Clapping is a gesture and clearly communicates something
Photo credit: Stills by Hill Photography
A recent study on teaching kids with the use of gestures could make a strong argument for why baby sign language is growing in popularity so rapidly! Check out what they said about that study over at BabyCenter.
I watch the babies and toddlers all the time in class and can see the attention span increase when I'm signing, and their responses are different to my just saying something versus asking a question. Every new piece of information is being processed by those marvelous little brains of theirs, and the more senses we invoke in the learning the better it sticks. Much like what I share in Signing Story Time is Nourishing Baby's Brain.
When teaching, I tend to use my hands even when I'm not signing. It seems to help me outline my points when I'm delivering information. I can emphasize a point I'm making. There's something innate about gesturing when we communicate, probably because innate that tells us the other person can better receive our message when we do so. What the study reveals is really no surprise to me. Friends of mine who grew up signing because they were also CODAs (Child of Deaf Adult) tended to be in the advanced classes or perform at the top of their class.
The take away here is that YOU ARE YOUR BABY'S FIRST TEACHER, and they understand way more than we give them credit for, so if children learn better from teachers who use gestures, every parent should be making the investment in signing with their baby and toddler to give them an extra tool for optimized learning.
What do you think about the study on gestures improving learning?
Joann Woolley is owner and instructor of Sign4Baby in San Diego teaching parents how to communicate with their pre-verbal baby using American Sign Language. With her in depth knowledge of ASL as her first language she takes you beyond just the basics in signing, also filling your parenting tool belt with parenting tips and tricks coupled with signing as a great boundary teaching tool for toddlers. Want to know which signs most parents start with but gets them stuck in the mud? I'll send you that hundred dollar tip for FREE.