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A few words from Etel

For as long as I can remember I’ve been intrigued by language. My mom shares stories about me as a one-year-old, recalling how I would very dramatically pronounce multi-syllabic words such as “individually” and “encyclopedia.”  Perhaps this is a case of a proud mommy with a foggy memory, but it’s definitely in line with the passion with which I was born.

As time passed, I became fluent in English, Hebrew, Arabic and, most recently, Sign Language – languages with four different alphabets and symbols.  My love for languages soon began to focus on how children and adults acquire language.  This is where my career as a Language Specialist began, 19 years ago.

I obtain my Master of Science from Pepperdine University, and my Bachelor in Hebrew Grammar & Literature, Arabic Language & Literature from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. I am a Certified Presenter for the International Sign2Me Network and the founder of SignShine®, a company devoted to teaching American Sign Language to children, their families, caretakers, and teachers.  My continued fascination with languages shows in my energy and dedication to teaching (see my detailed resume).

My greatest passion, of course, is my children – a toddler who started signing when she was 10 months old, and a baby boy, influenced by his older sister’s abilities, who started signing at 8 months.  My daughter’s first sign was ‘more,’ as she sat in her high chair wanting more to eat. By the age of 13 months she had 60 signs in her vocabulary and she’s still signing today – now up to 400 words!  Little brother’s first sign was ‘milk’ and my husband has dutifully made sure both kids know the sign for ‘daddy.’

Building healthy relationships with our children is the greatest gift – both for our little ones and for us.  And as we all know, every healthy relationship has its foundation in clear communication. Sign Language provides babies with an early way to communicate, giving us a jumpstart on connecting deeply with our kids.  This is the reason I feel so fortunate to have discovered Baby Sign Language because it combines my two greatest commitments - language communication and nourishing the bond between children and their loved ones.

It is an honor to be with you as you begin your Baby Sign Language journey.
Let the Sign Shine,
Etel Leit
I dedicate this site to my mom, who always encourages me to pursue my dreams and believe in myself – even in the most challenging of times.
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