ASL Vocabulary Acquisition

The majority of deaf children experience a period of limited exposure to language—spoken or signed. This is called language deprivation, and it has cascading effects on many aspects of cognition. The goal of the current project is to understand the factors that predict sign vocabulary acquisition in children who are not at risk for language deprivation (i.e., have been exposed to a sign language from birth), in order to establish a benchmark from which to begin to understand how deaf children with language deprivation learn new signs. We will create three tests of early ASL vocabulary (a parental report, an expressive vocabulary test, and a receptive vocabulary test), which will ultimately be made publicly available for use teachers, early intervention professionals, and researchers.  

This work is supported by the National Institute On Deafness And Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R21DC016104. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.