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Speech and Sign

Nyle DiMarco Foundation – Parent’s Corner

By ASL, Cultural & Medical Perspectives, Deaf Ecosystem, Deaf Role Models, Early ASL Acquisition, Early Language Development, Information, Language Deprivation, Organizations, Research

Banner for The Nyle DiMarco Foundation website - background image of Nyle DiMarco standing in front of a blue background with a circle pattern

The Nyle DiMarco Foundation is a non-profit organization that exists as a national philanthropic resource for all organizations, institutions and individuals working to improve the lives of every Deaf person in the world.

Current Priority Area: Deaf Children and their Families

The Foundation aims to improve access to accurate, research-based information about early language acquisition–specifically, the bilingual education approach. Through the early intervention process, the child’s language and literacy development should be the focal point.

Nyle and the Foundation are guided by the principle that every child deserves love and language.

Because the reality is that Deaf children can grow to be anything they want: firefighter or police officer, defense attorney or brain surgeon, elementary teacher or college professor, software developer or the creator of the next major social media outlet–or even an internationally recognized supermodel, actor, and dancing phenom. The key to unlocking a Deaf child’s future is acquiring language at an early age.

Nyle’s story provides validation: he was born into a multigenerational Deaf family and was taught American Sign Language and English from birth.

Through the Foundation, Nyle wants to work with parents and families to ensure Deaf children receive the same opportunities he did.

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Lexi Hill’s Message to Hearing Parents with Deaf Children

By ASL, Cultural & Medical Perspectives, Identity, Information No Comments

Born deaf, REL senior Lexi Hill is ranked 7th in her class & will attend Gallaudet University, where she received the highest scholarship available & will play basketball! She has an encouraging message for both parents & students.

Through Your Child’s Eyes: American Sign Language

By ASL, Bilingual, Bilingual Education, Early ASL Acquisition, Early Intervention, Early Language Development, Information, Research

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.

Visit VL2 Website

Visit CSUN Website

 

Acquiring English as a Second Language via Print: The Task for Deaf Children

By Bilingual, Cultural & Medical Perspectives, Early Intervention, Early Language Development, Information, Research

 

”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.

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Language Learning Through the Eye and Ear Webcast

By ASL, Early ASL Acquisition, Early Intervention, Early Language Development, Information

An image of the language learning through eyes and ears banner

This research-based webcast is designed to increase knowledge among early interventionists. The webcast addresses how deaf and hard of hearing babies acquire language and why one should sign with babies as early as possible. Babies are busy learning language from birth, even though they may not be signing right away. From the moment they arrive, babies seek patterns in human language whether signed or spoken. This webcast will give early interventionists a foundational knowledge to engage in dialogue with parents and professionals about the neurolinguistic benefits of early exposure to visual language for all babies.

Watch videos:

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Sign Language Use for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing Babies: The Evidence Supports It

By Early ASL Acquisition, Early Language Development, Information, Research

A screen capture of the front page of Tiara V. Malloy's research paper entitled Sign Language Use for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing Babies: The Evidence Supports It

Linguistic proficiency has been called a central requirement for human life (Magnuson, 2000). Parents and professionals have rightly given great importance to the various discussions and studies concerning methods most likely to further children’s language development. Educators and parents have long debated whether access to visual language (American Sign Language, for instance) enhances or hampers the efforts of deaf and hard of hearing children who are learning to develop spoken language and literacy skills. In more recent times, the discussion has broadened to include the relative merits of signed languages when used with children who have no auditory impairments. Does the use of signs encourage language development in young children? If so, are the advantages available only to specific populations?

The following is a review of current research addressing these questions. Conclusions drawn support the use of sign language with all children: hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf, and including those who benefit from technological hearing supports. The information provided is by no means exhaustive, but is intended to serve as a resource for parents and professionals working with all populations of children, as they seek to help individuals reach their full potential. Learn more in Tiara V. Malloy’s research paper, called “Sign Language Use for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing Babies: The Evidence Supports It.”

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