International Adoption Book

Monday, February 15, 2010

Introduction to Sign Language

One of my cousins asked me a question today that I thought was interesting. It dawned on me that many people might have the same question, so I though I would address it here...

Cousin A wanted to know when we would be introducing sign language to MJ. He's only 5 months old, but it's never too early to learn language. Language is taught to a infant starting while they are in the womb. A fetus can hear it's mother speaking and learns the sound of her voice. After the baby is born, he/she begins learning language almost instantly... They learn their name. They learn to respond when they hear Mom or Dad. So consequently, it is ver feasable to teach your child a second language immediately. In fact, children in households with parents who speak two different languages learn both langauges quite readily.

Needless to say, we are attempting to sign to MJ as we speak and we are hopeful that he will be one of our more fluent family members. He should be since sign langauge is the only form of communication that C is able to use. It's been great because I ask her to babysit (while I'm doing the dishes or taking a shower) and when I peak in on them I find her, more often than not, signing to MJ.

I think that teaching MJ to sign from the get go will accomplish more than just giving him 2 languages to be fluent in... It will also allow him to communicate earlier and, hopefully, will help elleviate some of the "Terrible Twos"!

GREAT question Cousin A!!! Thanks for asking that. I would not have thought about explaining this concept to others if you hadn't brought it up because it's simply an every day part of our world. ;)

1 comment:

Amelia said...

Cousin A is very amused. :) Thank you so much for the answer. I'd always planned to teach Viv sign, but when she could barely see me, it didn't seem important. It looks like tomorrow will be bringing something new to her life!