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Signing With Babies And Children: I wish I could speak another language...

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

I wish I could speak another language...

My husband and I are from Germany originally, living in Austin, TX, USA. You can tell from our accent that we are not native English speakers and of course that results in lots of conversation openings from total strangers (supermarket, playground,...).
First question is: Do your kids speak German as well?
Yes, we do speak exclusively German at home.
Next statement from the other person: I wish I could teach my kids another language.

My answer is YOU CAN!!!
American Sign Language (ASL) offers you this opportunity. The beauty of it is that you don't need to be an expert at ASL to teach your children the basics. May it be only a few signs or a few sentences, you are building the foundation for another language.

And don't forget, you are never too young or too old to learn another language. Teaching ASL to your preschooler or elementary school child is as rewarding for both of you as teaching ASL to your baby!

I find it very exciting to teach ASL to pre-K and elementary school children. They have so many questions on where this language comes from, how Deaf people live, how they interact, what their culture is like. My oldest son, a 1st grader by now, is as motivated to learn ASL as he was when he was a baby. I have 2 more children (daughter who is 4 and a son who is 2) and they all love signing.
I am pregnant with twins right now and once they are born and start their own journey of learning ASL, I will post updates. I am so curious to see if the twins will adopt American Sign Language as their secret language to communicate between each other.

Good luck on your signing journey!
And remember, ASL is accepted as a foreign language!!!

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