Sign language instruction for babies does not speed, enhance language development, research shows
Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire have found no evidence to support claims that using baby signing with babies helps to accelerate their language development. In a paper to be published in Child Development, researchers conducted a controlled study to evaluate the benefits of symbolic gesture or baby sign.
Baby sign is used by many parents to communicate with their babies before he or she is able to talk. It is claimed that baby signing helps babies learn to talk, increases their vocabulary as well as improving the bonding between mother and baby.
The team of researchers led by Dr Liz Kirk, from the University of Hertfordshire's Department of Psychology, recruited forty mother-baby pairs to the study when the babies were eight months old. Every mother-baby pair was randomly allocated to either a gesture or no gesture condition, and each baby's development was systematically tracked over a twelve-month period.
Dr Liz Kirk said: "Although babies learnt the gestures and used them to communicate long before they started talking, they did not learn the associated words any quicker than the non-gesturing babies, nor did they did they show enhanced language development."
Mothers More Responsive
However, of significant interest, the study's findings did reveal that mothers who gestured with their babies were more responsive to their babies' non-verbal clues and encouraged them to think of their baby as an individual with a mind. This has great potential in clinical situations where early gestures from babies or young children may provide timely interventions where there is risk of language delay or impairment.
The full research paper, "To Sign or Not to Sign? The Impact of Encouraging Infants to gesture on Infant Language and Maternal Mind-Mindedness ", is published online in Early View ( an online version published before inclusion in an issue) at Child Development.
More information: onlinelibrary.wile… 4.x/abstract
Journal reference: Child Development
Provided by University of Hertfordshire
- Baby lab reveals surprisingly early gift of gab Dec 09, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Study of new moms to explore differences in infant development May 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Scans could aid delivery decisions Apr 16, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- It's true - babies do direct their mothers Feb 23, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Research looks at what’s best for babies Mar 14, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
4 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
Psychology & Psychiatry 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet, indicates research published online in the Journal of ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 16 hours ago | 2 / 5 (1) | 2
More people are being diagnosed with eating disorders every year and the most common type is not either of the two most well known—bulimia or anorexia—but eating disorders not otherwise specified (eating disorders that ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Turns out, that old "practice makes perfect" adage may be overblown. New research led by Michigan State University's Zach Hambrick finds that a copious amount of practice is not enough to explain why people ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 17 hours ago | 3.3 / 5 (12) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Individuals who learn two languages at an early age seem to switch back and forth between separate "sound systems" for each language, according to new research conducted at the University of Arizona.
Psychology & Psychiatry 19 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 1 |
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
13 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In a remote fishing community in Venezuela, a lone fisherman sits on a cliff overlooking the southern Caribbean Sea. This man –– the lookout –– is responsible for directing his comrades on the water, ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
16 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (16) | 7 |
A novel approach to obstructing the runaway inflammatory response implicated in some types of asthma has shown promise in a Phase IIa clinical trial, according to U. S. researchers.
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Authorities are investigating rice mills in southern China following tests that found almost half of the staple grain in one of the country's largest cities was contaminated with a toxic metal.
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Delayed transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU) in hospitalized patients significantly increases the risk of dying in the hospital, according to a new study from researchers in Chicago.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0