now live in Williamsburg, VA.
Created By: Pocket Masters