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Bilingual deaf and hearing families : narrative interviews (Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 2012),
Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2011),
Educating emergent bilinguals: Policies, programs, and practices for English language learners (New York: Teachers College Press., 2010),
Multilingualism: A critical perspective (London: Continuum., 2010),
Bilingual education in the 21st century: A global perspective (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009),
Bilingualism: A social approach (Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan., 2007),
Language, cognition, and the brain: Insights from sign language research (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates., 2002),
Working with deaf pupils: sign bilingual policy into practice (London: David Fulton Publishers, 2002),
Language acquisition by eye (Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates., 2000),
Assessing BSL development: Receptive skills test (Coleford: Forest Books, 1999),
Educating deaf children bilingually: With insights and applications from Sweden and Denmark (Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 1995),
Sign language: the study of deaf people and their language (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985),
Words in Hand: A structural analysis of the signs of British Sign Language (Edinburgh, UK: Moray House College/Carlisle BDA., 1984),
The deaf school child: Language and cognitive function (London: Harper & Row, 1979),
‘Exploring the Discourse on Communication Modality after Cochlear Implantation—A Foucauldian Analysis of Parents’ Narratives’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 2014,
After pediatric cochlear implantation, parents have to make decisions concerning which communication modality the child and the child’s family may use. The choice has to be made against a background of opposing views on communication modality in follow-up after pediatric cochlear implantation. The opposing views form a discourse that has been a core issue in the international body of literature for a long time. For hearing parents caught up in this ongoing controversy, the choice can be a difficult one. The study reported in this article explores the discourse on communication modality and is based on 27 written parental accounts on experiences with follow-up. From the perspective of Foucault’s thinking, discourses exert knowledge and power. Drawing on Foucault, the study explores how the discourse on communication modality is constructed, how it operates, and how it governs thinking and acting. The Foucauldian analysis brings to the fore the complex nature of the discourse and states that follow-up, which is intended to be helpful for parents, may induce insecurity and frustration. The study brings into conversation a broader understanding of the discourse on communication modality and addresses a need for increased awareness on how the discourse governs thinking and acting in follow-up.
‘Exploring letters in a bimodal bilingual nursery school with deaf and hearing children’, European Early Childhood Education Research, 22 (2014),
‘Spoken English Language Development Among Native Signing Children With Cochlear Implants’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 19 (2014), 238-250,
Bilingualism is common throughout the world, and bilingual children regularly develop into fluently bilingual adults. In contrast, children with cochlear implants (CIs) are frequently encouraged to focus on a spoken language to the exclusion of sign language. Here, we investigate the spoken English language skills of 5 children with CIs who also have deaf signing parents, and so receive exposure to a full natural sign language (American Sign Language, ASL) from birth, in addition to spoken English after implantation. We compare their language skills with hearing ASL/English bilingual children of deaf parents. Our results show comparable English scores for the CI and hearing groups on a variety of standardized language measures, exceeding previously reported scores for children with CIs with the same age of implantation and years of CI use. We conclude that natural sign language input does no harm and may mitigate negative effects of early auditory deprivation for spoken language development.
‘Investigating deaf students' knowledge of Persian syntax: Further evidence for a critical period hypothesis’, Neurocase, 20 (2014), 346-354,
The present study aims to investigate syntactic deficits in 13 Iranian deaf students aged between 17 and 21 years. Four tests in the form of sentence-recognition and sentence-completion were administered to examine their knowledge of verb inflection, derivational morphology, word order, and prepositions. A between-category analysis of errors indicated a significant dissociation between categories, most notably between verb inflection and derivational morphology and between word order as the category with fewest errors and the three others. On theoretical grounds, the fact that subjects have not acquired much syntax even after years of learning seemed to strengthen the significance of acquiring syntax and morphology in the early years. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
‘Young deaf children's fingerspelling in learning to read and write: An ethnographic study in a signing setting’, Deafness and Education International, 15 (2013), 149-178,
This paper presents a study of children's use of fingerspelling. It is part of a larger longitudinal ethnographic study of deaf2 children, who were 3-6 years old when the study started. They are early signers using Swedish Sign Language in communication with teachers and peers. The aim of this paper is to examine the different functions which fingerspelling has as a part of literacy learning in the early years and later at school. Six main themes are identified when the children first explore and learn to fingerspell: (i) exploring handshapes, letters, inventing fingerspelling, and later exploring its use and learning to fingerspell in literacy practices; (ii) exploring the direction of writing and fingerspelling; (iii) practising and memorizing words; (iv) decoding words; (v) recalling from memory; and (vi) fingerspelling as a tool for exploring the relationships; between letters, words, signs, mouth movements, and voice. These aspects of children's fingerspelling and their possible implications are addressed, as are some findings regarding how teachers respond to the children's attempts at fingerspelling. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2013.
‘The language development of a deaf child with a cochlear implant’, Language Sciences, 35 (2013), 59-79,
Hearing parents of deaf or partially deaf infants are confronted with the complex question of communication with their child. This question is complicated further by conflicting advice on how to address the child: in spoken language only, in spoken language supported by signs, or in signed language. This paper studies the linguistic environment created by one such mother (language input and parental behavior) and her child's language production longitudinally during the first 2. years of life of the infant to discover possible relationships. The mother-child dyad was observed when the child was 7, 9, 12, 18, and 24. months old. Changes in the mother's approach to communication with her child and their consequent effects on the child's language development will be highlighted.The infant concerned has a hearing loss of more than 90. dB on both ears, which qualified her for cochlear implantation. At the age of 10. months she was implanted on her left side (30/04/2010). Five months later she received a second implant (24/09/2010). By means of several assessments instruments the created linguistic environment, the language development of the infant in question and possible causal relationships were investigated before and after implantation. These instruments include: Pragmatics Profile of Everyday Communication; Profile of Actual Linguistic Skills; video-images of interaction analyzed in ELAN; MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory for spoken Dutch and Flemish Sign Language (from 9. months onwards). Results for each individual assessment moment are given as well as an overarching interpretation of evolution in the language development.The child seems to be profiting from a bimodal/bilingual approach to communication up to 9. months of age. She is progressing considerably in both spoken Dutch and Flemish Sign Language, with a possible onset of functional code-switch. However, a setback is evidenced in the child's language development, mirrored in a setback in the mother's sensitive behavior as she moves to a more monolingual approach after cochlear implantation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
‘Reflections on Bilingual Parenting’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 2013,
‘The effectiveness of a phonics-based early intervention for deaf and hard of hearing preschool children and its possible impact on reading skills in elementary school: A case study’, American Annals of the Deaf, 158 (2013), 107-120,
‘Phonological awareness: Explicit instruction of young deaf and hard-of-hearing children ’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18 (2013), 206-227,
‘An evaluation of an intervention using sign language and multi-sensory coding to support word learning and reading comprehension of deaf signing children’, Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 29 (2013), 305-318,
The reading skills of many deaf children lag several years behind those of hearing children, and there is a need for identifying reading difficulties and implementing effective reading support strategies in this population. This study embraces a balanced reading approach, and investigates the efficacy of applying multi-sensory coding strategies and reading scaffolding to facilitate elementary phase deaf readers’ reading development. Sign language – in combination with multiple visual, tactile and kinaesthetic coding strategies and reading scaffolding techniques – was used to facilitate literacy and vocabulary development. Participants were 64 children, diagnosed with severe to profound bilateral hearing loss and aged from 6;03 to 11;08 years (mean age 9.37 years). Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. There were no significant differences between the groups pre-intervention on measures of sight word fluency, word recognition, receptive and expressive vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension. Results demonstrated a significant increase in reading and vocabulary skills of deaf readers who received the balanced reading approach intervention, as compared to the control group who received usual classroom instruction. The article concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and pedagogical implications these findings have for deaf children’s reading and literacy development.
‘Implementing Instruction in the Alphabetic Principle Within a Sign Bilingual Setting’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18 (2013), 391-408,
The purpose of the present study was to examine the results of implementing remedial instruction in the alphabetic principle with deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students educated in a sign bilingual setting. Data were analyzed in 2 phases, with the first using paired-sample t tests and Pearson correlations and the second phase employing structural equation modeling. Results indicate that study participants (N = 127) from a range of grade placements, with various degrees of hearing loss, and including those with additional disabilities, can acquire an understanding of the alphabetic principle, apply this knowledge to the reading of words, and demonstrate generalization of skills through a pseudo word decoding task. Given the ongoing debates regarding the relevance of phonologically based instruction for DHH learners, the findings of this investigation will also serve to address some of the misconceptions regarding the instructional methods and strategies employed in interventions of this type.
‘Following Alice: theories of critical thinking and reflective practice in action at postgraduate level’, Teaching in Higher Education 2013, 1-14,
‘Sequential Bimodal Bilingual Acquisition: Mediation Using a Cochlear Implant as a Tool’ 2013,
‘Reading Books With Young Deaf Children: Strategies for Mediating Between American Sign Language and English’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18 (2013), 299-311,
Research on shared reading has shown positive results on children’s literacy development in general and for deaf children specifically; however, reading techniques might differ between these two populations. Families with deaf children, especially those with deaf parents, often capitalize on their children’s visual attributes rather than primarily auditory cues. These techniques are believed to provide a foundation for their deaf children’s literacy skills. This study examined 10 deaf mother/deaf child dyads with children between 3 and 5 years of age. Dyads were videotaped in their homes on at least two occasions reading books that were provided by the researcher. Descriptive analysis showed specifically how deaf mothers mediate between the two languages, American Sign Language (ASL) and English, while reading. These techniques can be replicated and taught to all parents of deaf children so that they can engage in more effective shared reading activities. Research has shown that shared reading, or the interaction of a parent and child with a book, is an effective way to promote language and literacy, vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, and metalinguistic awareness (Snow, 1983), making it critical for educators to promote shared reading activities at home between parent and child. Not all parents read to their children in the same way. For example, parents of deaf children may present the information in the book differently due to the fact that signed languages are visual rather than spoken. In this vein, we can learn more about what specific connections deaf parents make to the English print. Exploring strategies deaf mothers may use to link the English print through the use of ASL will provide educators with additional tools when working with all parents of deaf children. This article will include a review of the literature on the benefits of shared reading activities for all children, the relationship between ASL and English skill development, and the techniques deaf parents use when reading with their deaf children. Following this is the presentation of a study that was conducted on specific techniques deaf parents use in bridging ASL to English as they read with their deaf children.
