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Baby Signs and Related Studies Essay (Article Review)

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Updated: Jun 4th, 2022

Symbolic Gesturing and IQ Rates: Article Analysis

When evaluating the significance of Arcedelo and Goodwyn’s research, one must stress that the authors not only made a very interesting commentary on the specifics and significance of baby signs, but also provided the foil for further researches. It is remarkable that the two authors conducted an authentic experiment to prove their point. Despite the fact that the article is relatively old – in fact, it dates back to 2000 – it provides an original and very interesting viewpoint on baby signs as a specific kind of language.

The given study can be classified as a qualitative research based on an experiment. The study was aimed at defining the significance of baby sign language in people’s teenage, adolescent and adult life. It is essential that the key variables in the study are represented by the age of the participants (independent variable) and their background (dependent variable) (Arcedelo & Goodwyn, 2000). Apart from linking the further development to the sign language that children use as they learn to communicate, the researchers set several minor objectives, which stream the research in the right directions. Among these objectives, the link between the symbolic gestures of infants and the encouragement of their parents should be named.

Infants and their means of non-verbal communication were the key participants of the research. According to the results of the research, the more actively children use sign language in the course of their development and in the process of learning language, the better IQ test results they show later. As Arcedelo and Goodwyn explain, the children who used baby signs actively in their early childhood years showed better results in their IQ tests.

Reconsidering the Impact of the Baby Signs: Years Later

As it has been stressed, baby signs affect the communicational patterns that people develop in their adult life. It could be argued, though, that some of the baby signs that children create when they only learn to speak the English language have a direct effect on specific habits or communicational patterns that people develop as adults. For example, such gesture as raising a hand with the palm facing the opponent as a signal to stop comes directly from the language of child signs, in which a child would instinctively stretch his/her hand with his/her palm up in order to avoid the danger or whatever unpleasant is coming his/her way.

Supporting Arcedelo and Goodwyn’s Conclusions: Child Signs

One must mention that Arcedelo and Goodwyn were not the only researchers who looked closer into the specifics of baby signs and the way in which these signs affect people’s lives. Another research that renders the same topic, the paper written by Walter, Meiers and Ginger (2007) takes the idea provided by Arcedelo and Goodwyn and analyzes the significance of child signs on family relationships and the evolution of parent–child relationships.

A major element of people’s lives, non-verbal elements of communication stem from their childhood experiences and offer enough interesting information that can provide foil for further research. The latter may, probably, be aimed at defining the means to use the positive effects of baby signs in young adults and the ways to reduce their negative effects. Conducted with the help of an experiment and a survey, the given research will shed light on how the effects baby signs may be used in adult life.

Reference List

Arcedelo, L. P., & Goodwyn, S.W. (2000). The long-term impact of symbolic gesturing during infancy on IQ at age 8. Brighton, UK: International Society for Infant Studies.

Walter, K., Meiers, R. P. & Ginger, P. (2007). Bringing up with baby signs: Language ideologies and socialization in hearing families. Sign Language Studies, 7(4), pp. 387–430.

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