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Vocabulary & Speech

» Language Acquisition of Hearing Children
» Vocabulary and Speech Benefits
» Signing and Bilingualism
» Overviews/General Interest

Language Acquisition of Hearing Children

AgeNon-ASL ChildASL Child
6-8 months - Signs first word
9 months Understands simple words (mom & dad) Signs up to 75 signs
10 months Says first word Understands signed phrases
12 months One or more real words spoken Real words spoken
Signs 2-3 word phrases
Can sit & watch a picture book signed
18 months Understands simple phrases
Says 20-50 words
Uses 2 word phrases
Says 30-70 words
Uses 2-5 word phrases
Looks at picture book with Mom
24 months Says at least 150 words
Can sit & listen to a picture book
Says at least 150 words
Can understand everything that is said
3-5 years Can understand everything that is said
Says 1000-2000 words
Knows 10 Letters
Says 1000-2000 Words
Reads a picture book with a little help
Knows all the Letters

Vocabulary and Speech Benefits

Acredolo, L.P., Goodwyn, S.W., & Brown, C. (2000). Impact of symbolic gesturing on early language development. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 24, 81-103.

Allott, R. (1994). Gestural equivalents of language. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from:

Anthony, M., & Lindert, R. (n.d.). National study of signing smart children. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from:

Daniels, M. (1994). The effect of sign language on hearing children's language development. Communication Education, 43(4), 291-298.

Daniels, M. (1994). Nonverbal language and manual speech. The Speech Communication Annual, 8, 51-60.

Daniels, M. (1996). Previously masked concepts: The communicative role of language in deaf and hearing cultures. Ohio Speech Journal, 34, 1-15.

Daniels, M. (1996). Seeing language: The effect over time of sign language on vocabulary development in early childhood education. Child Study Journal, 26(3), 193-208.

Daniels, M. (2001). Sign education: A communication tool for young learners. Speech Communication Association of Pennsylvania Annual, LVII, 77-95.

Daniels, M. (2001). Sign language advantage. Sign Language Studies, 2(1), 5-19.

Daniels, M. (1994). Words more powerful than sound. Sign Language Studies, 83, 155-166.

Moore, B., Acredolo, L., & Goodwyn, S. (2001). Symbolic gesturing and joint attention: Partners in facilitating verbal development. (Paper presented at the Biennial Meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development.)

Robertson, S. (2007). Using sign to facilitate oral language: Building a case with parents. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from:

Schunk, H. A. (1999). The effect of singing paired with signing on receptive vocabulary skills of elementary ESL students. Journal of Music Therapy, 36(2), 110-124.

Signing and Bilingualism

Daniels, M. (1993). ASL as a possible factor in the acquisition of English for hearing children. Sign Language Studies, 78, 23-29.

Daniels, M. (1996). Bilingual, bimodel education for hearing kindergarten students. Sign Language Studies, 90, 25-37.

Daniels, M. (2003). Using a signed language as a second language for kindergarten students. Child Study Journal, 33(1), 53-70.

Overviews/General Interest

Daniels, M. (2005). Deaf President Now and American sign language: Seeing rhetoric. Pennsylvania Communication Association Annual (in press).

Jaworski, M. (2000, October 3). Signs of Intelligent Life. Family Circle, p. 14.

Kokette, S. (1995). Sign language: The best second language? Retrieved November 10, 2007, from:

Paul, P. (2006, January 8). Want a Brainier Baby? Time. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from:,9171,1147180-1,00.html

Snoddon, K. (2000, May) Sign, Baby, Sign! World Federation of Deaf News, 13(1), 16-17. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from: