In comparison with the rest of the world the United States is very much a monolingual country. While our counterparts in Europe usually speak 2 or 3 different languages in the United States only 15 to 20% of the population can be characterized as able to fluently speak a foreign language.
As we move into a more global economy it is imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure our kids learn a foreign language or in the case of first generation or second generation immigrants that they preserve their familiar tongue.
Baby Sign Language is the very first opportunity you will give your child to develop the ability of associating visual feedback with a verbal concept. That very ability will set the stage for fully grasping the idea that two different locutions or in the case of BSL a symbol and a locution can represent the same object or action.
You Need To Start Early
Every infant is born with the capability to mimic all sounds available across all languages; This ability quickly fades as the child focuses on the phonetic structure specific to the main language spoken at home. By the time a child is 10 months old his or her ability to mimic sounds begins to diminish as they focus on vocabulary expansion. With this in mind, make it your goal to expose your child to all manner of phonetic variation though music and through speech. At the same time use signs to serve as a connector between two languages.
In our home we do it by singing simple songs where we simultaneously sign and say the concept and then we reinforce it in our second language of choice.
You Need To Be Consistent
One of the biggest barriers you will encounter when teaching a child a second language is the temptation to not be consistent. Even in homes where the parents are fully bilingual there is a language that dominates and one that becomes secondary. Constantly remind yourself that language is learned by contextual repetition
You Need To Seek Out Native Speakers
Every language has sounds that are specific to it. If you are not a native speaker look for opportunities to expose your infant to native sounds through the use of videos, music or by hiring a caregiver who is a native speaker.
Our flash card set is now customized with handwritten stickers that include the word in Spanish and French, By the time our babies turned 2 years old they had a vocabulary of over 50 words that they could sign and say in English, Spanish and French.
If you are a new parent, don’t miss out on the opportunity to set the stage for a multilingual life. Your kiddo will thank you for a long long time.
If you found this information useful, check out our award winning baby sign language kit. It includes more than 600 signs, covers advanced teaching methods for faster results, and includes fun teaching aids like flash cards.
The Standard Baby Sign Language Kit, bundles together everything you need to get started with signing in one box, at a steep discount. The kit includes: (1) Baby Sign Language Guide Book; (2) Baby Sign Language Dictionary: (3) Baby Sign Language Flash Cards; and (4) Baby Sign Language Wall Chart.
Baby Sign Language Guide Book shows you how to teach your child how to sign. The book begins with a Quick Start Guide that will teach you your first signs and having you ready to sign in 30 minutes. As your baby progresses, you can delve into more advanced topics like combining signs to make phrases, using props, and transitioning to speech. (Regularly $19.95)
Baby Sign Language Dictionary contains over 600 signs including the most common words, the alphabet and numbers. The dictionary helps you expand your child’s vocabulary, and has the breadth of coverage that lets you follow any child’s natural interests. Each sign is illustrated with two or more diagrams, showing you the starting position, the ending position, and intermediate motion. This makes learning new signs easy. (Regularly $19.95)
Baby Sign Language Flash Cards include 52 sturdy board (4×6 inches) flash cards, covering a variety of basic signs. The flash cards allow you to teach words, such as animal names, that Baby is not exposed to in everyday life. The face of the flash cards shows the word and image for the child. The back of the flash cards show how the sign is performed, a handy reminder for the adult. (Regularly $24.95)
Baby Sign Language Wall Chart includes 22 basic signs, and makes a handy reminder for caregivers. The Baby Sign Language Wall Chart covers basic signs, like eat, drink, and sleep. Hang the poster in Baby’s Nursery to help babysitters, or other occasional caregivers learn and decode the most commonly used baby signs. (Regularly $9.95)
Baby Sign Language Guide Book
Learn the best techniques for effectively teaching baby sign language. Including:
• Quick Start Guide – learn the first 10 signs and the basic principles required to start teaching your baby to sign (Chapter 1).
• Advanced Teaching Methods – use teaching aids like books, flash cards, and toys to keep lessons interesting and challenging (Chapter 5).
• Phrases – teach your baby to combine signs and communicate more complex thoughts (Chapter 6).
• Taming the Terrible Twos – reduce frustration and tantrums by enabling your toddler to communicate (Chapter 7).
• Transitioning to Speech – use sign language to expedite and improve speech development (Chapter 8).
Baby Sign Language Flash Cards
52 high quality flash cards (4 x 6″). Featuring:
• Clean Images – real life pictures, isolated on a white background to make learning easier.
• Signs on the Rear – diagrams on the back illustrating the signign motion in case you need a reminder.
• Baby Friendly – printed on thick stock so little hands can play with the cards and they will live to play another day.
Baby Sign Language Dictionary
The Baby Sign Language Dictionary includes :
• Words (500+) – learn signs for nearly every topic of interest.
• Letters – sign the alphabet and teach basic spelling.
• Numbers (0-10) – introduce counting and basic mathematics.
Baby Sign Language Wall Chart
The full color wall chart (24 x 36″) includes 17 everyday signs. Use the wall chart for:
• Caregivers – help babysitters and other caregivers learn the basic signs so they can understand baby’s signs.
• Family – teach family the basic signs so they can join in the fun.