Eye-gazing, reflection, and object permanence
The six-month-old baby Juli had been having fun studying reflections in different contexts in the past months. But, this week was the theme in which she explored eye contact in depth through reflections.
Juli watched me through a reflection on the TV screen in the family room. As I walked out of the family room into the kitchen, my reflection disappeared and Juli turned her gaze toward me.
This suggested something about her awareness of the reflection and the object permanence.
Further with an experiment, I kneeled down behind Juli in front of the television set. We looked at each other through the reflection. Every time I ducked down below the TV set, my reflection disappeared. Juli turned around and looked at me.
In the bathroom, she looked at me in the side mirror while I looked at her in the main mirror. That is, we had no eye contact.
Then I shifted my gaze and looked at her in the side mirror and she looked at me in the main mirror. I followed (or "chased") her gaze, alternating between the two mirrors a few times more.
Juli smiled every time I caught her eye contact in the mirror reflection. We shared big smiles and laughs. It was like a "cat and mouse" chase game.
Another time in the hallway, as I alternated my gaze at Juli in person and "her" in the mirror. Juli followed my gaze and maintained eye contact between the mirror and me.
In this activity, I maintained my body still, completely unmoved, while my gaze shifted. This suggested that Juli was able to see small movement well with sensitivity.
Another time, Juli sat in front of the fireplace at my aunt's place. She studied the fireplace screen while aunt, cousin and I chatted. It was a long moment of stillness.
To check what Juli was up to, I turned around and looked at the fireplace screen. Then following Juli's gaze, I looked downward and met her eye contact in the reflective bars below the fireplace. Our eyes locked and Juli grinned ear to ear. We laughed.
The ASL words and phrases that I used with Juli that week (m7w1) are as follows: mirror, mother go-out-to work, drink, water, full?.. and some more.
Learning the idea of cause and effect
For the next two weeks (m7w3), Juli continued to watch me through various reflections -- on the fridge surface, television screen, fireplace glass, and so on.
Sometimes she watched me waiting patiently till I noticed her. Then she smiled and turned her head towards me.
Whenever she saw me in the reflection, I greeted her in ASL or simply in gestures like blowing a smack or waving hand.
Videoclip: Juli inspected the nature of reflection, interactivity, and space-time that was different from real-life interaction.
Live interactivity with another person via videophone was a different idea of the cause and effect that Juli was studying or inspecting that was different from 4-dimensional interactivity.
Videoclip: Juli was engaged by the signing shadow when I signed.
As I was driving, Juli turned her head around to watch me for a while. It appeared that she recognized the connection of our eye contact in the rear mirrors with her parent actually behind her.
Recognizing the difference between reflection and video
Juli's exploring reflections hadn't stopped. During the last week of the month, I was watching a documentary movie on my laptop. Juli was watching with me. But, I then realized she was watching something else.
The video was in full screen but there was black columns at both sides. Juli was looking at me in the reflection on the black surface. She watched a juxtaposition of the video and the real-life reflection.
Video clip: Kim interacted with Juli, talking about what Juli was exploring. Her gaze shifting appeared to be well developed.
Video clip: Crystal counted Juli's toes as well as her fingers. This activity doesn't require face to face.
Video clip: Crystal named colors of the hands in an artwork hanging on the wall. Juli listened.
This documentation project follows a baby's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, week by week from gazing at birth to manual babbling, to first words just before the first birthday in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.
- 0;0: Baby's eye contact in sign language development
- 0;1,2: Following people or objects with eyes
- 0;1,3: First social smiles in response to signing
- 0;10: Emerging referential words in ASL
- 0;11,1: Responding to simple requests in ASL
- 0;11: Emerging one-word stage in sign language
- 0;1: Nursery rhymes in American Sign Language
- 0;2,4: Eye-hand coordination beginning
- 0;2,5: Communicating nonverbal body language
- 0;2: From reflexes to motor control with hands
- 0;2: Parentese: child-directed talk in sign language
- 0;3: Bringing hands together and to mouth; grabbing
- 0;3: Gaze shifting between picture and ASL word
- 0;4: Gaze-shifting, gaze turn-taking, gaze-following
- 0;4: Marginal babbling in sign language
- 0;5,4: Distinguishing ASL words from animal visues
- 0;5: Communicative babbles in sign language
- 0;5: Paying attention to signing
- 0;5: Reading and language play in sign language
- 0;6: Canonical (syllabic) babbling in sign language
- 0;6: Eye-gazing, reflection, and object permanence
- 0;6: Understanding words in sign language
- 0;7: Babbling with meaning
- 0;8: Variegated babbling in sign language
- 0;9: Gestural pointing for names in sign language
- 1;0: Naming pictures or objects in new contexts
- 1;0: Pointing and naming
- 1;0: Signing from babbles to signed words
- 1;0: The one-word stage in sign language
- 1;1,4: Making a conversation with strangers
- 1;1: Baby pointing to self and people
- 1;2,1: Making requests; Categorizing the world
- 1;2: Asking for help using the ASL word
- 1;2: Signing manners: "thank-you" and "please"
- 1;3,1: Following requests in ASL
- 1;3,3: Talking about non-present referents in ASL
- 1;3: Getting attention and leading by hand
- 1;4,2: Asking for another (different) one
- 1;4,3: Forming a first compound-like word
- 1;4: Baby picking up signing on videophone
- Baby sign language: myths debunked
- Cooing and imitation in sign language
- Raising a bilingual child in ASL and English
- Technology and culture: baby needs for signing family
The second-year and third-year documentation continues to follow the same child's language and phonological acquisition and literacy development in ASL on a weekly basis from the one-word stage to two-word and multiple utterances.
