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Post Reply Should Babies Learn Sign Language before they Speak?
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16
For my perspective, I would like to teach babies/children learns sign language before speak because sign language could be universal communication (ex, nod yes or no, point, facial expression).

So, they can ask easily parent or teacher about how to write or speak by using the sign language.

If you have child or you are educator, are you willing to teach sign language before speak?
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21 / M / U.S.A.
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16
Maybe while they were younger.. Not before they speak though. The more important goal should be teaching them to communicate with the masses rather than being able to communicate with those that can't speak their native tongue.
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40 / M / USA
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16
I cringed at the thought of someone with such bad grammar being a teacher of any sort.

That aside, learning a language is far easier when you're younger (usually at least). Sign language is pretty easy to pick up and remember but isn't needed in most cases. You'd be better off learning a second language that's actually utilized more for your area instead of one that is meant for a very small minority of people.

Also, nods and the others you listed are gestures, not sign language.
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16
what kind of sign language would be more universal than english?lol

i can imagine a japanese sign language user using a different sign language from american sign language
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16

XxDarkSasuxX wrote:

Maybe while they were younger.. Not before they speak though. The more important goal should be teaching them to communicate with the masses rather than being able to communicate with those that cant peak their native tongue.


What I've heard (from people I know who have used sign language with their young children) as an advantage of teaching sign language before they can speak is that when both the baby and the caregivers learn simple sign language, it can improve communication, baby gets less frustrated, and so forth. Basically that the cognitive skills for language are there even before babies have the vocal skills for speech. It of course also has the advantage of giving them a second language skill, but there is also other pragmatic advantage of making communication easier.

I've not heard anything to suggest that learning sign language very young slows down their learning of vocal learning, so it's kind of a win win situation.
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16
Why not teach both at the same time.
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16

lorreen wrote:


XxDarkSasuxX wrote:

Maybe while they were younger.. Not before they speak though. The more important goal should be teaching them to communicate with the masses rather than being able to communicate with those that cant peak their native tongue.


What I've heard (from people I know who have used sign language with their young children) as an advantage of teaching sign language before they can speak is that when both the baby and the caregivers learn simple sign language, it can improve communication, baby gets less frustrated, and so forth. Basically that the cognitive skills for language are there even before babies have the vocal skills for speech. It of course also has the advantage of giving them a second language skill, but there is also other pragmatic advantage of making communication easier.

I've not heard anything to suggest that learning sign language very young slows down their learning of vocal learning, so it's kind of a win win situation.

Hmm. Well if this is true, then I don't see why not. It could potentially be a little more frustrating for parents who don't already know sign language, but if the potential for communication is already there (as you said, before they are able to show it vocally) then yah this could actually be a great idea.

When I first replied, I had actually never heard of this idea, so I wasn't really sure where it was coming from. But if there have been studies that have shown that this is beneficial in making language learning easier then I'm all for it.
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Posted 2/15/16

XxDarkSasuxX wrote:
Hmm. Well if this is true, then I don't see why not. It could potentially be a little more frustrating for parents who don't already know sign language, but if the potential for communication is already there (as you said, before they are able to show it vocally) then yah this could actually be a great idea.

When I first replied, I had actually never heard of this idea, so I wasn't really sure where it was coming from. But if there have been studies that have shown that this is beneficial in making language learning easier then I'm all for it.


There probably are studies, but I'm not myself familiar with them. There are educational videos designed for teaching to babies, so basically parents and caretakers can watch and learn together with the children.

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19 / M / USA
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16
sign language isn't universal.
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16
Sounds great at first.

Till you realize they will probably use it to communicate silently in class to cheat on tests lol.
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Posted 2/15/16
My daughter is 2 and can use sign language to say "thank you" "please" and some other simple gestures that she can't say yet. She learned how to do the sign language before she could speak, it's made it easier for all of us and her.
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Posted 2/15/16 , edited 2/15/16
ok OP but have you ever worked with children and/or studied human development


Jackalope82 wrote:

Why not teach both at the same time.


this is what we teach at my school (we are a Montessori school). at infancy to toddler age children have not quite grasped speaking language yet, but they have gotten some control over their motor skills. for example, we will teach the infant 2 children (anywhere from 10mos.-18 mos.) the simple language motion for "more", consisting of bringing your hands together, which is fairly easy for children at this age who have some gross motor skills but haven't developed their fine motor skills. as we teach the child the simple motion we also speak the word "more". So while they may not vocally be able to say the word yet, they have learned what the word is, recognize it when someone speaks it, and can do the motion until they themselves can speak it.

also the whole "nod", "point", "shake head", those sort of things... first off are not sign language, but secondly children already learn to do those things by watching adults. when you work with children you realize that they are watching every single thing you do and they want to replicate it.
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Posted 2/15/16
i think language is far more important in terms of future prospects of learning than sign language, the sooner they are fluent in the language the better their life will be
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19 / M / United States (Mu...
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Posted 2/15/16
Please dont do that, you are gonna fuck your child up by doing that. Teach your child the language that he needs to speak first so he can communicate with people.....
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22 / F / NY
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Posted 2/15/16
you're going to fuck up your child's development like that lmfao
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