With a partnership between the California Department of Education’s Julie Rems Smario and CDERC’s Natasha Kordus and Jennifer Willey, they worked on this poster for 2019 EHDI Conference in Chicago, IL. This poster earned the top honors!
The single greatest risk faced by Deaf people is inadequate exposure to a usable first language. Dr. Gulati reviews recent research which validates the anatomical basis and time course of the critical period for first language acquisition, and which shows the risks to the development of empathetic abilities among children who are language-deprived.
Established as a National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center in 2006, Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) seeks to advance understanding of the behavioral and brain mechanisms of learning.
Through collaborative research, the Center works to answer fundamental science questions about higher cognition and how humans learn, especially learning through the eyes. We investigate the effect of visual processes, visual language, and visual learning and social experiences on the development of cognition and language, reading, and literacy. With a particular focus on deaf individuals and sign language, we study learning processes in monolinguals and bilinguals across the life span in order to promote the meaningful translation of science for the benefit of education and society.
VL2 has created a set of visually appealing and accessible materials about VL2’s research on the advantages of early visual language and ASL-English bilingualism and what this means for deaf and hard of hearing children’s language acquisition and literacy.
“Growing Together: Creating Language-Rich Environments” is a series of interviews with parents, researchers, and scientists.
Can early intervention really make a difference? Join Dr. Beth Benedict for a webinar on what research is telling us about the importance of early intervention. She will share ways in which the field is evolving and explain what professionals in the field can do to make a difference in areas related to:
- Visual language and learning
- English language performance
- Social-emotional, cognition, and communication development
- Family involvement and deaf role models
- Setting high expectations
About the Presenter:
Benedict is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Gallaudet University. She is also the coordinator of Gallaudet’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers, and Families: Collaboration and Leadership Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. She has published numerous articles and is a widely sought-after lecturer on diverse topics, including early intervention, early language acquisition, and family involvement.
Benedict is currently the chair of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing and a representative on the Council on Education of the Deaf. She is currently serving as president of the American Society for Deaf Children, the oldest organization of, by, and for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children (www.deafchildren.org). In 2010, she received the prestigious Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence at the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference in Chicago, along with numerous awards. Benedict holds a doctorate in education from Gallaudet, a master’s degree in educational counseling from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet in psychology. She is also the proud mother of two deaf daughters.
Through collaborative efforts of VL2 Lab, California State University at Northridge and the California Department of Education in the dissemination of their video on the benefits of early exposure to a visual language and a bilingual ASL-English Education. A Spanish language version of this video is also available at the same link.
This movie, “Through Your Child’s Eyes,” was created from the vision of the California Department of Education and California State University, Northridge. Funding provided by the Annenberg Foundation.
This video reviews what we know about ASL and bilingualism (research that VL2’s work also corroborates).
All babies benefit from sign language. Thousands of hearing babies learn to sign before they talk. ASL is a language for the whole family and community. Vision is the natural pathway for brain cognition, connections and language acquisition for deaf and hard of hearing children. It taps into the child’s strengths. ASL supports the development of written and spoken English and other languages. Children can easily acquire and use more than one language at the same time. ASL is one of the most widely used languages in the United States. Time is of the essence. Infancy is a critical period for language access and language acquisition. But it’s never too late – hearing people of all ages can learn ASL.
”Only a minority of profoundly deaf children read at age-level. We contend this reflects cognitive and linguistic impediments from lack of exposure to a natural language in early childhood, as well as the inherent difficulty of learning English only through the written modality. Yet some deaf children do acquire English via print. The current paper describes a theoretical model of how children could, in principle, acquire a language via reading and writing. The model describes stages of learning which represent successive, conceptual insights necessary for second/foreign language learning via print. Our model highlights the logical difficulties present when one cannot practice a language outside of reading/ writing, such as the necessity of translating to a first language, the need for explicit instruction, and difficulty that many deaf children experience in understanding figurative language. Our model explains why learning to read is often a protracted process for deaf children and why many fail to make progress after some initial success. Because language acquisition is thought to require social interaction, with meaning cued by extralinguistic context, the ability of some deaf individuals to acquire language through print represents an overlooked human achievement worthy of greater attention by cognitive scientists.”
You can read more in this journal article by Robert J. Hoffmeister and. Catherine L. Caldwell-Harris.
These resources offer a guide to create a Deaf-friendly child care centre. They include tips to ensure a centre is ASL-friendly as well as how to improve overall Deaf accessibility.
Deaf Friendly Childcare Centre Guide
Tips to Ensure A Childcare Centre is ASL Friendly
MYTH: Early exposure to two languages causes language delay and language confusion.
MYTH: to be a good reader, students with multiple language exposure must practice harder at only their English skills.
Get important scientific data behind busting these and other common myths about how deaf children acquire language in this informative fact sheet!