Week 11: Sign Language

Materials from today's class:


In-class activity: Preparing for possible exam questions

We'll watch a video all together in class (no breakout rooms today)
  1. Researchers in the video suggest that "fNIRS has revolutionized the study of human language acquisition in the growing brain". In their view, what advantages does fNIRS has over fMRI, and how does this contribute to our understanding about language acquisition and sign language acquisition?
  2. Would early exposure to a sign language interrupt or disrupt the acquisition of a spoken language? Why or why not? 
  3. What about for deaf children who have received a cochlear implants? Will acquiring a sign language interrupt the healthy development of auditory tissue in the brain?
  4. Dr. Petitto mentions that we often assume speech is "special". She says that one assumption she encounters often is that "speech is absolutely essential for human language acquisition". How did her lab test this assumption? What were the three groups of studies they conducted and what did they learn from them?


Missed live lecture today?

  • You can participate in this activity by watching the video on your own (or with a friend) and trying to answer the questions above.