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Special FREE Twilight Event - Sign as a First Language - Models and Milestones for Deaf Infants and Toddlers
Skip Navigation LinksVictorian Deaf Education Institute > Professional Learning > Special FREE Twilight Event - Sign as a First Language - Models and Milestones for Deaf Infants and Toddlers

​​​​​​Dr Pat Spencer will be presenting this special twilight event on Thursday 5 May 2016 at VDEI, as part of an online literacy project currently in development.

How is the developmental process of learning sign (or signed) language similar—and how different—from that for learning spoken language?  Exploring those processes reinforces the idea that potential for language is not limited to a single mode; instead, language is a deeper, symbolic process that can be represented through emphasising one of several modes. In addition, characteristics of supportive communication and language input are similar whether parents are using primarily speech or primarily sign:  Supportive language input is responsive, rhythmic, "now" oriented, contains simple syntax, assumes meaningfulness of child productions; however, sensitivity to visual attention is especially important with visually-based communication.  Finally, the question of learning language in more than one mode (sign as well as speech) will be addressed:  Can these two approaches be mutually supportive?—or are they destined to compete?

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After attending this twilight, participants will:

  • understand "language" as a deep, cognitive and linguistic process not limited by modality of reception and production
  • understand how natural sign languages (e.g., Auslan, ASL) differ from signed systems or sign supported speech
     
  • identify characteristics of adult/parent communication and language input that effectively support development in sign(ed) and/or spoken language
  • recognize stages of infant visual attention development and communicative strategies used by fluent adult signers to accommodate and respond to them
  • identify steps and stages in early sign language development in fluent signing environments, similarities and differences with  (on average) deaf children in less-fluent environments as well as typically-developing hearing children
     
  • consider the potential for sign (or signed) language to support development of spoken language and literacy.  

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Dr Spencer studied education and child development before receiving a doctorate in Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas.  At Gallaudet University, she served as a diagnostic classroom teacher, administrator of a diagnostic and program-planning centre for deaf and hard-of-hearing children, and was a Research Scientist in the Centre for Studies in Education and Human Development, eventually retiring as Professor in the department of Social Work.  She received a J. William Fulbright Senior Scientist research award in association with the Bionic Ear Institute in Melbourne, Australia, in 1999 and subsequent awards to provide program consultation in Mysore, India, and Damascus, Syria.  Before and after "retirement," she has served as a consultant on program evaluation, co-authored and co-edited a number of books on development of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals from infancy through adulthood, presented lectures and workshops, and taught in the Educational Leadership doctoral program at Texas A & M University in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Most recently, she co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies in Language and is co-author of Nurturing Language and Learning: Development of Deaf and Hand-of-Hearing Infants and Toddlers.  

LOCATION

The VDEI Learning Centre Victorian Deaf Education Institute ​    

597 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004​​

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The closest train station to VDEI is the Prahran station, on the Sandringham line.
 
The closest tram stops are Tram Stop 27 (cnr St Kilda Road and High Street) and Tram stop 28 (cnr Punt Road and High Street).

PARKING

Two parking options are available within close walking distance to VDEI's learning centre.

1.  Metered street parking is available on St Kilda Road and High Street; and

2.  All day paid car parking in nearby complexes, we recommend:
  • Pullman Melbourne Albert Park, Queens Road (crn Lorne Street)
  • ​Wilson Carpark, Queens Lane.
Please check their websites for accurate prices and early bird specials.

Unfortunately there is no longer access to parking facilities on site at VDEI.​
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Dates and Times

Thursday, May 5, 2016

5:00 PM till 7:00 PM

Add to Calendar5/5/2016 5:00 PM5/5/2016 7:00 PMAustralia/MelbourneSpecial FREE Twilight Event - Sign as a First Language - Models and Milestones for Deaf Infants and Toddlers​​​​​​Dr Pat Spencer will be presenting this special twilight event on Thursday 5 May 2016 at VDEI, as part of an online literacy project currently in development.How is the developmental process of learning sign (or signed) language similar—and how...VDEI 597 St Kilda Rd Melbourne Vic 3004Victorian Deaf Education Institutevdei@edumail.vic.gov.au

Audience
Teachers of the deaf, speech pathologists, audiologists and parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing
Cost

Standard

No Charge

Location
VDEI 597 St Kilda Rd Melbourne Vic 3004