‘Are deaf students visual learners?’, Learning and Individual Differences, 25 (2013), 156-162,
It is frequently assumed that by virtue of their hearing losses, deaf students are visual learners. Deaf individuals have some visual-spatial advantages relative to hearing individuals, but most have been linked to use of sign language rather than auditory deprivation. How such cognitive differences might affect academic performance has been investigated only rarely. This study examined relations among deaf college students' language and visual-spatial abilities, mathematics problem solving, and hearing thresholds. Results extended some previous findings and clarified others. Contrary to what might be expected, hearing students exhibited visual-spatial skills equal to or better than deaf students. Scores on a Spatial Relations task were associated with better mathematics problem solving. Relations among the several variables, however, suggested that deaf students are no more likely to be visual learners than hearing students and that their visual-spatial skill may be related more to their hearing losses than to their sign language skills. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
‘Teachers’ Perceptions of Promoting Sign Language Phonological Awareness in an ASL/English Bilingual Program’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18 (2013), 464-488,
The National Reading Panel emphasizes that spoken language phonological awareness (PA) developed at home and school can lead to improvements in reading performance in young children. However, research indicates that many deaf children are good readers even though they have limited spoken language PA. Is it possible that some deaf students benefit from teachers who promote sign language PA instead? The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine teachers’ beliefs and instructional practices related to sign language PA. A thematic analysis is conducted on 10 participant interviews at an ASL/English bilingual school for the deaf to understand their views and instructional practices. The findings reveal that the participants had strong beliefs in developing students’ structural knowledge of signs and used a variety of instructional strategies to build students’ knowledge of sign structures in order to promote their language and literacy skills.
‘Should Bilingual Children Learn Reading in Two Languages at the Same Time or in Sequence?’, Bilingual Research Journal, 36 (2013), 35-60,
Is it best to learn reading in two languages simultaneously or sequentially? We observed second- and third-grade children in two-way dual-language learning contexts: (a) 50:50 or Simultaneous dual-language (two languages within same developmental period) and (b) 90:10 or Sequential dual-language (one language, followed gradually by the other). They were compared to matched monolingual English-only children in single-language English schools. Bilinguals (home language was Spanish only, English-only, or Spanish and English in dual-language schools), were tested in both languages, and monolingual children were tested in English using standardized reading and language tasks. Bilinguals in 50:50 programs performed better than bilinguals in 90:10 programs on English Irregular Words and Passage Comprehension tasks, suggesting language and reading facilitation for underlying grammatical class and linguistic structure analyses. By contrast, bilinguals in 90:10 programs performed better than bilinguals in the 50:50 programs on English Phonological Awareness and Reading Decoding tasks, suggesting language and reading facilitation for surface phonological regularity analysis. Notably, children from English-only homes in dual-language learning contexts performed equally well, or better than, children from monolingual English-only homes in single-language learning contexts. Overall, the findings provide tantalizing evidence that dual-language learning during the same developmental period may provide bilingual reading advantages. © 2013 Copyright the National Association for Bilingual Education.
‘American Sign Language/English Bilingual Model: A Longitudinal Study of Academic Growth’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18 (2013), 532-544,
This study examines reading and mathematics academic growth of deaf and hard-of-hearing students instructed through an American Sign Language (ASL)/English bilingual model. The study participants were exposed to the model for a minimum of 4 years. The study participants’ academic growth rates were measured using the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measure of Academic Progress assessment and compared with a national-normed group of grade-level peers that consisted primarily of hearing students. The study also compared academic growth for participants by various characteristics such as gender, parents’ hearing status, and secondary disability status and examined the academic outcomes for students after a minimum of 4 years of instruction in an ASL/English bilingual model. The findings support the efficacy of the ASL/English bilingual model.
‘Relationship between the linguistic environments and early bilingual language development of hearing children in deaf-parented families’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18 (2013), 242-260,
‘Literacy Skills among Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students and Students with Cochlear Implants in Bilingual/Bicultural Education’, Deafness & Education International 2013,
‘The design of a software to enhance the reading comprehension skills of deaf students: An integration of multiple theoretical perspectives’, Education and Information Technologies, 17 (2012), 167-185,
In this paper we discuss the role of visual resources, namely Greek Sign Language videos, concept maps and pictures, and their allocation in a multimedia educational software designed to enhance reading comprehension in deaf children. First, we summarize research findings from three bodies of literature that informed the design of the software: reading comprehension and deaf children, the role of visual displays in reading comprehension and multimedia learning theories. In the following part, we describe the software "See and See" and explain how relevant theory and research regarding visual displays and multimedia learning has been applied to its design. Finally, we present a pilot evaluation of "See and See" regarding the students' interaction with the software and its role in reading comprehension. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
‘Cross-language effects in written word recognition: The case of bilingual deaf children’, Bilingualism, 15 (2012), 288-303,
In recent years, multiple studies have shown that the languages of a bilingual interact during processing. We investigated sign activation as deaf children read words. In a word-picture verification task, we manipulated the underlying sign equivalents. We presented children with word-picture pairs for which the sign translation equivalents varied with respect to sign phonology overlap (i.e., handshape, movement, hand-palm orientation, and location) and sign iconicity (i.e., transparent depiction of meaning or not). For the deaf children, non-matching word-picture pairs with sign translation equivalents that had highly similar elements (i.e., strong sign phonological relations) showed relatively longer response latencies and more errors than non-matching word-picture pairs without sign phonological relations (inhibitory effects). In contrast, matching word-picture pairs with strongly iconic sign translation equivalents showed relatively shorter response latencies and fewer errors than pairs with weakly iconic translation equivalents (facilitatory effects). No such activation effects were found in the word-picture verification task for the hearing children. The results provide evidence for interactive cross-language processing in deaf children. © Cambridge University Press 2011.
‘Legal pathways to the recognition of sign languages: A comparison of the Catalan and Spanish sign language acts’, Sign Language Studies, 12 (2012), 565-582,
‘Recognition of langue des signes Québécoise in Eastern Canada’, Sign Language Studies, 12 (2012), 583-601,
‘Reading fluency and students who are deaf or hard of hearing: Synthesis of the research’, Communication Disorders Quarterly, 33 (2012), 230-241,
‘Descriptive study on narrative competence development in Chilean Sign Language’, Estudio descriptivo del desarrollo de la competencia narrativa en lengua de señas chilena, 26 (2012), 193-219,
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the narrative competence development of a group of deaf children who use sign language as their natural language. Children in this study were in the elementary grades, 1st to 4th. This three-year case study obtained narratives from each child three times, at one-year intervals. These narratives were analyzed focusing on two main aspects: the formal organization of the narrative text, its superstructure, and content organization dealing with the use of linguistic resources that serve to textual cohesion. This study focused on the various forms employed by the children to establish reference and co-reference, when introducing, maintaining or re-introducing the focus of the characters involved in the story they were narrating. Even though the children used all the cohesive elements from the first telling, they modified the functions these elements serve. The study demonstrates how the children gradually develop a capacity to construct narratives, being aware of the information needed by the audience. This is especially important within bilingual education, where it is assumed the ability to develop literacy has an important role in the consolidation process related to the development of competence in the natural language of deaf people of our country, the Chilean Sign Language.
‘Translanguaging: Ueveloping its conceptualisation and contextualisation’, Educational Research and Evaluation, 18 (2012), 655-670,
Following from Lewis, Jones, and Baker (this issue), this article analyses the relationship between the new concept of "translanguaging" particularly in the classroom context and more historic terms such as code-switching and translation, indicating differences in (socio)linguistic and ideological understandings as well as in classroom processes. The article considers the pedagogic nature of translanguaging in terms of language proficiency of children, developmental use in emergent bilinguals, variations in input and output, relationship to the subject/discipline curriculum, deepening learning through language development, cognitive development, and content understanding, and the role of children, including Deaf children, and in the use of translanguaging in educational activity. The conceptualisation of translanguaging is also shown to be ideological. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
‘Visual working memory in deaf children with diverse communication modes: Improvement by differential outcomes’, Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33 (2012), 362-368,
Although visual functions have been proposed to be enhanced in deaf individuals, empirical studies have not yet established clear evidence on this issue. The present study aimed to determine whether deaf children with diverse communication modes had superior visual memory and whether their performance was improved by the use of differential outcomes. Severely or profoundly deaf children who employed spoken Spanish, Spanish Sign Language (SSL), and both spoken Spanish and SSL modes of communication were tested in a delayed matching-to-sample task for visual working memory assessment. Hearing controls were used to compare performance. Participants were tested in two conditions, differential outcome and non-differential outcome conditions. Deaf groups with either oral or SSL modes of communication completed the task with less accuracy than bilingual and control hearing children. In addition, the performances of all groups improved through the use of differential outcomes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
‘Teacher-assigned Literacy Events in a Bimodal, Bilingual Preschool with Deaf and Hearing Children’, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy 2012,
This article reports on a study of literacy practices in a Norwegian preschool where deaf and hearing children are enrolled in the same group and where communication is based on both sign language and spoken language. The aim of the study was to explore pathways to literacy for young deaf children within this setting. Our implicit assumption is that deaf children access literacy in much the same way as hearing children do. In the study we ask what kind of literacy events occur in the preschool and we examine how these events might allow for participation by the young deaf children on equal terms with their hearing peers. The study is conducted within a sociocultural framework. From this perspective, literacy is perceived as a social practice in everyday activities. Within the range of social activities in the preschool, some significant literacy events were analysed with regard to their nature and impact on literacy learning for deaf children. Data are based on video recordings, field notes and interviews with teachers. The results demonstrate that a number of events vital to literacy learning represent great educational challenges in inclusive settings with both hearing and deaf children.
‘Print exposure, reading habits, and reading achievement among deaf and hearing college students’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17 (2012), 61-74,
‘Temporal reference marking in narrative and expository text written by deaf children and adults: A bimodal bilingual perspective’, Bilingualism, 15 (2012), 128-144,
This study examined temporal reference marking in texts written by Dutch deaf children and adults who differed in sign language proficiency. The temporal reference marking systems in Dutch and Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN) differ substantially, with Dutch having a wide range of lexical and morphological markers of temporal reference, and SLN relying on lexical marking of temporal reference. The results showed that the youngest proficient signers had difficulties with tense morphology: they avoided the marked past tense form in narratives and omitted verbs, but showed no problems with lexical marking of temporal reference. In the older proficient signing writers, verb morphology emerged, and in proficient signing adults temporal reference marking resembled that of the hearing adults. This study shows that in order to gain more insight into deaf people's writing, it is important to adopt a bilingual perspective and take variations in sign language proficiency into account. © 2011 Cambridge University Press.
‘I was born full deaf." written language outcomes after 1 year of strategic and interactive writing instruction’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17 (2012), 19-38,
Nonstandard grammatical forms are often present in the writing of deaf students that are rarely, if ever, seen in the writing of hearing students. With the implementation of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) in previous studies, students have demonstrated significant gains in high-level writing skills (e.g., text structure) but have also made gains with English grammar skills. This 1-year study expands on prior research by longitudinally examining the written language growth (i.e., writing length, sentence complexity, sentence awareness, and function words) of 29 deaf middle-school students. A repeated-measures analysis of variance with a between-subjects variable for literacy achievement level was used to examine gains over time and the intervention's efficacy when used with students of various literacy levels. Students, whether high or low achieving, demonstrated statistically significant gains with writing length, sentence complexity, and sentence awareness. Subordinate clauses were found to be an area of difficulty, and follow up strategies are suggested. An analysis of function word data, specifically prepositions and articles, revealed different patterns of written language growth by language group (e.g., American Sign Language users, oral students, users of English-based sign). © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Language impairments in the development of sign: Do they reside in a specific modality or are they modality-independent deficits?’, Bilingualism, 15 (2012), 75-87,
Various theories of developmental language impairments have sought to explain these impairments in modality-specific ways-for example, that the language deficits in SLI or Down syndrome arise from impairments in auditory processing. Studies of signers with language impairments, especially those who are bilingual in a spoken language as well as a sign language, provide a unique opportunity to contrast abilities across language in two modalities (cross-modal bilingualism). The aim of the article is to examine what developmental sign language impairments can tell us about the relationship between language impairments and modality. A series of individual and small group studies are presented here illustrating language impairments in sign language users and cross-modal bilinguals, comprising Landau-Kleffner syndrome, Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, Autism and SLI. We conclude by suggesting how studies of sign language impairments can assist researchers to explore how different language impairments originate from different parts of the cognitive, linguistic and perceptual systems. © 2011 Cambridge University Press.
‘Language planning for the 21st century: Revisiting bilingual language policy for deaf children’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17 (2012), 291-305,
For over 25 years in some countries and more recently in others, bilingual education involving sign language and the written/spoken vernacular has been considered an essential educational intervention for deaf children. With the recent growth in universal newborn hearing screening and technological advances such as digital hearing aids and cochlear implants, however, more deaf children than ever before have the potential for acquiring spoken language. As a result, the question arises as to the role of sign language and bilingual education for deaf children, particularly those who are very young. On the basis of recent research and fully recognizing the historical sensitivity of this issue, we suggest that language planning and language policy should be revisited in an effort to ensure that they are appropriate for the increasingly diverse population of deaf children. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Language maintenance and the deaf child’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 33 (2012), 605-618,
For all families with deaf children, choosing communication methods is a complex and evolving business. This process is particularly complex for migrant background families, who must not only negotiate the role that speaking or signing will play in their communication practices, but also which spoken language(s) will be used - that of the host society or the heritage language? For many years, it was believed that oral language maintenance was an impossible goal for deaf children. However, recent advances in cochlear implant and hearing aid technology may make language maintenance a more achievable goal. This article reviews the literature and results from a case study of seven migrant background families with deaf children to shed light on the language practices evolving in migrant families with deaf children and the benefits and difficulties inherent in language maintenance with this population. It shows that a number of factors affect the degree to which deaf children are able to develop fluency in the heritage language, such as type of hearing loss and age at cochlear implantation. Regardless of the level of proficiency dveloped, it shows that attempting language maintenance has a positive effect on family relationships, communication and participation in the ethnic community. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
‘The relation between the working memory skills of sign language interpreters and the quality of their interpretations’, Bilingualism, 15 (2012), 340-350,
In two experiments we investigated the relationship between the working memory skills of sign language interpreters and the quality of their interpretations. In Experiment 1, we found that scores on 3-back tasks with signs and words were not related to the quality of interpreted narratives. In Experiment 2, we found that memory span scores for words and signs under oral articulatory suppression were related to the quality of interpreted narratives. We argue that the insensitivity to articulatory suppression in memory span tasks reflects the interpreters' ability to bind information from multiple sources in episodic memory. This enhanced ability leads to less reliance on the retention of information from the source language in memory during interpreting, and will positively affect the quality of interpretations (Padilla, Bajo & Macizo, 2005). Finally, in contrast to previous studies on the memory spans for signs and words (Hall & Bavelier, 2010), we found that the memory spans scores for spoken words and signs were equally large. We argue that the use of a large set of phonologically complex stimuli in the present study may have stimulated participants to use a speech-based code to store and retain the signs in short-term memory. © Cambridge University Press 2011.
‘Sign language planning in the Netherlands between 1980 and 2010’, Sign Language Studies, 12 (2012), 467-493,
‘Bimodal bilinguals co-activate both languages during spoken comprehension’, Cognition, 124 (2012), 314-324,
Bilinguals have been shown to activate their two languages in parallel, and this process can often be attributed to overlap in input between the two languages. The present study examines whether two languages that do not overlap in input structure, and that have distinct phonological systems, such as American Sign Language (ASL) and English, are also activated in parallel. Hearing ASL-English bimodal bilinguals' and English monolinguals' eye-movements were recorded during a visual world paradigm, in which participants were instructed, in English, to select objects from a display. In critical trials, the target item appeared with a competing item that overlapped with the target in ASL phonology. Bimodal bilinguals looked more at competing item than at phonologically unrelated items and looked more at competing items relative to monolinguals, indicating activation of the sign-language during spoken English comprehension. The findings suggest that language co-activation is not modality specific, and provide insight into the mechanisms that may underlie cross-modal language co-activation in bimodal bilinguals, including the role that top-down and lateral connections between levels of processing may play in language comprehension. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
‘Practitioner talk on deaf children's reading comprehension: Analysing multiple voices’, Deafness and Education International, 14 (2012), 100-120,
This study examined different perspectives of deaf education practitioners on deafness and reading comprehension. This involved a full deaf education support team comprising teachers of the deaf, communication support workers, and deaf instructors from a UK citywide service covering early years, primary and secondary settings. Using a focus group methodology practitioners were asked to consider what reading comprehension involves for deaf learners and identify factors that influence success. Analysis of the focus group 'talk' about deaf children's reading comprehension reveals commonalities and differences across different practitioner 'voices' which shape different understandings of the reading comprehension issues. Themes which were identified as problematic, such as the processes of decoding and the role of sign language are drawn out as focus areas for further discussion. These findings provoke discussion of research, assessment and intervention approaches which better exploit the research-practice interface by incorporating the diverse perspectives that practitioners and other agents bring to the process © W.S. Maney & Son Ltd 2012.
‘Learning managent systems and face-to-face teaching in bilingual modality (Libras/Portuguese)’, IEEE Latin America Transactions, 10 (2012), 2168-2174,
Discussions related to new approaches in deaf education are highlighting the underexplored potencial of the Information and Communication Technologies for this persons. This paper presents an study carried out under Learning Management Systems (LMS) in order to subsizide the selection of a LMS to support face-to-face classes in the form of bilingual education (Libras/Portuguese). The study was conducted in the context of Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Santa Catarina (IFSC) Campus Palhoça-Bilíngue. For this, the analysis was accomplished over open source platforms and grounded in issues related to accessibility of learning management systems to deaf people. In this way, subjects related to conformance with present accessibility guidelines and recommendations, the interoperability standards and the use of captions were analyzed, besides the identification of tools supporting interaction and communication in sign language and the engaged communities aiming the improvement of the environments studied. The selected LMS must have the featured characteristics to provide the assignment of a bilingual education propose, presenting the possibilities to explore the characteristics of the visual-spatial modality of communication present in the Língua Brasileira de Sinais (Libras), as well as the tools to stimulate the sharing and construction of knowledge in the teachers and students community. This is just the first step considering the need of development of a series of technological devices consonant with this approach. © 2012 IEEE.
‘Inclusive education for Deaf students: Literacy practices and South African Sign Language’, Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 30 (2012), 25-37,
This article considers the feasibility of inclusive education for Deaf students in a mainstream Further Education and Training (FET) classroom through the use of a South African Sign Language interpreter. It revisits the centrality of language in Deaf students' education and reports on progressive policy changes in the areas of language, education and disability in South Africa. The article surveys classroom discourse and literacy practices in a mainstream FET classroom, focusing particularly on students' acquisition of text literacy skills in Business English. Drawing on theoretical frameworks from the New Literacy Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis and the Social Model of Disability, the article argues that there is definitely potential for establishing inclusive education for Deaf students in a mainstream classroom. It however highlights that there are many difficulties and challenges around providing fully inclusive education for Deaf students. It was found that the signed interpretations in this classroom frequently represent an impoverished form of language while some types of pedagogic practice impede the interpreter's signing. The article concludes that interpreters and teachers need to be trained in forms of language and pedagogy that would benefit all students in class, including Deaf students. © 2012 Copyright NISC (Pty) Ltd.
‘Bilingual education of deaf children’, Dvojezično obrazovanje gluhe djece, 48 (2012), 104-116,
This paper considers theoretical, as well as some practical aspects of bilingual education of deaf children: the main research results in the area of bilingualism in hearing people (definitions and types of bilingualism, language development in bilingual children, advantages of bilingualism), the onset of the idea of sign bilingualism, the application of bilingual models to sign bilingualism, differences between bilingualism of hearing and deaf children, cultural aspects of sign bilingualism, principles of bilingual education of deaf children, as well as its practical aspects during the preschool and school period.
‘Can experience with co-speech gesture influence the prosody of a sign language? Sign language prosodic cues in bimodal bilinguals’, Bilingualism, 15 (2012), 402-412,
In this paper the prosodic structure of American Sign Language (ASL) narratives is analyzed in deaf native signers (L1-D), hearing native signers (L1-H), and highly proficient hearing second language signers (L2-H). The results of this study show that the prosodic patterns used by these groups are associated both with their ASL language experience (L1 or L2) and with their hearing status (deaf or hearing), suggesting that experience using co-speech gesture (i.e. gesturing while speaking) may have some effect on the prosodic cues used by hearing signers, similar to the effects of the prosodic structure of an L1 on an L2. © Cambridge University Press 2012.
‘Literacy strategies for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing English language learners: Where do we begin?’, Deafness and Education International, 14 (2012), 78-99,
The Gallaudet Research Institute confirms a 22.5 per cent increase from 2.7 percent (2000) to 25.2 per cent (2011) in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students whose parents use a language 'other' than English or American sign language (ASL) at home. These DHH students who are also English language learners (ELLs) struggle to learn English, perhaps their native home language, and quite possibly a third language, ASL. In order to understand how to meet the needs of this growing population, a synthesis of evidence-based and bestpractice research over the last 10 years is presented. Strategies for ELL students who have disabilities and DHH ELLs are reviewed. The criteria for inclusion of the studies were based on the US federal research standards. These studies were then categorized based on the components of an effective literacy programme. Recommendations of literacy strategies that practitioners and researchers can begin investigating to document evidence-based practices for this unique and often neglected population are presented. © W.S. Maney & Son Ltd 2012.
