Alana Sign Language And Communication
At the beginning of the year, if Alana wanted something she took it. If someone was doing something that she did not like she would usually hit, kick, pinch or bite that person. Cindy, Katherine and the other students consistently encouraged Alana to use words and not aggression to assert what she wanted. Eventually, the other children simply tried to avoid Alana. During one observation session in October, I watched Alana move from one group of children to the next attempting to join them. She would push her way into a group but was quickly told that she was not welcome there and that she should go and play some place else. In early November I observed Alana sitting on the carpet sorting colored bears. She asked four girls to play with her but each one refused. She angrily stated, None of you is my friend! The more that Alana was excluded the more aggressive she seemed to become.
As Alana learned more signs, however, her aggressive behavior decreased. She demonstrated less frustration and anger at school. As Alana began to use sign language more, she began to interact with her peers more appropriately. Instead of pushing another child whose behavior she did not like, she would sign stop. The effectiveness of this method of communication perhaps encouraged Alana to use more signs while interacting with peers. She may have discovered that signing was usually effective while physical aggression was not.
Is Sign Language Considered “talking”
SignLanguage should be parked under verbal language even though it does not make any sound because verbal language should be a form of communication where you can easily make sense without guessing or having indefinite meanings. however nonverbals are as such that you may interpret wrongly and have no definite meanings. therefore i put signlanguage under verbal!
Sign Languages: What Is The Importance For The Deaf Community
To understand better, its necessary to look at the historical context of the deaf community:
Until the 15th century, deaf people were considered uneducable worldwide. It was only after the 16th century that the battle for the education of the deaf began, but it lasts until today!
Deaf people have already been greatly harmed by the lack of access to information. After all, if they dont teach you in your mother language, how can you learn? In 1880, the Milan Congress took place. It was an international conference of educators of the deaf, in which they banned the use of Sign Languages. In other words, deaf people could no longer communicate with signs,nor could they be educated in these languages.
Over the years, many flags were raised so that Sign Languages could be regularized, and little by little, with a lot of struggle from deaf people and militants, things began to improve. There is still a long way to go to reach an ideal education scenario for these people, but we have already made good progress so far.
Thats why communication in Sign Language is an achievement for this entire community and should be valued and supported by hearing people!
Don’t Miss: How To Learn Programming Language
Here Are 3 Tips That Should Help You Perfect Your Signing Of ‘calm’:
- Look at the way native signers say ‘calm’: use YouGlish for that purpose. Repeat the track as much asyou need and if required, slow down the speed of the player.
- Record yourself signing ‘calm’ on camera then watch yourself. You’ll be able to mark the points of weakness in your techniques.
- Look up tutorials on YouTube on how to say ‘calm’ in Sign Language.
Sign Language For Toddlers
The sign language taught to normally hearing infants and toddlers is different from the American Sign Language used for the hearing impaired.
Its a limited vocabulary of simple signs, some of which are part of the ASL signs meant to express the common needs of this age group, as well as the objects they frequently encounter.
Most commonly, such signs will signify concepts like more, all gone, thank you, and where is it?
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best App For Learning Languages
Alana Sign Language And A Positive Self
Social interactions were difficult for Alana. She had to work very hard to interact with her peers in appropriate and non-aggressive ways. Many of the children in the class avoided Alana and chose not to play with her. Alana expressed a desire to have friends and showed great delight in participating in any sustained social interactions with her classmates. Unfortunately, social interactions between Alana and her peers often ended in conflict.
Alana was an excellent signer who was usually one of the first children to recall signs and to try new ones. Cindy, Katherine and I praised Alanas signing. She had good motor skills so she was able to make the correct hand shape for signs that some of her peers struggled with. With some prompting from Cindy, the other children permitted Alana to shape their hands into the correct shapes for various signs. She molded their hands and fingers carefully, revealing her gentleness. Through signing she was physical with her peers in a positive and helpful way.
Cindy: What did I sign?
Cindy: Why Im sorry, please excuse me. Thank you Alana.
How Do You Say Quiet In Sign Language
ASLsign for QUIET. The browser Firefox doesnt support the video format mp4. Meaning: Making little or no noise to make or become silent, calm, or still. The concept QUIET is not applied to sound only as commonly perceived by hearing people. Its also used in visual modality. Related signs: SILENT .
Don’t Miss: What Are The 5 Languages Of Love
What Can We Learn From Alana
Alanas story reveals a great deal about teaching and learning. The observation and telling of Alanas story have highlighted three important lessons that we can take into other preschool classrooms. Firstly, Alana reminds us to build from childrens strengths. When Alanas teachers became concerned about her behavior and her participation their first course of action was to combat their negative images of her by focusing on her abilities. Educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy communicate the importance of viewing children as strong and able, explaining that, if we have got a rich child in front of us instead of a problem child, we also become rich pedagogues and we get rich parents. The constructions we make of children influence how we relate to them . Smith argues that when a person is seen as primary and their difficulties as secondary, individuals thinking may change to reflect a greater openness to the person and a greater optimism in regard to the amelioration of the difficulty.
As Alanas teachers looked to affirm her strengths they discovered that her success as a signer was only one of her many abilities. Instead of viewing Alana as a difficult and violent student, Cindy and Katherine identified Alana as a classroom expert whose contributions were valuable to the learning community. Alana, in turn appreciated her own abilities and used those abilities to increase her positive participation in the classroom.
What The Research Says
The good news is that there are no real drawbacks to using signs with your young children. Many parents express concern that signing will delay the expression of verbal communication.
No studies have ever found that to be true, and there are some that suggest the exact opposite effect.
There are studies that suggest the use of sign language doesnt help infants and toddlers acquire verbal language earlier than usual, but even these studies dont show that signing delays the ability to talk.
Read Also: Censorship And Freedom Of Speech
Alana Sign Language And Movement
At the start of the year, Alanas participation during circle time and group instruction was hindered by classroom rules that required the children to sit still and quietly during whole class instruction unless specifically told to move or to speak by a teacher. These expectations were not limited to Cindys class. Silent and still attention was considered a sign of respect at The Palmetto School.
Alana seemed to find sitting still especially challenging. Once again, she was the focus of a great deal of correction from teachers and peers. When she wiggled, the children sitting beside her interpreted Alanas movements as her shoving them. If she rocked her legs from side to side and accidentally touched another child with her leg, she was accused of kicking that child. Perhaps Alanas tendency to act out aggressively towards her peers resulted in them being especially sensitive and suspicious of her touch. Alana was consistently being reminded to keep her hands and feet to herself and to sit still with her hands in her lap. Alana obeyed each time but after 2 or 3 min, her body was moving again. Her attitude did not strike me as one of defiance. Sitting still for more than 3 min was just not something she was developmentally ready to do. Expecting Alana to do so set her up for failure. That Alana was not sitting still often overshadowed her efforts to contribute information during circle time and other moments of group instruction.
Excerpt from field journal:
Teachers Concerns About Alanas Participation In The Learning Community
Cindys and Katherines primary concern regarding Alana was that she would develop a negative self-image due to constant reprimand. The classroom teachers could not permit Alana to harm other students and it was difficult to intervene without her classmates noticing. It seemed to Katherine that she spent more time addressing Alanas negative behavior than she did praising Alanas achievements. Cindy and Katherine both feared that Alana viewed herself as a delinquent rather than as a valuable member of the classroom.
Cindy and Katherine also worried that Alanas peers would further alienate her if she did not develop communication strategies that were non-aggressive. For Alana to build friendships with the students in the class her violent behavior had to be tempered. She needed to find positive ways to communicate her desires and frustrations. By the end of the school year Alana had discovered and utilized a new and effective communication tool. That tool was sign language. The following three sections will address the ways in which using sign language contributed to an increase in participation for Alana.
Also Check: What Programming Languages Should I Learn
But Isnt Sign Language Universal
Many people believe that the American Sign Language is universal, but this is not true. Each country and culture has its own Sign Language. But calm down, well explain it better!
According to the World Health Organization , there are about 466 million deaf people in the world. And just as each country has its own language, the same happens with Sign Languages. It is estimated that there are between 138 and 300 of them all over the world! In addition, there are linguistic variations due to regionalism or even by affinity groups, such as Black ASL, for example.
The languages are alive, which means that it changes over time, varies according to the place and its influenced by the culture of each region. This is the reality of all languages, including Sign Languages!
Sign Languages around the world:
Lets talk about some of the most spoken Sign Languages on the planet and some of the context that goes with them:
- Brazilian Sign Language : its the main language to communicate with deaf people in Brazil, there are approximately 3 million people who use it! A curiosity is that it derived from the French Sign Language and not from Portuguese, as many believe. It also has its own grammatical structure and regionalism. It was only in 2002 that the Brazilian government finally recognized it by law as an official language.
Across China: Chinese Hospitals Adopt Sign Language To Treat Deaf Mute Patients
2019-03-14 19:06:36Editor: zh
NANCHANG, March 14 — You Tianxiu, a deaf and mute woman, attempted suicide twice last month, once by taking pesticide, and the other time by jumping into a river. Fortunately, her family was there to save her.
You, 33 and a native of east China’s Jiangxi Province, developed postpartum depression and was in severe distress due to her disabilities.
“She got irritated whenever she saw her baby, and she even tried to suffocate her baby,” You’s husband Zhou Huiyun, also deaf and mute, said in sign language. “The family asked her to calm down, but she was thinking about taking her own life.”
Zhou said deaf and mute people cannot communicate like other “normal people,” and that when they have psychological problems, they usually hide inside instead of seeking medical help, which only exacerbated their problems.
To better suit the needs of people like You and her husband, Chinese hospitals are beginning to offer sign language services.
In February, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University launched a sign language registration system, allowing disabled patients to bypass long queues. The hospital exempts the patients from their registration fees and volunteers act as interpreters for them. It is the first hospital in Jiangxi to offer sign language services. Similar services have been launched in Henan Province and Shanghai.
After the program was launched, You was admitted to the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University hospital.
Also Check: Example Of An Elevator Speech
Learn To Communicate In Sign Language
If youve ever traveled to a country that doesnt speak your language, you may know how challenging it is to carry out basic daily activities without being understood. Deaf and hard of hearing people experience this in their countries, and often, within their own homes.
Learning to communicate in Sign Languages is also a task for hearing people! This can break down many communication barriers and also promote the inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing people in society, which most often exclude them due to lack of accessibility. Communicating in Sign Language unites the deaf community with the hearing one, and values deaf culture!
You can start practicing Libras and ASL today with the Hand Talk App! An application that uses artificial intelligence and the friendly virtual translators, Hugo and Maya, to teach you in a didactic and practical way. Plus, its also an excellent pocket translator for when you need an extra hand to sign and communicate in Sign Language.
How To Teach Sign Language To Infants And Toddlers
So how do parents teach these signs to their children, and which signs do they teach? There are several ways to teach babies how to sign.
One way thats been described is to follow these rules:
- Start at a young age, like 6 months. If your child is older, dont worry, as any age is appropriate to start signing.
- Try to keep sessions teaching sign language short, about 5 minutes each.
- First, perform the sign and say the word. For example, say the word more and perform the sign.
- If your baby performs the sign, then reward them with some sort of positive reinforcement, like a toy. Or if the session occurs during mealtime, a bite of food.
- If they dont perform the sign within 5 seconds, then gently guide their hands to perform the sign.
- Every time they perform the sign, give the reward. And repeat the sign yourself to reinforce it.
- Repeating this process for three sessions each day will quickly result in your child learning basic signs.
For more detailed information, there are websites with books and videos that offer instruction for parents, but theres usually a fee.
Each of these websites has dictionaries of signs for words and phrases to use for infants and toddlers. Some basic signs can be found below:
Recommended Reading: Quandale Dingle Text To Speech
To Further Improve Your Sign Language Skills We Suggest You Do The Following:
- Learn the alphabet:: this is the basic and the building blocks to signing like a pro.
- Practice with native signers:: hanging out with Deaf people is a good away to practice as it is going to force you to use the signlanguage.
- Subscribe to 1 or more Sign Language teaching channels on Youtube:Check outSigned With Heart andASL Rochelle channelsto name just a few.
Potential Benefits Of Sign Language For Toddlers
Possible benefits of using sign language for your little ones include:
- earlier ability to understand spoken words, especially from ages 1 to 2
- earlier use of spoken language skills, especially from 1 to 2 years old
- earlier use of sentence structure in spoken language
- better bonding between parent and child
- potential IQ increase
From what we know, most of the possible gains found in children seem to level off after age 3. Children 3 years and older who were taught sign language dont appear to have significantly greater abilities than children who didnt sign.
But it may still be valuable to sign with your youngster for several reasons.
Many parents who used sign language reported that their infants and toddlers were able to communicate so much to them during those critical years, including emotions.
As any parent of a toddler knows, its often difficult to know why your child is behaving the way they are. But with sign language, the child has another way of expressing themselves.
While this type of sign language may help your child communicate easier, more research is needed to discover if it can help advance language, literacy, or cognition.
You May Like: Text To Speech App For Windows
Final Reflection On Alanas Story
At the start of the school year Alanas participation in classroom activities was limited. She was identified more by her physical aggression than by her abilities. Alana was excluded from play and during instances of group instruction her contributions were often overshadowed by what seemed to be an inability to sit still.
As Alana learned sign language she emerged as an expert signer. She was able to teach her peers how to construct signs and correct classroom members who used signs incorrectly. While teaching her peers and others sign language Alana was engaged in positive social interactions. She used signs rather than aggression as a physical form of communication, especially when she was highly emotional. During group instruction signing was a way for her to move without being reprimanded for not sitting still.