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Author: Dr. Susan Easterbrooks Georgia State University zDate submitted to deafed.net – March 24, 2006 zTo contact the author for permission to use this PowerPoint, please e-mail: email@example.com@charter.net zTo use this PowerPoint presentation in its entirety, please give credit to the author.
Georgia State University Series: Motherese/Fatherese Food For Babys Thought Part 2, Presentation 5 July 2001
What is Motherese? The natural way that a parent communicates with a baby or young child.
The interactions between a mother and infant or child will differ depending on the hearing status of both the parent and the child.
A hearing parent and a hearing child A deaf parent and a deaf child A hearing parent and a deaf child The dyads:
Hearing mothers of hearing children: Raise the pitch of their voice. Exaggerate their intonation. Use simple language with short, repetitive words. Speak more slowly. The Hearing Parent and a Hearing Child
Use parallel talk. Repeat what the child says. Pause between words. Use many comments or commands. Hearing mothers, cont
Deaf mothers of deaf children: Respond intuitively to their childs affective needs. cuddle their baby use touch to console or comfort the child, and respond to the childs needs. Use strategies to support the learning of a visual language. sign near an object with which the child is playing wave a hand to draw the childs attention towards them.
Use exaggerated facial expressions when communicating with their baby. Communicate visually. they use visual motherese to facilitate language growth. Use modifications to hold and maintain attention span, allowing for greater time to process language input. sit and wait for their infants to look at them before beginning to sign talk about something before directing the child to look at it Deaf mothers, cont
Modify their signs. use signs that are larger, slower, and have more exaggerated movements signs have strong rhythmicality with frequent repetitions Sign in a fluent, rich manner. communication occurs naturally and results in frequent interactions Deaf mothers, cont
For Hearing Mothers Communication is Challenging zHearing mothers are unsure about communicating with their deaf child. zThey are extremely anxious and often continue to speak to the child as if it could hear. z They use intuitive parenting based on what they know about hearing children. z After age three, hearing mothers communication attempts tend to decrease.
Challenges Continued z Hearing mothers use inconsistent accommodations for their babys visual needs. z Their attempts to communicate are brief and contain few signs. z Although early use of natural gestures were limited, hearing mothers do increase their use of gestures as their children get older.
Challenges Continued zHearing mothers tend to be more dominant in their interactions. zMore utterances functioned to control or to direct behavior. zThey appeared to be didactic and intrusive. z They were less likely to use expansion or to give verbal praise.
The Hearing Parent and the Deaf Child: Habits to change Hearing mothers of deaf children have a tendency to: use insufficient visual accommodations for language to develop.
When attempting to sign, use few facial expressions with their baby. This is one of the most crucial elements of visual communication. Use speech predominately to communicate with their infant regardless of the communication approach chosen. Hearing mothers, cont
Simplify their speech and use simple patterns of syntax. Use less prosodic (sing-song) and intonational changes to their speech. Sign in a stilted, impoverished manner. They often make errors and experience communication breakdowns resulting in fewer interactions. Because the infant cannot hear the mothers voice, attention is most often on an object or event instead of what is being communicated. This lack of communication disrupts the childs development. Hearing mothers, cont
Linguistic Impoverishment z Hearing mother/deaf child dyads result in a linguistic mismatch between the mother and child. z Lack of a shared communication system results in deficient interactions. z Deficient interactions contribute to language delay.
Learning Sign Language z Most hearing mothers have not been taught ASL. When mothers begin signing they tend to use a signed English system, speaking and signing at the same time. z They sign in a stilted, impoverished manner lacking the naturalness of deaf mothers. z They often misarticulate signs and omit grammatical morphemes.
It appears that hearing adults, both parents and teachers, face a tremendous challenge in trying to unlearn habitual communication patterns and to replace them with patterns more appropriate to the visual mode.
zhttp://www.deafchildren.org/ is an organization for parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. ASDC provides support to hearing parents facing the challenge of educating a deaf child. ASDC supports the use of sign language and maintains a positive view of Deaf culture.http://www.deafchildren.org/ The American Society for Deaf Children
The whole family must be committed to working together.
Glossary of Professional Terms Frequently Used Affective Tone: The emotional tone of the parent and overall mood of communication exchanges. Auditory: The sense of hearing. Communication: The active process individuals use to exchange information, ideas, needs and desires with and to one another. Deictic Gaze: The infants gaze is directed at objects. Echoing: Repeating what the child says. Entrainment: Small, synchronous movements an infant makes in response to the adults speech at the phoneme, syllable, phrase, and sentence levels.
Glossary, cont Expansion: To restate what a child has said in a more linguistically correct way. Expatiation: Expanding on a word a child says by offering more information. Gesture: Nonverbal form of communication (i.e. pointing). Intonation: The linguistic use of pitch. Imitation: An infant matches or repeats what an adult or other person does. Joint Action: Routine actions shared between the adult and infant. Joint Attention/Reference: When two or more participants share a common focus on one thing.
Glossary, cont Kinesthetic: An awareness of ones body as it moves through space. Labeling: Attaching a name to an object. Language: A socially shared code or conventional system for representing concepts through the use of arbitrary symbols and rule-governed combinations of those symbols. Linguists: Specialists who work to determine the language rules that individual people use to communicate. Motherese/Fatherese/Parentese: The natural tendency of a parent or caregiver to modify their communication skills to convey meaning to a child.
Glossary, cont Modeling: A natural strategy that takes place during motherese/parentese. Providing a correct example for the infant to imitate and follow. Mutual Gaze: When the parent or caregiver and child are looking at one another. Nonlinguistic Cues: Gestures, body posture, facial expression, eye contact, head and body movement, and proxemics used while communicating. Overarticulating: Stretching out sounds in words to be more precise. Parallel Talk: Describing a childs actions while he or she is doing them. Pitch: The variation in ones vocal sound (i.e. low to high).
Glossary, cont Prosody: The natural rise and fall of pitch during conversation. Proxemics: The physical distance between communicative partners (i.e. between the adult and infant) used in communication. Rate: The speed at which one uses language in communicating. Recasting: To phrase a sentence in various ways. Reinforcement: Anything that increases a behavior. Referencing: Noting the presence of a single object, action, or event for ones communication partner. Responsitivity: The adults tendency to recognize an infants signal and meet that signal with an appropriate and consistent response.
Glossary, cont Stress: The emphasis placed on speech by varying ones pitch or sound of voice. Suprasegmentals: Stress, rate, pause, and intonation used to signal attitude or emotion in speech. Tactile: Perception achieved through the sense of touch. Turn Taking: Turn taking is taught through game playing routines. Visual: Anything that can be seen.
Resources Easterbrooks, S. R. & Baker, S. (2002). Language Learning in Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Multiple Pathways. Boston, MA. Allyn and Bacon in Press, Ch 2. Owens, R, Jr. (1996.) Language Development/ an Introduction. 4 th ed. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Snow, C. & Kuhl, P. (2000). Motherese – parentese or strategies we employ to facilitate language learning. Auditory Verbal Training – Workshops- Consultants – Mentoring. [Online], pp.1- 3. Available:http://www.auditoryverbaltraining.com/motherese.htm. http://rampages.onramp.net/~world/bletter3.html
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