‘The two-word stage: Motivated by linguistic or cognitive constraints?’, Cognitive Psychology, 65 (2012), 118-140,
Child development researchers often discuss a "two-word" stage during language acquisition. However, there is still debate over whether the existence of this stage reflects primarily cognitive or linguistic constraints. Analyses of longitudinal data from two Deaf children, Mei and Cal, not exposed to an accessible first language (American Sign Language - ASL) until the age of 6. years, suggest that a linguistic constraint is observed when cognition is relatively spared. These older children acquiring a first language after delayed exposure exhibit aspects of a two-word stage of language development. Results from intelligence assessments, achievement tests, drawing tasks, and qualitative cognitive analyses show that Mei and Cal are at least of average intelligence and ability. However, results from language analyses clearly show differences from both age peers and younger native signers in the early two-word stage, providing new insights into the nature of this phase of language development. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
‘Language policies in Uruguay and Uruguayan Sign Language (LSU)’, Sign Language Studies, 12 (2012), 519-542,
‘Reading to deaf children who sign: A response to Williams (2012) and suggestions for future research’, American Annals of the Deaf, 157 (2012), 307-319,
A COMMENTARY on Williams's (2012) invited article on the use of adapted vocabulary learning interventions focuses on three areas: (a) Vocabulary interventions with storybook reading originally designed for hearing children can be adapted for deaf children. (b) Teachers are invited to reflect on how the read-aloud process in English differs from the read-aloud process in sign. (b) Teachers are asked to consider adding drawing and writing activities to reading lessons to show young deaf readers how reading and writing are reciprocal processes. The emergent literacy theory is used, as it informs and drives instructional vocabulary teaching practices for deaf children in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. The emergent literacy theory broadly captures cognitive, social, perceptual, and linguistic understandings of how young signing deaf children acquire both English word recognition abilities and vocabulary knowledge, among other important prereading concepts.
‘Deaf education policy as language policy: A comparative analysis of Sweden and the United States’, Sign Language Studies, 12 (2012), 602-620,
‘Language justice for Sign Language Peoples: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’, Language Policy, 11 (2012), 253-272,
Sign Language Peoples (SLPs) across the world have developed their own languages and visuo-gestural-tactile cultures embodying their collective sense of Deafhood (Ladd 2003). Despite this, most nation-states treat their respective SLPs as disabled individuals, favoring disability benefits, cochlear implants, and mainstream education over language policies fostering native sign languages. This paper argues that sign language policy is necessary for language justice. Based on interviews with SLPs and policy makers in the UK, this paper argues that ideally sign language policy requires a shift in policy discourse away from a disability construction to one recognizing the minority language status of SLPs. However minority language policy support for the formulation of sign language policies hitherto has been very limited. Conversely, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) (UN 2007) offers the best hope for sign language policy notwithstanding its disability framing. The CRPD requires states to recognize sign languages and to support sign bilingual education, where appropriate. It employs a human rights approach, and is a potential stepping stone towards the emergence of minority language policies for SLPs. This paper argues that the CRPD offers a regulatory context that could enable a shift in policy discourse towards the eventual promulgation of the minority sign language policy that many Deaf-SLPs have called for. This strategy, as suggested here, offers the best chance of moving from a situation of social injustice for SLPs to one of language justice where full sign language access is promoted. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
‘Vocabulary development in children with hearing loss: The role of child, family, and educational variables’, Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33 (2012), 119-128,
In the present study we examined the effect of hearing status on reading vocabulary development. More specifically, we examined the change of lexical competence in children with hearing loss over grade 4-7 and the predictors of this change. Therefore, we used a multi-factor longitudinal design with multiple outcomes, measuring the reading vocabulary knowledge in children with hearing loss from grades 4 and 5, and of children without hearing loss from grade 4, for 3. years with two word tasks: a lexical decision task and a use decision task. With these tasks we measured word form recognition and (in)correct usage recognition, respectively. A GLM repeated measures procedure indicated that scores and growth rates on the two tasks were affected by hearing status. Moreover, with structural equation modeling we observed that the development of lexical competence in children with hearing loss is stable over time, and a child's lexical competence can be explained best by his or her lexical competence assessed on a previous measurement occasion. If you look back, differences in lexical competence among children with hearing loss stay unfortunately the same. Educational placement, use of sign language at home, intelligence, use of hearing devices, and onset of deafness can account for the differences among children with hearing loss. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
‘Deaf Education: The Impact of Cochlear Implantation?’, Deafness & Education International, 14 (2012), 2-15,
‘Language policy and planning: The case of Italian sign language’, Sign Language Studies, 12 (2012), 494-518,
‘The efficacy of dictionary use while reading for learning new words’, American Annals of the Deaf, 157 (2012), 358-372,
THE RESEARCHER investigated the use of three types of dictionaries while reading by high school students with severe to profound hearing loss. The objective of the study was to determine the effectiveness of each type of dictionary for acquiring the meanings of unknown vocabulary in text. The three types of dictionaries were (a) an online bilingual multimedia English-American Sign Language (ASL) dictionary (OBMEAD), (b) a paper English-ASL dictionary (PBEAD), and (c) an online monolingual English dictionary (OMED). It was found that for immediate recall of target words, the OBMEAD was superior to both the PBEAD and the OMED. For later recall, no significant difference appeared between the OBMEAD and the PBEAD. For both of these, recall was statistically superior to recall for words learned via the OMED.
‘First language acquisition differs from second language acquisition in prelingually deaf signers: Evidence from sensitivity to grammaticality judgement in British Sign Language’, Cognition, 124 (2012), 50-65,
Age of acquisition (AoA) effects have been used to support the notion of a critical period for first language acquisition. In this study, we examine AoA effects in deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users via a grammaticality judgment task. When English reading performance and nonverbal IQ are factored out, results show that accuracy of grammaticality judgement decreases as AoA increases, until around age 8, thus showing the unique effect of AoA on grammatical judgement in early learners. No such effects were found in those who acquired BSL after age 8. These late learners appear to have first language proficiency in English instead, which may have been used to scaffold learning of BSL as a second language later in life. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
‘Sign recall by hearing signers: Evidences of dual coding’, Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 24 (2012), 703-713,
Deaf participants' sign recall is affected by sign similarity, sign length, irrelevant signing and manual articulatory suppression, suggesting the existence of a phonological loop for signs. In two experiments we explore whether hearing signers (who have learned Spanish Sign Language as second language) use a phonological loop for signs, whether they use their phonological loop for words or whether they use both when recalling sign lists. Articulatory suppression (manual and vocal) and list similarity (word similarity and sign similarity) were manipulated in two experiments. Results clearly suggest that our participants recode orally the signs and use those representations to recall sign lists, but visuospatial information is also used in this task. © 2012 Copyright Psychology Press Ltd.
‘Methodological and theoretical issues in the adaptation of sign language tests: An example from the adaptation of a test to german sign language’, Language Testing, 29 (2012), 181-201,
Despite the current need for reliable and valid test instruments in different countries in order to monitor the sign language acquisition of deaf children, very few tests are commercially available that offer strong evidence for their psychometric properties. This mirrors the current state of affairs for many sign languages, where very little research is available. No previous empirical study has focused explicitly on the linguistic, methodological, and theoretical issues involved in the process of adapting a test from a source sign language to a target sign language. Problems during the adaptation process can arise from linguistic differences between the source and the target language and differences in the source and the target cultures. Both are important aspects that need to be considered in the adaptation of a sign language test from a source to a target language. This study proposes a model for sign language test adaptation, based on the adaptation of the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test to German Sign Language. The model includes different methodological steps, with a particular focus on construct validation. © The Author(s) 2011.
‘Processing orthographic structure: Associations between print and fingerspelling’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17 (2012), 194-204,
Two lexical decision experiments are reported that investigate whether the same segmentation strategies are used for reading printed English words and fingerspelled words (in American Sign Language). Experiment 1 revealed that both deaf and hearing readers performed better when written words were segmented with respect to an orthographically defined syllable (the Basic Orthographic Syllable Structure [BOSS]) than with a phonologically defined syllable. Correlation analyses revealed that better deaf readers were more sensitive to orthographic syllable representations, whereas segmentation strategy did not differentiate the better hearing readers. In contrast to Experiment 1, Experiment 2 revealed better performance by deaf participants when fingerspelled words were segmented at the phonological syllable boundary. We suggest that English mouthings that often accompany fingerspelled words promote a phonological parsing preference for fingerspelled words. In addition, fingerspelling ability was significantly correlated with reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. This pattern of results indicates that the association between fingerspelling and print for adult deaf readers is not based on shared segmentation strategies. Rather, we suggest that both good readers and good fingerspellers have established strong representations of English and that fingerspelling may aid in the development and maintenance of English vocabulary. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘The cultural and linguistic diversity of 3-year-old children with hearing loss’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17 (2012), 421-438,
Understanding the cultural and linguistic diversity of young children with hearing loss informs the provision of assessment, habilitation, and education services to both children and their families. Data describing communication mode, oral language use, and demographic characteristics were collected for 406 children with hearing loss and their caregivers when children were 3 years old. The data were from the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study, a prospective, population-based study of children with hearing loss in Australia. The majority of the 406 children used spoken English at home; however, 28 other languages also were spoken. Compared with their caregivers, the children in this study used fewer spoken languages and had higher rates of oral monolingualism. Few children used a spoken language other than English in their early education environment. One quarter of the children used sign to communicate at home and/or in their early education environment. No associations between caregiver hearing status and children's communication mode were identified. This exploratory investigation of the communication modes and languages used by young children with hearing loss and their caregivers provides an initial examination of the cultural and linguistic diversity and heritage language attrition of this population. The findings of this study have implications for the development of resources and the provision of early education services to the families of children with hearing loss, especially where the caregivers use a language that is not the lingua franca of their country of residence. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Linguistic policies, linguistic planning, and Brazilian sign language in Brazil’, Sign Language Studies, 12 (2012), 543-564,
‘Policy and practice in deaf education: Views and experiences of teachers, and of young people who are deaf in Northern Ireland and Sweden’, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 27 (2012), 281-299,
Due to the fact that the outcomes of education for most school leavers who are deaf in Northern Ireland are weak literacy skills and below average reading ages, a study was undertaken to investigate this situation. The views and experiences of teachers of children who are deaf, and of young people who are deaf in Northern Ireland, where oral and total communication forms of instruction are employed in their education were compared with those of Sweden where a sign bilingual is used in education, in the context of current policy and practice. The aim of the study was to find out if there are elements of Swedish policy and practice that could help resolve the situation for Northern Irish learners who are deaf. A qualitative approach was adopted via interviews with teachers of deaf and young people who were deaf in both countries. Findings are reported in relation to policy and practice in education, attitudes to deafness, status of sign language and other factors. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
‘When deaf signers read English: Do written words activate their sign translations?’, Cognition, 118 (2011), 286-292,
Deaf bilinguals for whom American Sign Language (ASL) is the first language and English is the second language judged the semantic relatedness of word pairs in English. Critically, a subset of both the semantically related and unrelated word pairs were selected such that the translations of the two English words also had related forms in ASL. Word pairs that were semantically related were judged more quickly when the form of the ASL translation was also similar whereas word pairs that were semantically unrelated were judged more slowly when the form of the ASL translation was similar. A control group of hearing bilinguals without any knowledge of ASL produced an entirely different pattern of results. Taken together, these results constitute the first demonstration that deaf readers activate the ASL translations of written words under conditions in which the translation is neither present perceptually nor required to perform the task. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
‘Understanding Deaf bilingual education from the inside: A SWOT analysis’, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15 (2011), 865-889,
This article reports on a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis using a nominal group process undertaken to identify and tackle significant factors, both internal and external, affecting those current Deaf bilingual practices in Spain which promote or prevent the processes through which more inclusive (barrier-free) education for Deaf children can be successfully implemented. Seventeen school representatives (eight Deaf, nine hearing) from nine school sites with leading Deaf bilingual initiatives for Deaf children from different parts of the country participated in the study. Ways to improve accessibility to the whole SWOT process were explored to ensure that genuine and significant participation of All school representatives was actually possible. The main strengths pointed out the importance of participation and involvement of staff and others in the educational community. The primary weakness was found in the lack of a learning environment fully accessible to Deaf children. Notable opportunities included a growing acceptance of the bilingual and inclusive school concept by regional educational administrations and societal and parental changes towards bilingualism and sign language. The lack of official recognition of sign language was reported as a major threat. Understanding these four internal and external interrelated factors can: (1) help insiders reflect on their practices and use the findings to improve their practice; (2) guide policy decisions on matching resources and capabilities to the environment in which schools catering for Deaf children operate; and (3) provide the starting point upon which policy-making and further research could be built. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
‘The importance of morphemic awareness to reading achievement and the potential of signing morphemes to supporting reading development’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 275-288,
The ability to access and understand the meaning of multimorphemic words is essential for age-appropriate literacy growth as well as for achievement in other participants, such as science and social studies, which are so print-dependent. This paper provides a theoretical basis for focusing on the morphology of English when teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing to read through a review of the literature on the role of morphology in reading for both hearing students and those with a hearing loss. In addition, the authors review the empirical literature on Signing Exact English (SEE), a system of signing English constructed in which the morphology of words is made visible to children who might not be able to hear them. The authors propose that students' use of SEE can provide a bridge to developing the morphemic awareness so necessary for age-appropriate reading development and achievement. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Use of text messaging by Deaf Adolescents in Japan’, Sign Language Studies, 11 (2011), 375-407,
This article discusses a survey study that drew on seventy-five high school students at a residential deaf school in Japan. The aim of the survey was to examine the various ways in which deaf adolescents use text messaging and to determine whether they use the technology differently from the hearing high school students surveyed in our previously published study. The present study found that deaf high school students use texting for different purposes than do their hearing counterparts. Contrary to the media hype about text messaging, the difficulties associated with the language of technology-mediated communication are identified in the deaf student data. The results of the current study raise questions about modern technology's much-claimed empowerment of individuals with a hearing impairment. In addition, this article reports on the methodological issues of conducting a survey with a linguistic minority, including the choice of wording. © 2010 Project MUSE®.
