Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Baobab App

Guest Post by: Leslie Caldwell, Speech-Language Pathologist at the Kansas School for the Deaf

Leslie is back on the blog today to review the first of three bilingual apps in the world of the deaf and hard of hearing.

The first of three bilingual storybook apps have been released through the National Science Foundation funded, Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) at Gallaudet University research center. 
This app, created by an all-deaf team, was developed to aid in the acquisition of language and reading skills in all children, especially Deaf/HH children. One of the apps key features is the interactive support by an ASL (American Sign Language) user. It also includes an ASL and spoken English glossary of 150 signs. For families that want to learn sign language this is a great way to learn basic signs together and participate in a shared reading experience.
Extensive research has gone into the development of this application. VL2 states “Early exposure to bilingualism provides tremendous higher cognitive, language, and reading advantages for young children and the advantages continue throughout their entire lifetime. Research has proven that these beneficial effects, known as the ‘bilingual advantage’ in child development, holds true for children learning two spoken languages as well as deaf children learning both ASL and English.”
Whether you have a child that is Deaf or Hard of Hearing or just a child who likes technology or storybooks, this is a great app to share together.
~Leslie Caldwell, Speech-Language Pathologist at the Kansas School for the Deaf

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