English Proficiency I : Forum-Is it always spoken? Scientists have long debated why babies babble. They suggest that babblingshows a baby’s growing sensitivity to the patterns and the rythms of human speech.From birth to before six months of age, babies have the ability to recognize thesounds of almost any language in the world. It is during these first six to ninemonths that babies acquire their native “babbling language”. A normal baby startsfirst with simple syllables together to sound like real sentences and questions. Whathappen, though, to children who cannot hear ? How do deaf children learn tocommunicate ? Based on our topic, we have invited some guests to tell us more on ourpleassure. Firstly, I would like to introduce Education professor, Miss Alicia Roberta,who has been studying on how babies learn language for more than 30 years; MissCelline Daniel, PhD, professor of Speech communication at Pennsylvania StateUniversity, and Madam Susan Ericson, who is credited with the popularization ofbaby sign language. She is also the inventor of the “Sign With Your Baby System”certified instructor who teach the language to parents and babies nation wide.Chairperson : Alright, lets talk about the patterns of deaf babies of deaf parents learn their languages.Celline : Scientists found that only 10% of all deaf children are born to deaf parents, are clearly a minority in the deaf population. However, these children have linguistic advantage over deaf children of hearing parents. Deaf children of deaf parents have an accessible language available to them from an early age. Consequently, they develop language at about the same rate as their hearing counterparts. Deaf babies of deaf parents babble with their hands in the same rhythmic, repetitive fashion as hearing babies who babble with their voices.Chairperson : How deaf babies learn their languages from the interaction with their deaf parents compared those hearing babies ?Alicia : Deaf parents often sign in front of their deaf infants and may often enlarge their children’s signs just as hearing parents elongate spoken
words in “baby talk”. The deaf babies who presumably watch their parents use sign language at home start their manual babbles before they are ten months old, the same age hearing infants begin stringing together sounds into wordlike units.Chairperson : Apart from that, what’s the difference of gestures between deaf children and hearing children?Celline : The gestures of the deaf children do not have real meaning but they are far more systematic and deliberate than the random fingers flutters and fist clenches of hearing babies. The motion seem to be the deaf babies fledgling attempts to master language, said dr. Laura An Pettito, a psychologist at McGill University in Montreal. She found that the deaf parents use ASL to communicate with their deaf babies. The deaf babies have the potential to indicate something when their hand signs are placed together with other gestures.Chairperson : Now, let Madam Susan tells us the description and linguistic structure of ASL.Susan : Well, ASL is an autonomous linguistic system independent of English. It is a visual,spatial or gestural language that is very expressive and dependent on visual cues of the hands, body and face. ASL is symbolic and systematic, it has it’s own morphology and syntax. ASL was originated in the United States in the late 18th centuary. It was transformed into a true language that has been taught to many deaf people. Like all other languages ASL uses arbitrary symbols and it’s “word”. Word order of ASL varies according to emphasis, giving the user many expressive possibilities.Chairperson : If so, how ASL can be applied in education?Susan : Across North America, the majority of deaf children attend public schools. Some of them rely on lips reading and other people as note takers, while others may have an ASL interpreters in the classroom. ASL as well as signed English appear to serve, equally well, the same roles on thinking as spoken language does for hearing children.
Chairperson : Next, let us discover on how hearing parents knowing that their children are deaf and therefore how their children learn theirlanguage.Alicia : Deaf children of hearing parents typically begin language acquisition later as a result of parents not knowing that their child is deaf, often until the child is two to four years old. Therefore, a manual form of language is not used infront of the infant, nor is the child receiving another type of effective communication training because the infant cannot hear information presented orally.Chairperson : After being diagnosed, what are the first move of the parents?Celline : After being diagnosed, some of these children may eventually first learn on manual coding of English in the home along with speech. Some of the hearing parents begin to learn ASL to teach theirchildren.Chairperson : So, what are the findings after the babies being taught ASL in a certain period?Alicia : The deaf babies seemed to make hand movements over and over again. Their hand’s motions started to resemble some of the basic hand-shapes used in ASL. Next, they form some simple hand signs and use these movements together to resemble ASL sentences.Chairperson : Linguists believe that humans are born with capcity for language. A baby’s brain is capable of learning any foreign language ing the world. This is possible because the brain of an infant is malleable to mold of the environment. A hearing baby whose parents are deaf and those babies of deaf parents will be doing sign language. They will communicate with their fingers, hands and facial expressions. For those hearing babies who have one deaf parent will babble equally with their hands and voices. The capacity for language is uniquely human. As a result, the sign system of deaf is physical equivalent of speech. In a nutshell, the old theory that only the spoken word is language will have to be changed. At the end of this meeting, we
would like to thank to our guests for sharing their opinions. Thank youfor spending your precious time with us.