- 1;10,2: Toddler producing facial expressions
- 1;11,4: Acquiring English as a second language
- 1;11: From shaking head to answering "no"
- 1;11: Making reversal errors in ASL possessive pronouns.
- 1;11: Naming the ASL numbers one and five
- 1;4,4: Answering to wh-questions in ASL
- 1;5,3: The emergence of asking "where"
- 1;5,4: Gestural vs linguistic pointing
- 1;5: Listening via peripheral vision in ASL
- 1;5: Two-word utterance stage in sign language
- 1;6,1: Baby signing ASL "sorry"
- 1;6,4: Toddler signing her name sign
- 1;6: Phonological development in signing
- 1;7,2: Signing interjection "shh" and ASL "stop"
- 1;7,3: Phonological development in sign language: 1, R
- 1;7: Recognizing + naming a few colors in ASL
- 1;8: The multi-word utterance stage in sign language
- 1;9,2: Answering with the ASL word "yes"
- 1;9: Recognizing and naming the ASL alphabetical letters
- 2;0: Classical "fis phenomenon" in sign language
- 2;0: Language and literacy in sign language
- 2;0: Language play in signing
- 2;0: Role-shifting pronouns in sign language
- 2;1: Using classifier verbs (depiction) in ASL
- 2;1: Using inflected verbs in sign language
- 2;2: ASL phonology in handshapes: R, U, V, W
- 2;3: Handshape errors: A for J; W for F
- 2;3: Reading, literacy, and sign language
- 2;4: Producing interjections in sign language
- 2;5,3: Emerging ASL prepositions in toddler
- 2;5: ASL phonology: handshapes K or P and T
The documentary continues to follow the same child's ASL language and literacy development on a regular basis from age three to four. It surveys ASL phonological acquisition and more complex utterances.
- 2;10: Signing personal names
- 2;11,1: Toddler signing I love you a lot
- 2;11,2: The 2nd phase of negation acquisition
- 2;11,3: Toddler expressing the concepts of time
- 2;11,4: Incorporating a number with ASL sign
- 2;5: Fingerspelling and fingerspelled loans
- 2;6,4: The emerging stage of ASL multi-utterances
- 2;6: Asking a wh- question in sign language
- 2;6: Counting numbers up to ten in ASL
- 2;8: ASL phonology for the handshapes: I, L, Y, E
- 3: Fingerspelling and reading development
- 3: Language and literacy development
- 3: Using ASL reflexive pronouns
- 3;0: Expressing quantity and counts in ASL
- 3;0: Preschooler using ASL prepositions
- 3;0: The emergence of ASL negation "not"
- 3;1: Phonological development: handshapes 3, 7, and 8
- 3;1: Preschooler using ASL conjunctions
- 3;2: Cross-language influences in ASL and English
- 3;5: Telling time and days in sign language
- 3;6: Using a listing grammar in sign language
- Age 3: says the darndest cute in sign language
- Age 3;10: Writing and typing through ASL literacy
- Age 3;6: Using conditional statement with IF
- Age 3;7: Asking questions "why" and "how" in ASL
- Age 3;7: Talking about dreams in sign language (literacy)
- Age 3;7: Using ASL indefinite pronouns
- Age 4: Darndest things to sign in ASL
- Age 4: Learning how to write English (K)
- Age 4: Literacy development through ASL anglish
- Age 4: Reading English and telling in ASL (K)
- Age 5: ASL language and literacy (Grade 1)
- Age 5: Drawing skills
- Age 5: Learning basic math (K)
- Age 5: Writing English (Grade 1)
These posts on ASL-English bilingualism, language acquisition, and bilingual education may be of an interest for parents who raise a bilingual-bimodal child in ASL (or another signed language) and English (or another written and/or spoken language of its respective) as well as informative and educational for ASL specialists, educators, and professionals.
- Bilingualism and cochlear implants in deaf children
- Brain: language is not central to speech
- Clearing up common myths about bilingualism
- Critical things that hearing professionals won't tell you
- Critical time for learning all languages
- Deaf children: early exposure to language
- Fingerspelling with CAN attitude
- How SimCom can be harmful to language
- Ideal education for deaf children
- Language acquisition rights for deaf children
- Language development milestones in ASL from age 0-4
- Phonological acquisition from babbling to ASL words
- Phonological development in ASL: a case study
- Should you learn sign language for your deaf child?
- The Critical Need for Providing Early Visual Language to the Deaf Child