lördag 13 mars 2010

Om Baby signs - nya synpunkter från Acredolo och Golinkoff

Jag väntar fortfarande på att Voffarna ska lägga upp artikeln om "Baby-signs" på nätet, för jag ids banne mig inte knata till biblioteket och läsa den.

Men så länge så vill jag bara föra fram vad Roberta Golinkoff fått för synpunkter från Linda Acredolo (en av de forskare som låg bakom "baby sign" idén) från början. Det jag redogör för nu är det som skrivs på en "list-server" för barnspråksforskare som jag är med på.

Acredolo säger att grunden för "signing with babies" redovisas i en artikel i peer-review tidskriften Journal of Nonverbal Behavior (2000, 24, 81-103). Och hon menar att denna artikel redovisar varför det är en solid slutsats att "tecknande" underlättar språkutveckling. (Om man vill få hennes bemötande av ett annat paper kan man maila henne ... men jag lämnar inte ut e-mailen här.)

Faktorerna bakom denna effekt är följande (och nu klipper jag direkt Acredolos text):

  1. The experience of signing teaches babies useful lessons about how language works--lessons that speed up the process of learning to talk once words are finally available.  By enabling a baby to practice learning and using symbols to label objects, express needs, and describe feelings, and also by helping babies differentiate concepts, signing creates the mental framework which makes it easy to incorporate words as soon as a baby’s articulatory abilities enable him/her to do so.  


  1. The natural reaction by a parent to their baby’s use of a sign is to “bathe” the child with words, and, as we all know, the more words a child hears, the faster he or she will learn to talk. For example, when a baby signs “BIRD” while strolling through the park, parents automatically respond with something like,  “Oh, you see the bird!  Yes, that’s a bird—and there are some more birds over there.  Oh, look, the birds flew away.  Bye bye birdies!”.  This exposure to words is exactly what children need to learn how to say the words themselves. What’s more, the sign has enabled the baby to choose the topic, making it very likely that the baby will pay attention to the words the parent says. Support for this belief comes from Mike Tomasello’s work with word learning which showed that babies learn language more rapidly if parents follow a baby’s lead. Using signs results in children hearing lots of words and sentences directly relevant to the topic they have chosen


  1. Just as babies learn to crawl before they can walk, signing gives them a developmentally appropriate way to communicate before they can talk. Once children learn to crawl, the excitement they feel at being able to get around on their own provides motivation to get around even better—and that alternative is walking.  Similarly, once children experience the joy of communicating with signs, they are extremely motivated to find even better ways to do so—and that alternative is through words. 


  1. Signing increases interest in books, and books expose children to new vocabulary.  Because signs enable a baby to take an active role in book-reading at earlier ages (by labeling pictures with signs), babies who sign tend to really enjoy book-reading, thereby engaging them in a very helpful, language-rich activity.

Och själv tycker jag att Acredolo argumenterar bra och rimligt.

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