|SignWriting List Forum|
Don & Theresa G |
Date: Thu Feb 11, 1999 5:04 pm
Subject: Re: Children Learning SignWriting
Like someone said, it is hard to determine actually what babies do
comprehend. However, my suspicion is that hearing and deaf babies (exposed
to sign) comprehend at the same rate. It is the modality (and their
physical abilities) that limits their verbal (I'm including signs as
"verbal") and I should include, nonverbal, response. While signing babies
can produce signs earlier, the hearing babies are, like you suggested
"frustrated" in their ability to respond.
I am basing this suspicion on observation. My Hearing niece does not talk
(much) but she clearly shows comprehension. Even before she could start
talking, she would respond appropriately to questions (looking around at her
mother when grandmother asks "where's mommy?", etc.). I don't know of any
research on comprehension offhand, but I would say the question really is
not, "do they comprehend before they talk" but "how EARLY do they start
comprehending before they talk?"
>I am curious about research on comprehension...does this mean that the
>signing babies and the speaking babies both have the same comprehension at
>the same age, but the signing babies can express themselves sooner because
>of motor skills, and the hearing babies are frustrated and have to wait
>longer to express their understanding through speech? Is it only the
>physical that is holding them back, or is comprehension of speech learned
>later, and comprehension of signing learned sooner?
>I just wondered if comprehension of a signed language might be sooner
>because of its visual nature?
>Valerie Sutton at the DAC
>Deaf Action Committee for SW
>Center For Sutton Movement Writing
>an educational nonprofit organization
>Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA