Final Portfolio By rebecca Gage

Cooing, Babbling, One- Word and Two-Word Stages, and Multiple Word stages

Language is very important I any child’s life. In order to better understand the similarities and differences between Deaf and hearing and the different modes of communication, you first need to understand how children acquire spoken language. Starting around the first few months of life, hearing babies are able to play with language that they hear which is why they start cooing. This experiment deals with single sounds and the child is able to merely vocalize single sounds. Once the child reaches about six to seven months, that is when the child tends to start babbling. This babbling first deals with reduplicated sounds such as mamama because they repeat the same letters and sounds, and then move on to nonduplicated babbling in which the child experiments with many different sounds because they are getting ready to start to pronounce words. By the time the child is a year old, they are able to start speaking one word at a time because they are exposed to language and are able to take the time that they practiced with the sounds through babbling in order to start vocalizing one word at a time. By a year and half, they are able to experiment with two words which normally address a need, want, or negation phrase in order for the child to communicate what they are want to do or do not want to do. By to years the child is able to speak over 3 words at a time. Though they do make some mistakes with some of the grammar in these sentences, these children can communicate what they want in a more specific way. Deaf children are usually behind in this process and tend to have acquire half the amount of language as a hearing child does in the same time. Though the Deaf or hard of hearing child is able to acquire those skills needed to speak, the timing is normally delayed. All of these things helps us to better understand how children are able to acquire spoken language.

Sign Language Milestones

This Problem based learning that we did shows more examples of the milestones that those children learning sign language achieve.

Sign language is like any other language because it has similar milestones for babies who learn sign language. Though sign language is a visual language, those babies also coo and practice vocal babbling. This is because the babies make sounds because they react to others and it is a reflective moment for their vocal tracks. Same as with spoken language, these infants are able to start sign babbling by 6 months. These babbles are more the child’s ability to practice these signs with their hands based on the visual feedback they receive from the individual (usually parents or adults) who are signing to them. The sign babbling is not able to start until at least 6 months because their vision is not fully matured until then. One of the biggest differences is that these babies who are learning sign language can produce their first sign by 10 months of age. In most cases these signs the babies produce are not accurate in the handshape, but are more likely to be correct in the location of the sign. The signing infant is able to achieve the two-word stage at the same time that the hearing children are at their two-word stage at about eighteen months. Most of the time these words can be nouns, or negations because that is simply words that children catch onto first. Once the children reach about two years, they are able to combine their signs to create multiple word sentences. These sentences naturally become more mature and more correct in the hand-shapes and even incorporate different devices such as role-shift, classifiers, etc. as they grow older and start to better understand what they are learning and producing. These things help to show how when children acquire sign language, they are not as different in when they start producing language as others might think.

Debunking the Myths

When it comes to Deaf culture and what a person believes in, it is very interesting to see the different misconceptions that tend to arise about Deaf children, ASL, communication, and so forth. One of the first myths is that language and communication are the same things. This is not true in such a way that everything around us has some sort of communication, but language is full of “abstract thoughts”. This is a very interesting way to see that humans have language though those forms of language may not all be the same. The next myth deals with the idea that spoken languages are only verbal and signed languages are only nonverbal. This is a myth because all languages have some form of verbal and non-verbal parts to them. For example, English is spoken, but there are facial expressions that go with them as ASL is non=verbal but nms is verbal aspect of the language. The right idea behind this is signed languages are manual and spoken languages are non-manual languages. One of the next myths is that signed and spoken languages are processed in different parts of the brain. This is a myth because though they start in different parts (ie the eyes and the eyes) the language is received in the Wernicke’s region of the brain. The same goes with producing language in which they both start in the Broca’s area of the brain. The last myth that I wish to discuss is that ASL is no longer needed because cochlear implants restore full hearing. This is not true because even with cochlear implants, the children still struggle in trying to get the language that they need. ASL is a good support because it helps the child understand and process the parts of language that they are missing. All these myths are false and it is because of the knowledge we know now that we can explain why they are false.

