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Signing With Babies And Children: How to Learn Effectively?

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How to Learn Effectively?

What is the most effective way that you learn? Is it by teaching your little one how to sign or by looking at videos teaching signing? Do you remember more if someone speaks to you for a few hours at a sign language conference or when your family discusses why it is important to have routines?
Being aware of how you and your baby prefer to learn new things can create a better learning experience for both of you. The pyramid shows the effectiveness of each method of learning. Most people aren't aware that the most effective way to learn is by teaching others. In order to teach others, you must first learn the material yourself and know enough about the topic to explain to another person. In order to sign   "Happy New Year," you must know each part of the phrase and know that you are able to put it all together to create a different meaning (a celebration of January 1st) than just "happy," "new," and "year" separately.

So make it your New Year's Resolution to teach your little one the signs that you know! Take the time to experiment with which method your child prefers, whether it is by teaching a sibling, discussing the sign, or by practicing the sign repeatedly. Some babies like learning from watching videos on SignShine's app while others prefer learning by demonstrating to their grandparents.

Which section of the learning pyramid you prefer?

Etel Leit, M.S.

Founder & Owner 


HannahM said...

Everyone does learn differently; I personally remember more through repeated practice and teaching others.

Babies are no exception and will generally retain information more effectively when they are engaged, altert and interested in the material. Singing and signing is a great and beneficial way to teach children because they can connect words or objects to the signs.

If there is no song available, the parent should find the most effective way for their child to learn by trying multiple techniques. Repetition of the sign through song or another technique will help the baby learn new signs.

SignShine said...

Thank you Hannah! I love the way you correlated effective learning to babies as well. Yes, do babies ever lecture? Take notes? No... they are so busy in the DOING!


TravelSize said...

Teaching others definitely helps one check his/her own understanding of a concept. I wish this could be addressed more often at my university so students don't have to rely so much on listening and note-taking; this makes the experience less worthwhile.

I also agree that triangulating learning methods makes absorbing material more effortless. I'm a very visual person, but if I'm without a visual aid then I will try other techniques like discussion or reading.

I don't have a child, but I can imagine that connecting words to signs is very helpful in the learning process. I'm using a computer program to re-learn Spanish, which uses a lot of pictures to give Spanish words significance. It's very effective.

@ttitude writer said...

Undoubtedly , I would say that teaching others is the most effective way of learning. Especially when it comes to signing, its always good that we practice it with our kids and surround ourselves with immersive experience.
Also, only when we do lot of signing to the child, we would be learning as well as making them learn this language as quickly as possible. It will also make us have a quality bonding time with our child and that will in turn help the child understand the love and affection we have for the child.

etel @ SignShine® said...

Thank you for your amazing comments everyone! Yes, I agree, it is all about PRACTICE and 'getting it' from a different place in your brain!

etel @ SignShine® said...

@ttitude writer-- thank you for making the emphasis on quality bonding time with our child! Bond is one of the MOST important qualities to create relationships!.

etel @ SignShine® said...

@ttitude writer-- thank you for making the emphasis on quality bonding time with our child! Bond is one of the MOST important qualities to create relationships!.

Sarah and Luca said...

This post got me thinking about teaching as an effective means of learning. Certainly as I was teaching my son (now 2 and a half years old) useful ASL signs, and just signing in his presence most of the time from birth, it reinforced my knowledge of ASL and expanded my own vocabulary significantly. But even more exciting than that, I can now encourage him to teach what he knows to his new sister who is 4 months old. He loves to "teach" her how he brushes his teeth and reads his books. What a great idea to review the signs he knows while teaching her what the signs are. Knowledge is power, but more than that, when you are 2, knowledge is fun.

For my son, knowing signs was such a gift - just for getting through daily activities with greater ease; eating, playing, sleeping. Teaching his younger sibling will be an opportunity to retain the signs he knows, and will provide a fun platform to keep the language growing in our family. It's fun for little ones to have a secret language they can practice together.