Little 16 month old came to meet petit fille yesterday . He arrived with dummy in mouth, and iPad under his arm. He has been taught a form of sign language ( no he is not hearing impaired nor are his parents) over verbal language and he is already a deft hand playing with his iPad
As a teacher i am more than a little concerned. I feel that his verbal development is being restrained by the use of signing over speaking. Apparently it cuts downing frustration but as his parents are the only ones who understand him it is very limited. His social interaction with other children is going to be interrupted.
Then the iPad. It was a lovely story about farm yard animals but I noticed that he was just scanning it. His level of concentration is miniscule. This is a problem we are encountering now, students skim read and do not read to learn.
Another child born and raised in this country has been spoken to only in her parents native tongue, a middle European language because they want her to be bilingual. Bilingual is great but at three she should be using English as well. Social interaction with her peers is again restricted and she will be starting her education with English as her second language.
Maybe my generation is showing, but I am of the opinion that these parents while they are trying to do the best for their children are setting their child up for a less than successful start in our main stream world.
What do you think?
Update: just found this article on the subject too. Eric Carle and iPad babies.