Sign Language Story Time and Learning

Sign Language Story Time and Learning

Infant and Child Development Center (Northwestern University)

Who Can Participate

For babies aged 6 months who reside in the United States

What Happens

In this study, your baby will first watch a short video of a woman narrating a children's story in American Sign Language (ASL). Your baby will then see a series of objects while a woman points to and labels these objects in ASL. Lastly, your baby will see two new objects at the same time, and we record which object your baby chooses to look at more.

What We're Studying

Previous research has found that listening to language boosts infant learning. More recently, we also found that sign language - like spoken language - helped little babies as they learn about categories (such as "animals" or "food"); however, this advantage of sign language disappears quickly, by 5 months. Here, we are asking if we can bring back that initial sensitivity to sign language by letting infants see sign language in use. This study will help us understand the importance of experience in specifying the range of signals that will support learning in infancy.


15 minutes


$5 Amazon gift card. After you finish the study, we will email you a $5 Amazon gift card within 1 week. To be eligible for compensation, the following criteria must be met: (1) your child must be in the age range for this study and must not have previously done this study; (2) you need to submit a valid video consent statement; (3) we need to see that there is a child with you in the study participation video.

This study is conducted by Dana Chan (contact:

Would you like to participate in this study?