Impact Of Symbolic Gesturing On Early Language Development Research

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In this long-term studies called, “Impact of Symbolic Gesturing on Early Language Development,” by Goodwyn, Acredolo, and Brown their purpose is to display evidence by evaluating the effect on verbal language development and “…encouraging hearing infants to use simple gestures as symbols for objects, requests, and conditions”(Goodwyn et al., 2000 p.81). Therefore, they go through a long list of procedures in order to figure out if symbolic gesturing either hampers or facilitates verbal development. Researchers point out, that during the first year of an infant’s life they are exploring their sensorimotor schemes. In other words, beginning at 10 months infants are signally by using a small set of gestures such as “…reaching towards objects to …show more content…
Therefore, researchers, created three groups of infants. Two of the groups were experimental groups, the Sign Training Group (ST) and Non-intervention Control group (NC). In the sign training group (19 boys and 13 girls), parents were encouraged to communicate with their infants through symbolic gesturing. As for the Non-intervention Control group (NC), parents were not aware of the researcher’s interests in language and were not trained. Reason for this, was to compare the two groups. Then the third group, the Verbal Training (VT), which is known as the second control group, was created to make sure the parents did not pay special attention to their infant’s language development. Researchers noticed this problem with the first control group, the Sign Training group. Furthermore, the VT parents were instructed to label as many things as possible during daily interactions. Researchers wanted to make the families experience as similar as possible that way the ST children didn’t have an advantage over the NC children. The total number of infants being conducted in this research included 103 infants, 58 boys and 45 girls. Majority of the children came from middle-class area and started out at 11 months old. Children who were expose to another language other than English …show more content…
Researchers, then did a follow up, to ensure that the ST and VT families model the target gestures or words on a daily basis. For example, toys were sent home to represent the five object concepts. In addition, each family was sent home with “…colorful picture book full of examples of many objects, including the targets, to help them find multiple examples of each referent category” (Goodwyn et al., 2000 p. 87). In this follow up, mothers were also asked to be interviewed by phone, at 2 week intervals. The objective of these meetings was to accumulate data about the recurrence with which every target symbol was demonstrated every day and the nature of any utilization by the child of gestures or words. Laboratory sessions were held to test all three groups at 11, 15, 19, 24, 30, and 36 months. These sessions were videotaped and researchers watched closely for both receptive and expressive

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