Saturday, January 24, 2009

Teaching the Alphabet and Spelling in Sign Language

I began teaching my daughter the alphabet when she was around one year old. I purchased sponge bath letters for her to play with (chew on). I also posted the letters with pictures on the wall. We would walk down the long line of letters and say/sign the letter and say/sign the illustration. A - apple, B - ball, etc. In retrospect, I would have taught her the letter sounds rather than the names to begin with, but...that's another post.

Bath time has always been a big signing/alphabet time for us. Recently, I was inspired to start writing letters/words on my daughters belly while she is in the tub. She is a little over two and a half. She loves it and tells me what to write. Sometimes I fingerspell it and then write it, and vice versa. She'll try writing letters on her belly, too. It's great, because even if the letter isn't perfect and is squiggly and messy, we'll never know, because you can't see it! So, she can practice the motion and develop more control without any "help" from me. "Hmmm...that's a T? Why don't you draw a straight stick then a horizontal stick, like this?" See, it's much more fun this way.

The other day, I was sweeping the floor outside the bathroom door when I heard her spelling. I peaked in and she was drawing letters on her belly while saying the letters. And the letters were perfect...I think.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Study Looking for Baby Signers 8-18 Months Old

If you are interested in helping out in a study on language acquisition in signing babies, please read the request from researcher Greta Mueller. I completed the questionnaire yesterday. It was long, but very simple. You simply marked a box if your child understands a word or speaks a word. It is a long list of words, though, so give yourself a little time to complete it. At the end of the words, it asks a few questions, like how did you learn to sign, how often do you sign with your child, and if you watch DVDs like Baby Einstein or Brainy Baby. The only personal information requested is a pseudonym for your child and his/her birth date. If you want the results emailed to you, you will need to provide an email address. That's it.

Email from Greta Mueller:

Dear mothers,

as dedicated mothers who care about the wellbeing of their children, I would like to ask you to participate in my survey. My name is Greta Mueller and I study psychology at the University of Trier in Germany. I study language development and early communication skills in children. For this reason I am looking for mothers of 8-18 months old children from USA and Canada who are practicing baby signing and willing to complete an online questionnaire about this topic. It takes about 25-40 minutes to complete the questionnaire. I ensure that I will keep your answers in confidence. Your data serves scientific purposes only and will not be misused.

http://ofb.msd-media.de/language_development/?password=mybaby

For any further information please feel free to contact me.
language.research.mueller@googlemail.com

Thank you very much, Greta

What Can Smart Baby Sign Language Blog do for You?

How can Smart Baby Sign Language help you sign with your baby or child? Feel free to ask me any questions. If I can't find a reliable source, I'll poll those who know. What else would help you: activities to teach sign language, ways to use sign language to teach reading, reviews of sign language products, etc.?

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