‘Phonological awareness is not necessary to become a skilled deaf reader’, Journal of Development and Physical Disabilities,, 23 (2011), 459-476.,
‘Reading achievement in relation to phonological coding and awareness in deaf readers: A meta-analysis’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 164-188,
‘Deaf readers as bilinguals: An examination of deaf readers' print comprehension in light of current advances in bilingualism and second language processing’, Linguistics and Language Compass, 5 (2011), 691-704,
Much work has examined whether deaf and hearing individuals' reading strategies are qualitatively different, under the assumption that such differences might account for discrepancies in levels of reading achievement (cf., Allen 1986; Gallaudet Research Institute 2005; Holt 1994; Karchmer and Mitchell 2003; Traxler 2000; Wauters et al. 2006). While generalizing over the performance of deaf readers is not trivial, the evidence seems to converge on the reader's quality of modality-independent language experience as the best predictor for reading abilities (Mayberry et al. 2011). In order to better understand the relationship between sign literacy and written literacy, more attention needs to be devoted to the fact that most deaf readers are bilingual in a signed and a written language and that, in most cases, the written language is, effectively, their second language. The growing body of research on bilingualism and L2 processing is rapidly advancing our understanding of the architecture of the bilingual brain and of the individual factors that might affect both production and comprehension in a second language. This body of research has great potential to illuminate aspects of deaf readers' behavior that have heretofore appeared vexing. In turn, including deaf literacy studies within the larger context of research on bilingualism will contribute to a richer picture of the bilingual experience. © 2011 The Authors. Language and Linguistics Compass © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
‘Old signs, new signs, whose signs? Sociolinguistic variation in the NZSL lexicon’, Sign Language Studies, 11 (2011), 485-527,
Although New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is used by a closely networked national Deaf community, it exhibits considerable variation in the lexicon that has been anecdotally and empirically attributed to age and region. This article reports a quantitative study that examined the effects of age, region, gender, and ethnicity on variation in eighty target vocabulary items, across 138 Deaf NZSL users. The dataset consisted of 11,040 tokens, in which 249 distinct variants for the 80 items were identified. Findings confirmed that age group is the strongest social correlate of lexical variation. Marked diachronic variation and change, shown by the "apparent-time" method of comparing age groups, reflects the impact of the adoption of Australasian Signed English in deaf education from 1979 in replacing and supplementing the earlier lexicon. A strong leveling effect found in the lexicon of younger signers is also attributable to their use of this sign system in education. Some regional effects found, and a pattern of interaction between region and age group - with southern and older signers tending to conserve early variants. Gender and ethnicity played a minimal role in explaining variation in this analysis. Given the salience of gender and ethnicity in sociolinguistic variation studies generally, this finding may be explained by the particular socio-historical profile of the NZSL community, or by the likelihood that these identity characteristics are indexed by sub-lexical features, and/or by the decontextualized data elicitation method, which may not capture the potential use of lexical variants that respond to audience, topic and style considerations in discourse contexts. © 2010 Project MUSE®.
‘A longitudinal analysis of language choice in bilingual children: The role of parental input and interaction’, Journal of Pragmatics, 43 (2011), 3122-3138,
Scholars in the field have agreed that simultaneous bilingual children are capable of using their two languages discriminately according to the interlocutor from the earliest stages of development. However, the driver of the children's language choice patterns has yet to be shown. This study examines the impacts of quantitative and qualitative aspects of parental input on the language choice of bilingual children. Data are drawn from the longitudinal observations of two Japanese/English bilinguals around the age of two and their parents. The effects of language choice patterns and the discourse strategies of the parents on the children's language mixing are analyzed. The results reveal that consistency in a parent's language choice does not guarantee the child's constant use of the parent's language; in other words, similarity in the language choice patterns between parent and child was not always observed. We further find that how parents respond to children's inappropriate language choice contributes significantly to the strict separation of the two languages. It is concluded that input consistency needs to be reinforced by parental discourse strategies regarding language mixing in children. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
‘Homesigners as late learners: Connecting the dots from delayed acquisition in childhood to sign language processing in adulthood’, Linguistics and Language Compass, 5 (2011), 525-537,
Language acquisition rarely begins at birth for deaf individuals. The consequences of linguistic isolation in early childhood have been investigated from two perspectives. One literature documents the gestural communication systems, called homesign, that deaf children generate prior to any exposure to language. A second literature contrasts the language processing abilities of deaf adults who did or did not have access to a signed language from birth. There is now ample evidence that late learners of a signed language exhibit processing deficits relative to native signers and second language signers, hearing or deaf. This article brings together the research from these two domains to explore why use of a homesign system during early childhood does not support sign language acquisition in adulthood in the way that a first language supports second language acquisition. © 2011 The Authors. Language and Linguistics Compass © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
‘Testing the Development of Linguistic Knowledge in Adult Naïve Learners of American Sign Language’, Modern Language Journal, 95 (2011), 205-216,
The present study was designed to investigate the ways in which notions of semantics and phonology are acquired by adult naïve learners of American Sign Language (ASL) when they are first exposed to a set of simple signs. First, a set of ASL signs was tested for nontransparency and a set of signs was selected for subsequent use. Next, a set of semantically related English words and a set of phonologically related English words were generated and paired with each of the signs selected earlier. In the experiment reported here, participants were taught pairs of sign-English word translations. Subsequently, they were then engaged in a translation recognition task in which foils were semantically related, phonologically related, or completely unrelated to the corresponding translations. Interference in performing the recognition task (i.e., the foil conditions) indicated that participants had encoded various features of the sign-word combinations after a single learning session. Results are discussed with regard to bilingual memory representations as well as to ASL acquisition. ©2011 The Modern Language Journal.
‘Sign language users' education and employment levels: Keeping pace with changes in the general australian population?’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 401-413,
This article draws on data from the 2006 Australian census to explore the education and employment outcomes of sign languages users living in Victoria, Australia, and to compare them with outcomes reported in the general population. Census data have the advantage of sampling the entire population on the one night, avoiding problems of population comparability and sampling errors that may affect survey-based research. The analysis shows that sign language users are approaching parity with the general population on some measures of educational attainment, but there remains a gap in employment levels and particularly income. Sign language users aged 25-44 years show higher attainment than those in the 45-64 age group, suggesting that educational reforms in the last 30 years are having a positive impact on both education and employment levels. However, younger sign language users are still struggling to keep pace with improvements in certain employment outcomes that are seen in the general population. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘The effects of captions on deaf students' content comprehension, cognitive load, and motivation in online learning’, American Annals of the Deaf, 156 (2011), 283-289,
The authors examined the effects of captions on deaf students' content comprehension, cognitive load, and motivation in online learning. The participants in the study were 62 deaf adult students who had limited reading comprehension skills and used sign language as a first language. Participants were randomly assigned to either the control group or the experimental group. The independent variable was the presence of captions, and the dependent variables were content comprehension, cognitive load, and motivation. The study applied a posttest-only control group design. The results of the experiment indicated a significant difference (t = -2.16, p <.05) in content comprehension but no statistically significant difference in cognitive load and motivation between the two groups. These results led to suggestions for improvements in learning materials for deaf individuals.
‘Age of acquisition effects on the functional organization of language in the adult brain’, Brain and Language, 119 (2011), 16-29,
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we neuroimaged deaf adults as they performed two linguistic tasks with sentences in American Sign Language, grammatical judgment and phonemic-hand judgment. Participants' age-onset of sign language acquisition ranged from birth to 14. years; length of sign language experience was substantial and did not vary in relation to age of acquisition. For both tasks, a more left lateralized pattern of activation was observed, with activity for grammatical judgment being more anterior than that observed for phonemic-hand judgment, which was more posterior by comparison. Age of acquisition was linearly and negatively related to activation levels in anterior language regions and positively related to activation levels in posterior visual regions for both tasks. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
‘Deaf-hearing family life: Three mothers' poetic voices of resistance’, Qualitative Inquiry, 17 (2011), 732-740,
This article brings together poetic narratives of three women-two hearing and one deaf-who are mothers to both deaf and hearing children. When asked, "What's the story of your family?" they each uncover, discover, and recover narratives that embrace politics, spirituality, marginalization, ignorance, resistance, love, care, and celebration. Their stories-signed, spoken, and written-deconstruct and reconstruct intimate and poignant experiences of negotiation between deaf and hearing worlds, between sign and word, between acceptance and judgment, and, in particular, in response to a particular piece of government legislation. In the United Kingdom, monocultural, multigenerational deaf families are the exception rather than the rule; therefore, questions of cultural knowledge transmission, reproduction, and survival are endlessly troubled, contested, and reclaimed in bicultural, bilingual deaf-hearing families, particularly in the face of dominant, mainstream discourses of disability and normalization. The three women's narratives repair and bear witness to misunderstood and marginalized deaf and hearing lives. As sign language has no written form, the stories are re-presented here as poetic texts as a way not only to bridge the gap between "oral" narrative and the written (translated) word but also to bring to life on the page the inherent poetry of their resistance stories. © The Author(s) 2011.
