Visual Language and Learning (VL2)


Bilingual ASL/English storybook apps for children

ID: 2111
School: Research Center/Lab
Program: Visual Language and Learning (VL2)
Status: Ongoing
Start date: September 2012

Description

VL2 released the first of its planned ASL/English storybook apps, "The Baobab," in early 2013. The research-based design of storybook apps will encourage children to be immersed in a bilingual environment, with ASL storytelling and active vocabulary words. Selected vocabulary comes with video components, including signed and fingerspelled words. Storybook apps are designed for the iOS, and runs on all iPad versions. More stories are forthcoming: "The airplane who could" and "The boy who cried wolf." Development is underway for an Author App Program, a website portal, which allows developers and educators to download code and assets to build their own bilingual and interactive storybook apps.

Principal investigators

  • Herzig, Melissa • Science of Learning Center on Visual Language & Visual Learning (VL2)
  • Malzkuhn, Melissa • Science of Learning Center on Visual Language & Visual Learning (VL2)

Priorities addressed

Funding sources

Approved Products

2019

Malzkuhn, M., Baer, C. (2019). Buck and Bull. VL2 Storybook App, 2019. Vers. 1.0. Apple App Store, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/buck-bull/id1449739216.

Malzkuhn, M., Kettering, T. (2019). VL2 Storybook Creator, Software, Vers. 2.0.


Sign language comprehension and mental rotation abilities

ID: 3998
School: Research Center/Lab
Program: Visual Language and Learning (VL2)
Status: Ongoing
Start date: September 2019
End Date: October 2020

Description

Past work investigating spatial cognition suggests better mental rotation abilities for those who are fluent in a signed language. However, no prior work has assessed whether fluency is needed to achieve this performance benefit or what it may look like on the neurobiological level. We conducted an EEG experiment and assessed accuracy on a classic mental rotation task given to deaf fluent signers, hearing fluent signers, hearing non-fluent signers, and hearing non-signers. Two of the main findings of the study are as follows: 1) Sign language comprehension and mental rotation abilities are positively correlated and 2) Behavioral performance differences between signers and non-signers are not clearly reflected in brain activity typically associated with mental rotation. In addition, we propose that the robust impact sign language appears to have on mental rotation abilities strongly suggests that “sign language use” should be added to future measures of spatial experiences.

Principal investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources

Approved Products

2020

Kubicek, E. & Quandt, L. C. (in press). A positive relationship between sign language comprehension and mental rotation abilities. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.

Kubicek, E.. A positive relationship between sign language comprehension and mental rotation abilities. Dissertation. Gallaudet University.