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ERIC Number: EJ1028342
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1547-5441
Learning to Look for Language: Development of Joint Attention in Young Deaf Children
Lieberman, Amy M.; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I.
Language Learning and Development, v10 n1 p19-35 2014
Joint attention between hearing children and their caregivers is typically achieved when the adult provides spoken, auditory linguistic input that relates to the child's current visual focus of attention. Deaf children interacting through sign language must learn to continually switch visual attention between people and objects in order to achieve the classic joint attention characteristic of young hearing children. The current study investigated the mechanisms used by sign language dyads to achieve joint attention within a single modality. Four deaf children, ages 1;9 to 3;7, were observed during naturalistic interactions with their deaf mothers. The children engaged in frequent and meaningful gaze shifts, and were highly sensitive to a range of maternal cues. Children's control of gaze in this sample was largely developed by age two. The gaze patterns observed in deaf children were not observed in a control group of hearing children, indicating that modality-specific patterns of joint attention behaviors emerge when the language of parent-infant interaction occurs in the visual mode.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory