" I can understand perfectly well what my child wants, thank you very much' is the typical refrain of baby sign sceptics. I have found, however, that my daughter's needs very quickly became a great deal more complicated than hungry,..."

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Which sign language system does Bizzy Bee Signing use and why?

Bizzy Bee Signing aimes to give children an effective means to communicate before they can speak. For this reason, we are not teaching a complete sign language with its corresponding rules and grammar. Instead we are focusing on individual words that are relevant to young children.

Tristan signing 'more'

There is no international sign language and sign languages are typically not related to spoken languages either. For example, there is no common sign language used in English-speaking countries or French-speaking countries. Additionally, sign languages have dialects just like spoken languages and you might find three, four or even five different signs for the same word in one sign language.

We have chosen signs from American Sign Language (ASL) and, in cases of multiple signs, have ‘handpicked’ those signs we feel are most appropriate for use with children. For example, where there is a choice between a one- and a two-handed sign, we have chosen the one-handed sign as this allows you to do the sign while you are carrying your child. Other reasons for choosing a particular sign might be how intuitive a sign seems to be, given the meaning of the word it represents, or how easy it is to make. As we only use signs for individual words, they can be used with any spoken native language(s) of the child.

Tristan signing 'ball'ASL is closely related to French Sign Language (LSF), another of the most widely used sign languages. In fact, ASL and modern French sign language share over half of the same vocabulary. In addition to ASL, there are a number of sign languages that evolved based on LSF. Therefore, ASL also shares similarities in terms of vocabulary and structure with the following sign languages: Dutch Sign Language (NGT), German Sign Language (DGS), Flemish Sign Language (VGT), Belgian-French Sign Language (LSFB) Irish Sign Language (ISL), and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ).

The initial signing experience with Bizzy Bee Signing provides a good basis for learning ASL or any other sign language.