Babies may connect words to their referents by gazing long before they can express by finger-pointing or uttering a word.
For example, Juli turned her gaze toward a referent when I signed the ASL word. Likewise, Grandma Z reported that Juli turned to gaze toward the door or window door when Z told Juli, (translated as) "Mom will be coming home soon."
In an activity, I introduced three written English words to Juli (age 8;4) by writing on the little whiteboard: dog, baby, and mama and articulated them in ASL that Juli were familiar with.
Through several rounds, the patterns were similar in which Juli was kind of indifferent to the signed words #dog along with tapping on the lap and baby. But, Juli became excited every time the ASL word mother came up.
When the ASL word mother came up, Juli looked at the art images (one of those was the image of me) in one direction and also she turned around to look at the photographs of me in the other direction.
In the video, Juli also responded to "dog" by tapping on my lap twice throughout the video.
The video clip from last week shows that Juli appeared to learn the relationship between the ASL word #dog or the older sign (a hand tapping on the leg) and the picture of the dogs.
In the last part of the video clip, I asked Juli ix what? (English translation: What is this?). Juli responded by tapping on my leg.
Note: Grandma Z reported that earlier she taught Juli the ASL word "dog" and tapped on her leg. Juli tapped on her leg also.
Then when Z pointed at the cat in the picture book, Juli tapped on her lap. Perhaps, they look alike or perhaps Juli overcategorized them. Or perhaps she found the closest association she could express.
This week Juli and I took a stroller walk on the sidewalk. The cat sat on the porch. I stopped and pointed to the cat. Juli turned and looked. She patted on her lap.
Earlier Grandma Z reported that Juli patted on her lap when grandma showed her the picture of a dog in the picture book. The same result with another image of the dog.
But then, as Z pointed at the image of the cat. Juli patted on her thigh. It showed that Juli might overgeneralize dogs and cats together -- furry friends with pointed ears and tails.
The ASL words and phrases that I used with Juli (age 8;4) lately were as follows: where [insert here]?, #dog, read book, read book done...
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.
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.
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.
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.