Sensitive Period

The Sensitive period is the time where the brain makes connections that help a child grow and develop. Language has to be developed during this sensitive period of time or the child will not be able to develop the language as well as they could have. While it is not common for hearing children to be delayed often, Deaf children tend to not acquire language during this period. This can be because parent don’t understand, but most of the time they do not have a language rich environment and do not master the language skills they need for the rest of their lives before the age of 6 like they should. Without receiving language during this sensitive period, it can affect the child’s language development for the rest of their lives.

Language Deprivation

This is the creative assignment I did to talk more about Language deprivation.

Language deprivation is a serious problem that happens to more Deaf and hard of hearing children than hearing children. This happens when the child in not able to get language during the critical period of their life which cases some languages delays and problems for them in the future. When it comes to ASL, 0-2 years of age is considered native signers, 4-6, considered early exposer, while after 12 years old is considered late exposure. Many people fall in the last category, and it is tough for those people to be able to sign and understand at the same level as those who learned early. One of the most common examples of language deprivation in a severe case is Genie where she didn’t receive language for 12 years and through adulthood struggles with grammar rules including syntax because she did not receive language young. The more we find out about language deprivation the more important language becomes.

Macro and Micro Environment Socialation Influences

Language is very important in order to help children grow and develop. One of the ways that children can do this is through socialization with their family and with other peers. This socialization can help with the children to gain better social, cognitive, and physical development. Micro and Macro environments are very important in terms of language. Micro-environments are able to show what you would expect to happen in different social situations. Macro-environments deal with the area that you would expect a certain socialization habit to happen. For example, in the Ted talk video, when looking for the word water, these hop-spots appeared near the kitchen and the bathrooms. These socialization patterns in the environment are able to show the different influences it can cause on language and how these patterns affect the child.


If the adults in the Deaf children’s lives don’t make sure they are paying attention to language, the children will fail to acquire that language. One of the most important things in this deals with intersubjectivity. Intersubjectivity deals with the communication that adults and children have. This deals with both the child and the adult interacting and understanding each other so that they both can learn and grow. This is an important skill for Deaf children, because without this, the children are not able to fully understand and comprehend the language that is given to them. In this case the parent also must modify their language like with larger signing spaces, slower pace, etc. in order for the children to acquire and understand this language that they need for the rest of their lives. Without intersubjectivity, it makes it harder for Deaf children to acquire language.

Joint Attention

Joint attention means that the child and the adult make eye contact in order for the child to pay attention and understand the language in the environment. This happens when the adult hears or sees something that would be a great language experience for the child. For example, if the parent hears or sees a fire truck, they might stop the child, point, and direct them to the sound of the fire truck. This helps the child to be able to put a name with a object or sound so they are able to recognize it in the future. Joint attention is very important for Deaf children to receive the most information that they can to the information and to recognize the visual cues that are in the environment. Without joint attention, it makes it difficult for parents and teachers to teach Deaf children in the way that they can acquire language.

Joint Attention Strategies with Groups

Joint attention is important, and especially with groups of children, it can be difficult to make sure everyone is paying attention so they can receive the access to the language in the environment. One of the first ways that attentions can be directed so that the Deaf students can learn is through the help of two adults. Sometimes in a classroom there is a TA that can help the teacher to make sure the students can learn. The teacher can ask her TA to get the children’s attention in order to have some of the other students pay attention to her followed by the rest of the students. This is effective especially during an event like sharing time. Another strategy that the teacher can use is to direct the students’ attention to something such as a picture by pointing or saying look. This also ties into another strategy in which the teacher can make her signs bigger so that the students can pay more attention and can understand what she wants from them. Overall all these strategies help the students to receive better access to language to help them in their future.

Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence

Fluid and Crystallized abilities are very important because it helps Deaf children and the way that they process information. Crystallized abilities deal with the ideas and knowledge that someone has based on experiences, things that they have learned, etc. Most of the time this type of ability is in verbal state. Fluid abilities are how someone can process the information that is given to them. This is mostly non-verbal and this can be in form of something that you remember, recognize, etc. These abilities can help children to recognize that feelings are important and that you should think about more than just yourself. Another way that these abilities can be tested is through a false belief test. This means that the children recognize something that they know, but it is a little bit different such as if a box of paper was filled with chocolate, the students would say that the box had paper because that is what they know from experience in the past. These different abilities help the children to recognize and develop other abilities in the future and learn from experiences.

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