American Sign Language for Hearing Children
A Quick Look at American Sign Language
American Sign Language, commonly known as ASL, is one of the most common languages used in the United States. Children (babies, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary age) who learn ASL vocabulary are learning words that can be used to communicate with the deaf and establish a foundation for a second language. ASL signs and concepts are used across the country and children will see it signed at sporting events, at concerts and on television. They can meet others who sign at school, church and in their neighborhood.
American Sign Language is a visual-gestural language with its own vocabulary and syntax. When signing ASL you do not sign every word, just the main ideas and concepts. When using ASL with hearing children you are using what is called Contact Sign, that is, using ASL words and concepts in a spoken English word order. This helps hearing children to connect sign to words and meanings.
ASL word order is quite different from English word order. In general, ASL word order is the reverse of English, where we place the descriptor before the object, as in a white house, or a large brown leather chair and so on. In ASL the order would be house white and chair leather brown large. (Sign to Speak – Babies Can Talk pg. 36).
We Sign™ products combines ASL words with fun new and traditional songs that encourage active participation. This activity is a rich multi-sensory way to expose children to a variety of learning styles or multiple intelligences (physical, verbal, visual, hearing, mathematical, intrapersonal and interpersonal). It also provides children make communication with deaf people possible and gives them the foundation for with a powerful way to learn and remember information. Information that will be important and help them get a
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