Bridging languages by Barbra Kelly
It was interesting to read this article and learn about the benefits of signing language. Sign language is not only beneficial to the deaf community, it also has benefits for people with language deficits. Before reading this article I thought teaching a child sing language would be counterproductive as they’re going to rely on it. However, I quickly learned that sign language works as a transitional device into lexical development as it provides a way for children to refer to objects when they do not have the spoken language to refer to said objects. Thus, it can be said that sign language plays a facilitating role in early language development.
A child might feel frustrated if they’re trying to talk and he is only able to make vocalizations that cannot be understood. Signing provides the child with confidence and allows him to communicate while establishing connections in the brain that are necessary for spoken language. For example, in the article, Gail would say sounds that appeared to be attempts at speech but was often not understood, and was never able to say the correct word after a language model. However, on the first day that she was taught the sign for flower she was able to manually sign it, yet still not able to verbalize it. This positive communication experience works as a reinforcer to continued communication, whereas language modeling would have failed and caused her to possibly become more frustrated.