Please introduce yourself!
Meet our friends:
Nice To Meet You!:
For all of our new friends, please post an introduction here! We can't wait to get to know you!
Hello Everyone. From Japan.
My wife Yoko and I started Akari, our daughter, with sign language soon after she was born one year and three months ago. We are both university English instructors with backgrounds in Linguistics. Yoko also speaks and teaches German. We were quite excited to learn about the benefits of signing and since language is such a big part of our lives, were happy to find that Akari could start communicating with us right away.
After she got a few signs we decided to get her a video and chose My Baby Can Talk. She started watching that at about 8 months and was riveted, she soon began signing quite a lot, so we got her the rest of the series. By one year old, she had gotten most of the signs from that series and wanted *more more more*. We got a big Sign dictionary and began teaching her words that we use every day, but she wasn't learning as fast as she did watching the video.
We found Signing Time at Amazon and got the first few of series one. She loved them and was making such good progress that we got the rest of series one for her. We let her watch two videos per day, usually one in the morning and one in the evening. About a quarter of the time one of us will sign with her while the video is playing and other times we will shout out the words and do the signs from wherever we are nearby.
We recently did an inventory of the signs she's acquired using the Signing Time PDF Progress Chart and found that she knows and uses 122 signs!! We only counted words that she either uses during the day or will produce if shown the object or hears the word. We knew that she was making great progress, but we were surprised at the total number. This doesn't include the words that we have taught her from signing dictionaries, but those probably don't amount to much more than twenty more words. We also took a rough count of her spoken words and it came to about 50, most of which she learned the signs for first.
Since Akari is learning English, Japanese and Signing all at the same time, I suspect that signing will serve as an anchor between the two languages. Instead of needing to learn each language separately, after she learns a vocabulary word from one language the sign will immediately queue her in to the meaning of the word in the other language. If this hasn't been studied, it should be. It may be be a great benefit to kids being raised bilingually. Normally, bilingual kids start speaking later than monolingual kids, but Akari is way, way ahead of even monolingual babies her age. I suspect that this is due in part to signing.
Anyway, that is pretty much our story. We look forward to being part of the forum.