According to the MacArthur-Bates CDI Words and Sentences Assessment,
these are the foods and drinks that your child should know and, more importantly, say or sign.
Here are printable vocabulary cards you can use with your child.
Animals your child should know, from P to Z, with videos of their corresponding sign:
What is Joint Attention?
From birth, parents respond to their infant’s coos, smiles, and movements as though they are meaningful communicative acts, and may smile, vocalize, or otherwise imitate their infant’s actions. These types of exchanges, sometimes called “proto-conversations,” are important for the infant’s developing emotional and social competence, including bonding and attachment, as well as early understanding of turn-taking and meaningful communication.
Beginning around six months, as infants become more mobile and start to explore the world around them, the focus of their attention shifts to the objects in their environment. Soon after that, they begin to coordinate attention between caregivers and objects in a meaningful way by looking, for example, back and forth between the caregiver and the object. This kind of shared focus between a child, a caregiver, and an object or event is known as joint attention. ¹
The Importance of Joint Attention
How to Develop This Skill (Listening & Spoken Language)
Your child may need more time to understand what turning his/her head means, so don’t be discouraged if this skill is slow for him/her to learn.²
How to Develop This Skill (ASL)
¹Visual Language and Visual Learning Science of Learning Center. (2012, June). Eye Gaze and Joint Attention (Research Brief No. 5). Washington, DC: Amy M. Lieberman
²Mawhinney, L. & McTeague, M.S. (2004). Joint Attention. Early Language Development. Super Duper Publications.
Did you know that babies’ eye contact is linked to language development?
Here are a few things you can do at home to develop eye contact with your baby:
According to Linda Mawhinney and Mary Scott McTeague,
NPR also did a piece highlighting the link between babies’ eye contact and language development, which you can read or listen to by clicking here. The transcript from the radio show can be found below.
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Next, we hear about research that links babies’ early eye contact with their later language development. Reporter Michelle Trudeau tells us that a study appearing in the current issue of Developmental Studies pinpoints how this connection emerges.
MICHELLE TRUDEAU reporting:
Researchers at the University of Washington videotaped babies to try and capture an important transition in infants’ social development. When is it that babies begin to follow the direction of another person’s gaze? Psychologist Rechele Brooks and Andrew Meltzoff studied about a hundred babies, nine-month-olds, 10-month-olds and 11-month-olds. In a quiet room at the university’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Brooks would sit at a table across from a baby who’d be on Mom’s lap. Down at each end of the table, there was a bright plastic toy.
Ms. RECHELE BROOKS (Researcher, University of Washington): So I would look at the baby. The baby would be looking at me. And once I had established eye contact, that’s when I took that moment to turn to the side.
TRUDEAU: Turning her head to the left or right, looking at one of the toys on the table. When Brooks did this, she sometimes had her eyes open but sometimes she shut her eyes just before she turned her head in the direction of the toy.
Ms. BROOKS: Nine-month-olds were consistently looking at the toy whether my eyes were open or closed. They did not really care. They seemed to be following my head motion rather than whether I can make eye contact with the toy or not.
TRUDEAU: Now bring in the 10-month-olds, same test, very different results.
Ms. BROOKS: Ten-month-olds, they’re going to look at the toy with me much more often when my eyes are open than when my eyes are closed.
TRUDEAU: So just 30 days later and babies will typically start to lock on to your eyes to discover an object. Now Brooks also recorded if the babies made any vocal sounds at the moment they looked at the toy with her. She and the moms were completely quiet. Here again the nine-month-olds didn’t vocalize but the 10- and 11-month-old babies did.
(Soundbite of baby)
Ms. BROOKS: It’s as if the baby goes, `Uh-huh, we’re looking at the same thing,’ and they seem to be making an extra connection.
(Soundbite of baby)
TRUDEAU: And that extra connection pays off later on. These little vocalizations made specifically when looking at the toy with Brooks are linked to later language development.
Ms. BROOKS: When children make that extra connection, when they’re looking at the same toy as the adult but they also go, `Hmm,’ that little extra vocalization, those kids are the ones that end up being more advanced with their language development.
TRUDEAU: Understanding twice as many words at 18 months as the babies who did not make those little sounds eight months earlier. So it’s the two behaviors coupled together at 10 and 11 months, first following a person’s eyes and then vocalizing upon seeing the toy that powerfully predicts later language comprehension. Developmental researcher Peter Mundy from the University of Miami calls this important milestone joint attention.
Mr. PETER MUNDY (Developmental Researcher, University of Miami): Watch how your baby begins to follow your gaze, and when they do follow, pay attention to that and respond to that because that’s a fundamental building block for language and social relatedness. And the more you can encourage it, the more fun you’re going to have with your infant and it may also have a benefit for their early development, as well.
TRUDEAU: Because it indicates, says Mundy, that your baby is beginning to understand your point of view and your intentions, essential early ingredients for a baby in becoming socially aware of other people.
You can learn more about language development in Linda Mawhinney and Mary Scott McTeague’s activity book, Early Language Development, published by Super Duper Publications.
I stumbled upon a fantastic, informative website.
But it’s more than just a website. It’s a movement.
This is what they say about themselves:
“We bring the best research-based strategies to teachers, parents, administrators, librarians, childcare providers, and anyone else involved in helping a young child become a strong, confident reader. Our goal is to bring the reading research to life — to spread the word about reading instruction and to present ‘what works’ in a way that parents and educators can understand and use.”
I just had to share the classroom strategies that I found there. Here’s a peek…
Further down, they list the different categories of strategies with guidance.
Here’s an example of one of their strategies — word maps.
This is a gift to all teachers, professionals, parents, and families who actively play a role in a child’s language and literacy development. Many thanks to Reading Rockets for providing educators with this wonderful resource.
Did you find this helpful? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In classrooms for children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH), written language instruction is part of a rich literacy-learning environment. Written language instruction is not handwriting. It is an expressive version of language just like speaking. Instruction on how to form letters is handwriting. Written language starts with the idea that words have meaning and can be written down.
In Mayer’s (2007) article, “What Really Matters in the Early Literacy Development of Deaf Children,” the author highlights the importance of creating a rich literacy-learning environment and describes a classroom that: includes practices that are relevant, purposeful, and functional for the learner . . . [and] provide daily opportunities to experiment with reading and writing, linking literacy experiences and the active use of language (p. 424).
Here are two activities that teachers can try with students in the classroom or parents can try at home.
Let us know what you think about these activities, whether you found them helpful or if you need help in another area of language/literacy development. You can write to us at email@example.com.