So, apparently, this is a fairly new trend in America: teaching babies a few signs to aid and hasten communication between parents and progeny. Does it work? Looks that way. Why? Here’s an explanation:
Hearing children can learn to sign much earlier than they can learn to talk. It’s not because sign language is less complicated than spoken English. It’s because every aspect of the language is right there to be seen. No guessing about where the tongue is placed behind the teeth to form certain words, or how the voice is used differently to make different sounds.
“Did You Know?”, Dr. Wonder’s Workshop
And here’s the proof it works:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gSZfW4gVhI]
I think it’s cool. One video I watched suggests you say the (English) word as you sign it, to help solidify the meaning. That’s good and all, but to be honest, I find the idea of one-one signs less than ideal.
I find it hard to sign and speak for a long time… JSL grammar is not the same as English grammar, so I have to think too hard. I do intend to sign with my children, but it won’t just be simply a home sign-like system, but JSL, as completely as is in my power.
Why? Because multilingualism is good for people, especially children and their developing brains. And, of course, being able to have conversation with my children at an early stage in their lives is a big plus, too.