Why ASL?

Researched and produced by Justin Jackerson

Mayberry, Rachel (1998) The critical period for language acquisition and the deaf child’s language comprehension: A psycholinguistic approach. Bulletin d’Audiophonologie: Annales Scientifiques de L’UniversiteĢ de Franche-ComteĢ, 15
Woolfe, Tyron/Herman, Rosalind/Roy, Penny/Woll, Bencie (2010), Early Lexical Development in Native Signers: A BSL Adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates CDI. In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 51, 322–331.
Pichler, Debbie C. LIN 510: Introduction to first and second language acquisition. Gallaudet University, Washington D.C.. Sep. 2011. Lectures.

Special thanks to Dr. Deborah Chen Pichler for making this happen.


Sunday, October 30th, 2011. Filed under: L1 Linguistics

7 Responses and Counting

  • Crystal 10.30.2011

    Wow – if only more speech therapists could see this…more administrators…if they could get statistics in their hands that bear out this truth – couldn’t it change the lives of so many deaf children? I would love to see this information passed on to those in charge of education in my state, by professionals whose words would be listened to!

  • Yes I wish more people would follow this. It is so important. ASL is a beautiful language and the deaf culture is so important.

  • I am hearing and I am so surprised this is a necessary vlog about teaching young deaf children ASL. My friend who is a pre-school special ed teacher taught me to teach my daughter (hearing) signs and we started communicating very early. My daughter moved quickly to speech, but my same friend had a boy–his sign vocabulary was so high before he could speak– because as with most hearing boys–his speech developed later than girls. Along with all the powerful research in this vlog, I notice kids are less angry and prone to temper tantrums because they can communicate and be understood. So I feel EVERYONE regardless hearing status should learn signs. The earlier language is wired in the brain, the better for all.

  • Wish I could say I’m surprised too. Nevertheless, thank you for sharing your story and thoughts.

  • I agree with this, however, I think it happens too late so often because, well, let’s face it…90% of Deaf babies are born to hearing parents who don’t know ANY ASL at all. It’s hard to develop a strong first language when your own parents can’t speak in your natural language! How would one remedy this situation, short of taking a baby away and exposing it to signs from native signers? Fluency in ASL takes years to master. How can a parent take a crash course and give a strong ASL base to a baby? I really want to know how this can be done! All the audiologists tell them different things. (Ugh) I know when you have a strong first base in one language, it is MUCH easier to develop a strong second base in another language.

  • SL

    This is fantastic, and I would like to share it. Is there a subtitling or captioned option so that hearing parents, who know absolutely nothing about Deafness and ASL, can fully understand all the key points too?

  • The typography beside the signer is the English version of his message. Hope this help!

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