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Signing With Babies And Children: September 2008

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Case Study: integrating sign language into a preschool curriculum

Learning English as a Second Language: A Case Study of a Chinese Girl in an American Preschool
Several studies have shown that including sign language in play and activities with teachers' instruction in preschools helps young children retain information and provides a richer language base in their later life (Crawford, 2001; Daniels, 1994a, 1994b, 1996; Reynolds, 1995). For example, Daniels (1994a) found that integrating sign language into a preschool curriculum can help children gain receptive English vocabulary.

Crawford (2001) indicated that "preschoolers build vocabularies much faster when taught to identify words by sight, sound, and sign" (p. 30). Sign language enables young children to learn through movement and they respond with enthusiasm and enjoyment (Reynolds, 1995). Reynolds (1995) posits that "the greatest learning occurs when the tactile and kinesthetic channels are engaged or paired with the auditory and visual modalities" (p. 5). Thus, dynamic interactions between teachers and children can offer multiple ways for strengthening young children's language development through interaction and play, including sign language in preschools.

Chizuko Konishi. Childhood Education. Olney: 2007. Vol. 83, Iss. 5; pg. 267, 6 pgs
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