Which language we should use when teaching our baby sign language?
I got to know how important sign language is from your previous answers. thank you!
I am wondering which language we should use when teaching our baby (6 months old) sign language as we speak cantonese, mandarine and english and we want him to be able to speak all those languages later on.
thank you so much!!!
Thank you for your questions.
There are a couple of different ways to introduce baby sign language in a bilingual or trilingual home. There are two schools of thought concerning introducing a child to more than language and using sign language also:
The first way you can do it is to separate the language by person. For example if you speak English and your partner speaks Mandarine, you would speak English and introduce the sign while your partner would speak Mandarine and introduce the sign.
The second way to do it is to separate the language by place. For example, home may be where you would speak Mandarine and sign the word and then anywhere outside the home, you would use English and sign language. The first method seems to be the most effective and popular way.
In your case, if you want to introduce all three languages, I would get your partner to speak and sign in either Cantonese or Mandarine and you would speak and sign in the Cantonese or Mandarine. Then English would be the language that your child would learn later from childcare / preschool. It is important though, that you educate your childcare on what the baby signs mean so they too can understand him.
I hope this helps and best of luck.
Keep in touch and let me know how you go.
22 Mar 2008