The benefits of supporting your baby's
early language development
Here are just some of the many benefits of learning Early Language, Communication and Sign skills with your baby.........
Benefits of learning Early Language and Communication Skills
Critical age of language acquisition
Research suggests that there is a critical age at which babies are able to acquire language. This window of opportunity starts from in the womb until about the age of five years old. After this age children and adults are still able to acquire language, but it can be more challenging to do so.
So make the most of this window of language learning opportunity and support your baby learning these important early language skills now.
Babies need language to learn and learn through language
Language is the key to supporting your baby's overall development: Social, Emotional, Physical, Psychological and Cognitive. As to understand and learn about their world your baby needs a language to be able to communicate about it. Learning and language are inextricably linked.
Start their language and learning now, by providing a strong language foundation which will strengthen their ability to learn about their world.
Reduce communication frustrations
Communication frustrations can present themselves through a variety of behaviours: withdrawn/quiet baby, biting, anger, hitting, snatching, crying. Sometimes this is due to the baby not knowing how to communicate appropriately as they need support and encouragement to learn these skills. Sometimes they are using very clear skills of communication but the adult is missing them for a variety of reasons.
Learn how to reduce your baby's communication frustrations. Happy baby, happy parent!
Share their world with them
Your baby has been experiencing their world from birth.
They are starting to understand what is going on and want to share these magical moments with you.
Learn how to be involved in their world through a shared language, rather than an observer of their routine.
Confident Communicators are Confident Children
When babies can clearly express their needs, thoughts, feelings and interests in a confident way and are responded to appropriately they feel valued as an individual and become confident children.
Learn how to support your baby to express their needs, thoughts, feelings and interests clearly and confidently.
Benefits of learning Communication and Sign Skills
'It's not surprising that babies can learn how to sign. Both their understanding of language and their motor skills develop much faster than their ability to speak'
Retrieved from internet March 2013: www.babycenter.com/0_signing-with-your-baby-or-toddler-how-to-communicate-before_1449533.bc
Babies acquire language through enriching language experiences using all their senses. Key NZSL signs in partnership with spoken language provides a physical, visual and auditory way of experiencing language. Using a multi-sensory approach supports the development of multiple connections in your baby's brain. This develops your baby's language and learning skills.
Learn how to enrich your baby's language learning through using key signs.
Physical skills develop faster
Sign language uses physical skills. As physical skills develop much faster than verbal abilities, it is easier for your baby to communicate using key signs.
Support the development of your baby's language skills through using their well developed physical skills.
Share a Language, share an understanding
Babies naturally experiment with babbling and this should be encouraged to support the development of their spoken language skills. Sometimes their babbling skills can't quite keep up with the information that your baby would like to share with you. Katie loved to talk about caterpillars and helicopters. However, Katie's word for helicopter was 'da da da da' which was the same for her word for caterpillar 'da da da da'. She was so excited to share this new understanding, but could become frustrated when people couldn't understand her and I was concerned that she would become discouraged from attempting her new verbal communication skills. So I introduced the signs for 'caterpillar' and 'helicopter'. Then it was clear to everyone! Which gave Katie the time and confidence to persevere with her babbling skills for these words.
Some words may sound the same verbally, but can be represented very differently through signs. Signs can Provide clarification of communication and reduce communication frustrations.
Abstract words and abstract concepts
Signs can make abstract concepts and words like 'emotions' become more visual, real and 'concrete' to a baby.
Signs are real where some words are not actually 'there' for your baby to actually see.
Mixing it up - using sign and spoken language.
A baby that has a sign and spoken vocabulary has twice the vocabulary bank to draw upon for communicating. Katie would often use a mixture of signs (usually for the hard to pronounce words like helicopter) and her words to have a conversation. For example 'Look da da da da high!' as she signed helicopter. I could respond to her clear communications AND extend her language as I knew exactly what she was talking about.
Key signs in partnership with spoken language can extend a baby's language and learning.
Signing is natural
Have you noticed how natural it was for your baby to learn to wave bye-bye? These actions demonstrate your baby's natural potential to communicate with you using signs. Introducing key signs is a natural progression from these natural ways that you already communicate with each other and means that you both share the same language.
Support the natural way your baby already communicates with 'signs'.