Dancing with Words: Signing for Hearing Children's Literacy

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - Education - 183 pages
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One of the foremost authorities on the use of sign language with hearing children provides a guide for teachers and parents who want to introduce signing in hearing children's language development. Marilyn Daniels provides a complete explanation for its use, a short history of sign language and its primary role within the Deaf community, an identification of the steps to reading success delineated with suggestions for incorporating sign language, and finally the results of studies and reactions of children, teachers, and parents. She shows how sign language can be used to improve hearing children's English vocabulary, reading ability, spelling proficiency, self-esteem, and comfort with expressing emotions. Signing also facilitates communication, aids teachers with classroom management, and has been shown to promote a more comfortable learning environment while initiating an interest and enthusiasm for learning on the part of students.

Sign language is shown to be an effective agent to accelerate literacy in hearing children from babyhood through sixth grade. A comprehensive exploration of the physiological rationale for the educational advantage sign carries is presented. Overlapping integrated brain activities are incited by movement, vision, meaning, memory, play and the hand itself when sign language is used. Recent findings clearly indicate this bilingual approach with hearing children activates brain growth and development.

 

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Contents

Introduction
7
Sign Language
11
Reading
21
Research
31
My Studies with Typical Students
33
Reactions of the Participants
69
Other Researchers Studies with Typical Students
81
Children with Special Needs
97
Inclusive Programs
107
Theory
121
Why It Works
123
Doing It
145
In the School
147
In the Home
169
Index
181
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Page 12 - Gallaudet founded in 1817 the first permanent school for the deaf in the United States — the American School for the Deaf, now located in West Hartford, Connecticut. The American Sign Language, known as Ameslan, until recently has been considered "bad English" by many who thought that it would impede the progress of deaf children in learning English.

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About the author (2001)

MARILYN DANIELS is Associate Professor of Speech Communication at The Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of Benedictine Roots in the Development of Deaf Education: Listening with the Heart (Bergin & Garvey, 1997) and numerous articles in communication education journals.

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