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Signing With Babies And Children

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

 ASL  benefits bi-lingual families!

“I'd totally recommend signing with bilingual children. Signing not only gave us our first means of effective communication, but was also definitely a nice way to confirm that [our son is] comprehending both English and Japanese -- the two languages he is most exposed to. In fact, [he] has recently started responding with sign when spoken to in Cantonese also...thus confirming he comprehends all three languages just fine.”

“My 2 yr old speaks to me in Portuguese and to his dad in English, sometimes using signs too as we are both hard of hearing. He always uses ASL with my Deaf friends.”

“What's been especially helpful is that, since Aries is being raised bilingual, for me to show the sign whenever I say the Russian word for an object, and when I say the English one. I think it really helped cement the idea that they stood for the same thing.”

“If you speak English and your partner speaks Spanish, when introducing a word such as "milk" you would say the word "milk" in English and introduce the sign for that word. Your partner would introduce the word "milk" in Spanish ("leche") while also using the same sign for "milk"."

Yes, it's extremely useful to use the same signs with the two different languages that your child is exposed to--it bridges the gap, decreasing confusion and frustration while increasing learning opportunities and language development.

On our Baby Fingers sign & song DVD, we teach our color song in English, Spanish, and ASL.  Bi-lingual families in our program have benefitted, and have also translated it into other home languages!

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