Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Language May Play Important Role in Learning the Meanings of Numbers

From the National Science Foundation:

New research conducted with deaf people in Nicaragua shows that language may play an important role in learning the meanings of numbers.

Field studies by University of Chicago psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow and a team of researchers found deaf people in Nicaragua, who had not learned formal sign language, do not have a complete understanding of numbers greater than three.

Researchers surmised the lack of large number comprehension was because the deaf Nicaraguans were not being taught numbers or number words. Instead they learned to communicate using self-developed gestures called "homesigns," a language developed in the absence of formal education and exposure to formal sign language.

More at: http://nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=118586&org=NSF&from=news

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