‘Multilinguality, multimodality, and multicompetence: Code- and modeswitching by minority ethnic children in complementary schools’, Modern Language Journal, 95 (2011), 370-384,
This article examines the multilingual and multimodal practices of British Chinese children in complementary school classes from a multicompetence perspective. Using classroom interaction data from a number of Chinese complementary schools in 3 different cities in England, the article argues that the multicompetence perspective enables a holistic look at codeswitching and modeswitching by multilingual children of minority ethnic background and helps to highlight creativity and criticality-2 important and closely related concepts that have hitherto been underexplored in multilingualism research. © 2011 The Modern Language Journal.
‘Ideological barriers to American sign language: Unpacking linguistic resistance’, Sign Language Studies, 11 (2011), 606-636,
Although there have been significant advances in the status and use of ASL in the United States, there also have often been backlashes to such developments. The latter have typically been manifested in controversies over beliefs about the nature of ASL as a "real" or an " appropriate" language for study. This has been the case, for instance, in four particular areas: efforts to achieve official recognition of ASL, early identification of hearing impairment and ASL, the rise of ASL-English bilingual/bicultural education programs, and the teaching of ASL as a foreign language in educational institutions. In this article, the debate over the status of ASL is addressed as an example of ideological beliefs that impact linguistic judgments and policies. Also discussed are the major challenges to the status of ASL with respect to formal legislative recognition, its use as a medium of instruction, and its designation as a legitimate foreign language, all of which are both empirically and conceptually problematic. Further, it is suggested that the resistance to ASL is grounded in large part in a misunderstanding of the nature of human language and of the nature, structure, and history of natural sign languages in general and ASL in particular. © 2010 Project MUSE®.
‘Cyborgization: Deaf education for young children in the cochlear implantation era’, Qualitative Inquiry, 17 (2011), 639-652,
The author, who was raised oral deaf himself, recounts a visit to a school for young deaf children and discovers that young d/Deaf children and their rights are subverted by the cochlear implantation empire. The hypercapitalist, techno-manic times of cochlear implantation has wreaked havoc to the lives of not only young children with deafness but also the parents themselves are indoctrinated into a system that first strips them of their competency through the diagnosing ritual to finally stripping the parents of their own rights to make fully informed choices for their children. The genre of this exposé is DeafCrit, drawing on journalistic traditions of muckraking and the methods of new journalism to report on, deconstruct, and critique the involvement of audist/ableist medical, business, welfare, and education stakeholders in the rise of cochlear implants in young children and how this operation is altering the landscape of deaf education. © The Author(s) 2011.
‘Directionality effects in simultaneous language interpreting: The case of sign language interpreters in the Netherlands’, American Annals of the Deaf, 156 (2011), 47-55,
The quality of interpretations produced by sign language interpreters was investigated. Twenty-five experienced interpreters were instructed to interpret narratives from (a) spoken Dutch to Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN), (b) spoken Dutch to Sign Supported Dutch (SSD), and (c) SLN to spoken Dutch. The quality of the interpreted narratives was assessed by 5 certified sign language interpreters who did not participate in the study. Two measures were used to assess interpreting quality: the propositional accuracy of the interpreters' interpretations and a subjective quality measure. The results showed that the interpreted narratives in the SLN-to-Dutch interpreting direction were of lower quality (on both measures) than the interpreted narratives in the Dutch-to-SLN and Dutch-to-SSD directions. Furthermore, interpreters who had begun acquiring SLN when they entered the interpreter training program performed as well in all 3 interpreting directions as interpreters who had acquired SLN from birth.
‘Do developmental communication disorders exist in the signed modality? perspectives from professionals’, Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 42 (2011), 423-443,
Purpose: This study focused on whether developmental communication disorders exist in American Sign Language (ASL) and how they might be characterized. ASL studies is an emerging field; educators and clinicians have minimal access to descriptions of communication disorders of the signed modality. Additionally, there are limited resources for assessing ASL acquisition. This article is designed to raise clinicians' awareness about developmental communication disorders in ASL and categorize types of atypicality that have been witnessed. Method: We conducted 4 focus groups and one 1-on-1 interview with a total of 22 adults (7 Deaf, 15 hearing) who work at bilingual-bicultural (ASL-English) schools for the Deaf. Experiences of these educators and language professionals were analyzed qualitatively using a combination of grounded theory (Charmaz, 2001; Strauss & Corbin, 1998) and a modified van Kaam approach (Moustakas, 1994). Results: Participants confirmed observations of children with suspected communication disorders and considered the prevalence, possible etiologies, and psychosocial aspects of such disorders in ASL. They reported frustration at the lack of diagnostic tools for reliable identification and intervention strategies to be used in educational settings. Conclusion: This work provides us with practitioner accounts proving that developmental communication disorders do exist in ASL. Future reports will describe primary data from signers with atypical language attributes. © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
‘Adapting the Assessing British Sign Language Development: Receptive Skills Test into American sign language’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 362-374,
Signed languages continue to be a key element of deaf education programs that incorporate a bilingual approach to teaching and learning. In order to monitor the success of bilingual deaf education programs, and in particular to monitor the progress of children acquiring signed language, it is essential to develop an assessment tool of signed language skills. Although researchers have developed some checklists and experimental tests related to American Sign Language (ASL) assessment, at this time a standardized measure of ASL does not exist. There have been tests developed in other signed languages, for example, British Sign Language, that can serve as models in this area. The purpose of this study was to adapt the Assessing British Sign Language Development: Receptive Skills Test for use in ASL in order to begin the process of developing a standardized measure of ASL skills. The results suggest that collaboration between researchers in different signed languages can provide a valuable contribution toward filling the gap in the area of signed language assessment. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Understanding the diverse literacy needs of profoundly deaf sign-dominant adults in Australia’, Reading Psychology, 32 (2011), 459-494,
This review explores the literacy difficulties experienced by prelingual, profoundly deaf, sign-dominant adults. A critical overview of the existing literature identifies the importance of understanding their language experiences and word-coding preferences. Findings challenge the notion that a permanent lack of audition from birth prevents individuals from developing efficient strategies for the lexical processing of words and raises the possibility that sign-based word coding could play a central role in proficient word reading for those adults who cannot learn to read by way of the auditory perceptual route. The unique resources needed to assist in the development of the literacy skills of this minority group are discussed. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
‘Exploring perspectives on cochlear implants and language acquisition within the deaf community’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 121-139,
Cochlear implants generated intense debate almost immediately following their introduction in the 1980s. Today, with a vast number of deaf individuals with cochlear implants, the debate about the cochlear implant device and mode of communication continues. Q-methodology was used in this study to explore cochlear implants and language acquisition perspectives within the deaf community. Thirty respondents sorted 33 statements, which were collected from professional literature and mainstream media, into a forced-choice, quasi-normal template. A by-person factor analysis of the Q-sorts revealed 5 model viewpoints: (a) American Sign Language advocate, (b) bilingual advocate, (c) cochlear implant advocate, (d) diverse options advocate, and (e) English visually advocate. Even though the results indicate 5 distinct perspectives, the Q-method also revealed similarities among them. The results also show that there seems to be some agreement on using a bilingual approach, although the perspectives seem to disagree on which language should be acquired first. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘How teacher mediation during video viewing facilitates literacy behaviors’, Sign Language Studies, 12 (2011), 98-118,
There is increasing support for using media products as early intervention tools for deaf children. Because deaf children are visual learners, products such as interactive DVDs and videos can be an effective supplement in the teaching of ASL and literacy skills to deaf children. While adult mediation during literacy activities has been shown to have a positive impact on deaf children's early literacy skills, little is known about the effects of adult mediation of preschool deaf children's interactions with educational media. The current study investigated whether preschool teachers (n = 3) fostered deaf children's (n = 9) engagement during their repeated viewing of a literacy-focused educational video (in ASL). Descriptive statistics and t-tests were conducted to examine teachers' and students' literacy-related engagement behaviors during each day of viewing. In addition, students' behaviors in the current study were compared to those of students in a previous study to determine whether children's literacy-related behaviors differed according to the presence or absence of teacher mediation during video viewing. Results indicate that while children's engagement behaviors increased without adult mediation, viewings with teacher mediation elicited even greater literacy engagement behaviors. These findings support the use of research-based educational media in ASL that provide strong literacy and language exposure for young deaf children. © 2011 Project MUSE®.
‘Improving multimodal web accessibility for deaf people: Sign language interpreter module’, Multimedia Tools and Applications, 54 (2011), 181-199,
The World Wide Web is becoming increasingly necessary for everybody regardless of age, gender, culture, health and individual disabilities. Unfortunately, there are evidently still problems for some deaf and hard of hearing people trying to use certain web pages. These people require the translation of existing written information into their first language, which can be one of many sign languages. In previous technological solutions, the video window dominates the screen, interfering with the presentation and thereby distracting the general public, who have no need of a bilingual web site. One solution to this problem is the development of transparent sign language videos which appear on the screen on request. Therefore, we have designed and developed a system to enable the embedding of selective interactive elements into the original text in appropriate locations, which act as triggers for the video translation into sign language. When the short video clip terminates, the video window is automatically closed and the original web page is shown. In this way, the system significantly simplifies the expansion and availability of additional accessibility functions to web developers, as it preserves the original web page with the addition of a web layer of sign language video. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation has demonstrated that information presented through a transparent sign language video increases the users' interest in the content of the material by interpreting terms, phrases or sentences, and therefore facilitates the understanding of the material and increases its usefulness for deaf people. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
‘Language needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing infants and children: Information for spiritual leaders and communities’, Journal of Religion, Disability and Health, 15 (2011), 272-295,
Leaders of spiritual communities should support a family welcoming a deaf or hard-of-hearing child in such a way that the entire community offers the child genuine inclusion. The ideal situation for protecting mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being is to raise the child bilingually. The community leader can guide as the community participates in nourishing the child by providing information and suggestions for action. The community needs to understand deafness as primarily a condition of gaining a culture and language rather than sensory loss, so that family and others evolve from grieving the loss of their expectations of what their child's life might be like to looking forward with hope to the unique contributions that child can bring to the world. © Taylor & Francis Group.
‘The deaf acculturation scale (DAS): Development and validation of a 58-item measure’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 325-342,
This study involved the development and validation of the Deaf Acculturation Scale (DAS), a new measure of cultural identity for Deaf and hard-of-hearing (hh) populations. Data for this study were collected online and involved a nationwide sample of 3,070 deaf/hh individuals. Results indicated strong internal reliabilities for all the subscales, and construct validity was established by demonstrating that the DAS could discriminate groups based on parental hearing status, school background, and use of self-labels. Construct validity was further demonstrated through factorial analyses, and findings resulted in a final 58-item measure. Directions for future research are discussed. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘English teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in French schools: Needs, barriers and strategies’, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 26 (2011), 159-175,
This paper deals with English teachers who work with deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) students. In France deaf students are required to attend foreign language classes - mostly English classes. The purpose is not to teach them British sign language (BSL) or American sign language (ASL), but written and/or spoken English. Indeed, sign languages are distinct from spoken languages and differ from country to country: there is no universal sign language. English teachers of the deaf are mostly hearing people. They work either in mainstream or special schools. Most of them have no specific qualifications. In this context, they are faced with the tremendous challenge of how to adjust their teaching to their students' impairment and at the same time develop the latter's knowledge and skills in English. In order to analyse teaching practices in English classes, questionnaires, interviews and in-class observations in several special and mainstream schools were conducted. Findings show that different teaching strategies are used in order to make English lessons accessible to D/HH students: teachers have to adapt their teaching language and also use written and visual supports to accommodate D/HH students. Obviously teacher training needs to be improved. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
‘Enhancing deaf students' learning from sign language and text: Metacognition, modality, and the effectiveness of content scaffolding’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 79-100,
‘Short-term memory stages in sign vs. speech: The source of the serial span discrepancy’, Cognition, 120 (2011), 54-66,
Speakers generally outperform signers when asked to recall a list of unrelated verbal items. This phenomenon is well established, but its source has remained unclear. In this study, we evaluate the relative contribution of the three main processing stages of short-term memory - perception, encoding, and recall - in this effect. The present study factorially manipulates whether American Sign Language (ASL) or English is used for perception, memory encoding, and recall in hearing ASL-English bilinguals. Results indicate that using ASL during both perception and encoding contributes to the serial span discrepancy. Interestingly, performing recall in ASL slightly increased span, ruling out the view that signing is in general a poor choice for short-term memory. These results suggest that despite the general equivalence of sign and speech in other memory domains, speech-based representations are better suited for the specific task of perception and memory encoding of a series of unrelated verbal items in serial order through the phonological loop. This work suggests that interpretation of performance on serial recall tasks in English may not translate straightforwardly to serial tasks in sign language. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
‘The signer and the sign: Cortical correlates of person identity and language processing from point-light displays’, Neuropsychologia, 49 (2011), 3018-3026,
In this study, the first to explore the cortical correlates of signed language (SL) processing under point-light display conditions, the observer identified either a signer or a lexical sign from a display in which different signers were seen producing a number of different individual signs. Many of the regions activated by point-light under these conditions replicated those previously reported for full-image displays, including regions within the inferior temporal cortex that are specialised for face and body-part identification, although such body parts were invisible in the display. Right frontal regions were also recruited - a pattern not usually seen in full-image SL processing. This activation may reflect the recruitment of information about person identity from the reduced display. A direct comparison of identify-signer and identify-sign conditions showed these tasks relied to a different extent on the posterior inferior regions. Signer identification elicited greater activation than sign identification in (bilateral) inferior temporal gyri (BA 37/19), fusiform gyri (BA 37), middle and posterior portions of the middle temporal gyri (BAs 37 and 19), and superior temporal gyri (BA 22 and 42). Right inferior frontal cortex was a further focus of differential activation (signer > sign).These findings suggest that the neural systems supporting point-light displays for the processing of SL rely on a cortical network including areas of the inferior temporal cortex specialized for face and body identification. While this might be predicted from other studies of whole body point-light actions (Vaina, Solomon, Chowdhury, Sinha, & Belliveau, 2001) it is not predicted from the perspective of spoken language processing, where voice characteristics and speech content recruit distinct cortical regions (Stevens, 2004) in addition to a common network. In this respect, our findings contrast with studies of voice/speech recognition (Von Kriegstein, Kleinschmidt, Sterzer, & Giraud, 2005). Inferior temporal regions associated with the visual recognition of a person appear to be required during SL processing, for both carrier and content information. © 2011.
‘Assessing deaf and hearing children's communication in Brazil’, Journal of Communication Disorders, 44 (2011), 223-235,
In Brazil there are no specific tests for either signed or spoken language for deaf children. A protocol evaluating communicative abilities independent of modality of communication (sign language or spoken language), and comprising assessments of (a) pragmatic profile; (b) modality of communication and linguistic level; (c) complexity of communication; and (d) style and efficacy of communication between parent and child was administered to 127 deaf and hearing children. The children, aged 3-6 years old, were distributed in three groups: 20 with severe hearing loss, 40 with profound hearing loss and 67 normally hearing. Deaf children were found to be delayed, independent of their linguistic level and preferred modality of communication. The protocol in this study proved to be an useful instrument for gathering relevant information about the three groups of preschool children's communicative abilities, and particularly suitable for use in countries where standardized assessments are not available. Learning outcomes: The reader will be introduced to the use of an assessment protocol comprising its development, application and data analysis. The reader will be informed about assessment of deaf children's preferred modality of communication, by the participation of a bilingual (sign language user) professional. Communication abilities can be assessed independently of the linguistic modality. In developing countries in general, where simple and easy to administer assessments tools are scarce, such a protocol is of specific value. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
‘Approaching sign language test construction: Adaptation of the German sign language receptive skills test’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 343-361,
There is a current need for reliable and valid test instruments in different countries in order to monitor deaf children's sign language acquisition. However, very few tests are commercially available that offer strong evidence for their psychometric properties. A German Sign Language (DGS) test focusing on linguistic structures that are acquired in preschool-and school-aged children (4-8 years old) is urgently needed. Using the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test, that has been standardized and has sound psychometric properties, as a template for adaptation thus provides a starting point for tests of a sign language that is less documented, such as DGS. This article makes a novel contribution to the field by examining linguistic, cultural, and methodological issues in the process of adapting a test from the source language to the target language. The adapted DGS test has sound psychometric properties and provides the basis for revision prior to standardization. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Evidence-based practice in educating deaf and hard-of-hearing children: Teaching to their cognitive strengths and needs’, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 26 (2011), 3-16,
This paper examines research findings concerning the loci of the pervasive academic underachievement among deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children and issues associated with interventions and instructional methods that could help to reduce or eliminate it. Investigators have hypothesised that at least 50% of the variability in DHH students' achievement may be because of instructional factors, and several studies have indicated that when taught by experienced teachers of the deaf in mixed classrooms, DHH students may gain just as much as their hearing peers. Only recently, however, have findings begun to emerge concerning related language and cognitive differences between DHH and hearing students as well as instructional differences between teachers with and without experience in teaching DHH students. Building on convergent evidence from such studies offers the prospect of a significant improvement in academic outcomes for those children in the future. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
‘Mode of Communication, Perceived Level of Understanding, and Perceived Quality of Life in Youth Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 512-523,
Given the important role of parent–youth communication in adolescent well-being and quality of life, we sought to examine the relationship between specific communication variables and youth perceived quality of life in general and as a deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) individual. A convenience sample of 230 youth (mean age = 14.1, standard deviation = 2.2; 24% used sign only, 40% speech only, and 36% sign + speech) was surveyed on communication-related issues, generic and DHH-specific quality of life, and depression symptoms. Higher youth perception of their ability to understand parents’ communication was significantly correlated with perceived quality of life as well as lower reported depressive symptoms and lower perceived stigma. Youth who use speech as their single mode of communication were more likely to report greater stigma associated with being DHH than youth who used both speech and sign. These findings demonstrate the importance of youths’ perceptions of communication with their parents on generic and DHH-specific youth quality of life.
‘Longitudinal patterns of emerging literacy in beginning deaf and hearing readers’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 289-304,
‘Brain activations associated with sign production using word and picture inputs in deaf signers’, Brain and Language, 116 (2011), 64-70,
Effective literacy education in deaf students calls for psycholinguistic research revealing the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying their written language processing. When learning a written language, deaf students are often instructed to sign out printed text. The present fMRI study was intended to reveal the neural substrates associated with word signing by comparing it with picture signing. Native deaf signers were asked to overtly sign in Chinese Sign Language (CSL) common objects indicated with written words or presented as pictures. Except in left inferior frontal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule where word signing elicited greater activation than picture signing, the two tasks engaged a highly overlapping set of brain regions previously implicated in sign production. The results suggest that word signing in the deaf signers relies on meaning activation from printed visual forms, followed by similar production processes from meaning to signs as in picture signing. The present study also documents the basic brain activation pattern for sign production in CSL and supports the notion of a universal core neural network for sign production across different sign languages. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
‘Signed languages and globalization’, Language in Society, 40 (2011), 483-505,
Deaf people who form part of a Deaf community communicate using a shared sign language. When meeting people from another language community, they can fall back on a flexible and highly context-dependent form of communication called international sign, in which shared elements from their own sign languages and elements of shared spoken languages are combined with pantomimic elements. Together with the fact that there are few shared sign languages, this leads to a very different global language situation for deaf people as compared to the situation for spoken languages and hearing people as analyzed in de Swaan (2001). We argue that this very flexibility in communication and the resulting global communication patterns form the core of deaf culture and a key component of the characterization of deaf people as "visual people." © Cambridge University Press 2011.
‘Deaf in the time of the cochlea’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16 (2011), 153-163,
The American Deaf community for several decades has been involved in sometimes complicated and often contested ways of defining what it means to be Deaf. It is our thesis that the processes of identity construction and the recent discourse of Deaf identity are not unique phenomena at all but echo the experience of other embedded cultural groups around the world, particularly those that are stressed by the assertion of hegemony over them by others. We turn to 2 particular theorists, Jose Martí and W. E. B. DuBois, to help us understand both the dilemmas that Deaf people face and the possible solutions that they propose. This article argues that identities are constructed not just within Deaf communities but within the social contexts in which Deaf communities are embedded. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘The modes of communication used by children with cochlear implants and the role of sign in their lives’, American Annals of the Deaf, 155 (2011), 535-549,
In a mixed-methods study, which included surveys of 247 parents and 151 teachers, the researchers investigated the modes of communication used by children with cochlear implants and the role of signed communication in the children's lives. Findings indicated that 15%-20% of the children in the parent surveys and approximately 30% of the children in the teacher surveys were using some form of signed communication. Qualitative findings from interviews with parents, teachers, and children with cochlear implants elaborated on the quantitative findings. While the development of spoken-language communication was the main aim of their children's cochlear implantation for the large majority of parents, many valued the use of either Signed English or Australian Sign Language, which they felt supported their children's personal, social, and academic development. Young people who used sign switched comfortably between communication modes according to their communication partners, topics, and settings.
‘Ambiguity - A tool or obstacle for joint productive dialogue activity in deaf and hearing students' reasoning about ecology’, International Journal of Educational Research, 49 (2010), 33-47,
The ambiguity of words and signs as a resource or obstacle in group discussions is studied. How deaf and hearing students aged 13-15 years elaborate on ecological concepts through dialogue is described. Group interviews were conducted with 14 hearing and 18 deaf students. Probes were used to initiate discussion about the different meanings of ecological concepts: producer, consumer, nutrients/nutriment, food-chain and cycles. The results show that the dialogues are less elaborated for deaf learners than for hearing learners. It is argued that dialogues between hearing students have a greater chance of becoming 'joint productive activity', since words in Swedish pave the way for shared meaning-making. To deaf learners, differences in connotation between the Swedish words and the signs used lead to uncertainty and unproductive lines of reasoning. One implication for instruction is that this bilingual communication needs to be taken into consideration to a much greater extent. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
‘Transcribing and annotating multimodality: How deaf children's productions call into the question the analytical tools’, Gesture, 10 (2010), 297-320,
This paper deals with the central question of transcribing deaf children's productions. We present the annotation grid we created on Elan®, explaining in detail how and why the observation of the narrative productions of 6 to 12 year-old deaf children led us to modify the annotation schemes previously available. Deaf children resort to every resource available in both modalities: voice and gesture. Thus, these productions are fundamentally multimodal and bilingual. In order to describe these specific practices, we propose considering verbal and non-verbal, vocal and gestural, materials as parts of one integrated production. A linguisticcentered transcription is not efficient in describing such bimodal productions, since describing bimodal utterances implies taking into account the 'communicative desire' ('vouloir-dire') of the children. For this reason, both the question of the transcription unit and the issue of the complexity of semiotic interactions in bimodal utterances need to be reconsidered. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘Cross-modal bilingualism: Language contact as evidence of linguistic transfer in sign bilingual education’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (2010), 201-223,
New positive attitudes towards language interaction in the realm of bilingualism open new horizons for sign bilingual education. Plaza-Pust and Morales-López have innovatively reconceptualised a new cross-disciplinary approach to sign bilingualism, based on both sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics. According to this framework, cross-modal bilingualism within the deaf community is a natural, dynamic phenomenon, where code mixing and code switching between languages of different modalities - signed or spoken/written - are often a pragmatic choice of the signer/speaker that serves specific purposes in specific contexts. Following this line of thought, cross-modal contact situations may be viewed as a sign of sophistication, as in any bilingualism, and a fundamental, transitory phase of bilingual language acquisition. Transfer from a sign language to a written second language has been put into question in the sign bilingual education literature. This project intends to address that question through the investigation of cross-modal contact categories found in the written productions of 15 deaf students in a bilingual secondary school in Barcelona. We argue that the pooling of resources that makes deaf students use structures from Catalan Sign Language in written English is suggestive of linguistic transfer at a morphosyntactic level and that language contact is positive to students' bilingual development in this specific context. The impact of this finding for language teaching policy, practice and research in deaf education will be discussed. This study is part of a larger study to further analyse these contact phenomena according to milestones in second language acquisition of written English, Catalan and Spanish, and seeks to establish parallels between the bilingual acquisition development of these deaf students and that of their hearing counterparts. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
‘From gesture to sign and from gesture to word pointing in deaf and hearing children’, Gesture, 10 (2010), 172-201,
In this paper, we explore the issue of (dis)continuity between gestures and signs and gestures and words by comparing three longitudinal follow-ups of a hearing monolingual French speaking child, a deaf signing child (LSF), and a hearing bilingual (French-LSF) child. Our study indicates that the development of the same manual form (the index finger point) is influenced by the input children receive in the modalities they have at their disposal. Interestingly, the bilingual (French-LSF) child presents an intermediate profile as far as the number of points she uses is concerned. Our analyses do not enable us to differentiate pointing "gestures" from pointing used as a linguistic sign since we could observe no systematic formal distinction. But our study suggests that pointing facilitates the three children's entry into syntax: pointing gestures or/and signs are more and more combined to words and/or signs, facial expressions, gaze, in complex linguistic productions and with more and more deictic and anaphoric values. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘The changing context for sign bilingual education programs: Issues in language and the development of literacy’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (2010), 175-186,
The widespread implementation of newborn hearing screening and advances in amplification technologies (including cochlear implants) have fundamentally changed the educational landscape for deaf learners. These changes are discussed in terms of their impact on sign bilingual education programs with a focus on the relationships between language and the development of literacy and the changing role of signed language in this process. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
‘Technology-enhanced shared reading with deaf and hard-of-hearing children: The role of a fluent signing narrator’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 15 (2010), 72-101,
Early shared reading experiences have been shown to benefit normally hearing children. It has been hypothesized that hearing parents of deaf or hard-of-hearing children may be uncomfortable or may lack adequate skills to engage in shared reading activities. A factor that may contribute to the widely cited reading difficulties seen in the majority of deaf children is a lack of early linguistic and literacy exposure that come from early shared reading experiences with an adult who is competent in the language of the child. A single-subject-design research study is described, which uses technology along with parent training in an attempt to enhance the shared reading experiences in this population of children. The results indicate that our technology-enhanced shared reading led to a greater time spent in shared reading activities and sign vocabulary acquisition. In addition, analysis of the shared reading has identified the specific aspects of the technology and the components of the parent training that were used most often. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
‘Black deaf individuals' reading skills: Influence of ASL, culture, family characteristics, reading experience, and education’, American Annals of the Deaf, 155 (2010), 449-457,
PREVIOUS RESEARCH on the reading abilities of Deaf individuals from various cultural groups suggests that Black Deaf and Hispanic Deaf individuals lag behind their White Deaf peers. The present study compared the reading skills of Black Deaf and White Deaf individuals, investigating the influence of American Sign Language (ASL), culture, family characteristics, reading experience, and education. (The descriptor Black is used throughout the present article, as Black Deaf individuals prefer this term to African American. For purposes of parallel construction, the term White is used instead of European American.) It was found that Black Deaf study participants scored lower on measures of both reading and ASL. These findings provide implications for possible interventions at the primary, secondary, and college levels of education.
‘Building an assessment use argument for sign language: The BSL nonsense sign repetition test’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (2010), 243-258,
In this article, we adapt a concept designed to structure language testing more effectively, the Assessment Use Argument (AUA), as a framework for the development and/or use of sign language assessments for deaf children who are taught in a sign bilingual education setting. By drawing on data from a recent investigation of deaf children's nonsense sign repetition skills in British Sign Language, we demonstrate the steps of implementing the AUA in practical test design, development and use. This approach provides us with a framework which clearly states the competing values and which stakeholders hold these values. As such, it offers a useful foundation for test-designers, as well as for practitioners in sign bilingual education, for the interpretation of test scores and the consequences of their use. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
‘Emotion recognition in children with profound and severe deafness: Do they have a deficit in perceptual processing?’, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 32 (2010), 923-928,
Findings from several studies have suggested that deaf children have difficulties with emotion identification and that these may impact upon social skills. The authors of these studies have typically attributed such problems to delayed language acquisition and/or opportunity to converse about personal experiences with other people (Peterson Siegal, 1995, 1998). The current study aimed to investigate emotion identification in children with varying levels of deafness by specifically testing their ability to recognize perceptual aspects of emotions depicted in upright or inverted human and cartoon faces. The findings from the study showed that, in comparison with both chronological- and mental-age-matched controls, the deaf children were significantly worse at identifying emotions. However, like controls, their performance decreased when emotions were presented on the inverted faces, thus indexing a typical configural processing style. No differences were found across individuals with different levels of deafness or in those with and without signing family members. The results are supportive of poor emotional identification in hearing-impaired children and are discussed in relation to delays in language acquisition and intergroup differences in perceptual processing. © 2010 Psychology Press, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business.
‘Phonological activation during visual word recognition in deaf and hearing children’, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53 (2010), 801-820,
Purpose: Phonological activation during visual word recognition was studied in deaf and hearing children under two circumstances: (a) when the use of phonology was not required for task performance and might even hinder it and ( b) when the use of phonology was critical for task performance. Method: Deaf children mastering written Dutch and Sign Language of the Netherlands were compared with hearing children. Two word-picture verification experiments were conducted, both of which included pseudohomophones. In Experiment 1, the task was to indicatewhether thewordwas spelled correctly andwhether it corresponded to the picture. The presence of pseudohomophones was expected to hinder performance only when phonological recoding occurred. In Experiment 2, the task was to indicate whether the word sounded like the picture, which now made phonological recoding essential in order to enable the acceptance of pseudohomophones. Results: The hearing children showed automatic activation of phonology during visual word recognition, regardless of whether they were instructed to focus on orthographic information (Experiment 1) or phonological information (Experiment 2). The deaf children showed little automatic phonological activation in either experiment. Conclusion: Deaf children do not use phonological information during word reading. © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
‘Early acquisition of sign language: What neuroimaging data tell us’, Sign Language and Linguistics (Online), 13 (2010), 183-199,
Early acquisition of a natural language, signed or spoken, has been shown to fundamentally impact both one's ability to use the first language, and the ability to learn subsequent languages later in life (Mayberry 2007, 2009). This review summarizes a number of recent neuroimaging studies in order to detail the neural bases of sign language acquisition. The logic of this review is to present research reports that contribute to the bigger picture showing that people who acquire a natural language, spoken or signed, in the normal way possess specialized linguistic abilities and brain functions that are missing or deficient in people whose exposure to natural language is delayed or absent. Comparing the function of each brain region with regards to the processing of spoken and sign languages, we attempt to clarify the role each region plays in language processing in general, and to outline the challenges and remaining questions in understanding language processing in the brain. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘The acquisition of Sign Language: The impact of phonetic complexity on phonology’, Language Learning and Development, 6 (2010), 60-86,
Research into the effect of phonetic complexity on phonological acquisition has a long history in spoken languages. This paper considers the effect of phonetics on phonological development in a signed language. We report on an experiment in which nonword-repetition methodology was adapted so as to examine in a systematic way how phonetic complexity in two phonological parameters of signed languages - handshape and movement - affects the perception and articulation of signs. Ninety-one Deaf children aged 3-11 acquiring British Sign Language (BSL) and 46 hearing nonsigners aged 6-11 repeated a set of 40 nonsense signs. For Deaf children, repetition accuracy improved with age, correlated with wider BSL abilities, and was lowest for signs that were phonetically complex. Repetition accuracy was correlated with fine motor skills for the youngest children. Despite their lower repetition accuracy, the hearing group were similarly affected by phonetic complexity, suggesting that common visual and motoric factors are at play when processing linguistic information in the visuo-gestural modality. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
‘Identifying specific language impairment in deaf children acquiring British Sign Language: Implications for theory and practice’, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 28 (2010), 33-49,
This paper presents the first ever group study of specific language impairment (SLI) in users of sign language. A group of 50 children were referred to the study by teachers and speech and language therapists. Individuals who fitted pre-determined criteria for SLI were then systematically assessed. Here, we describe in detail the performance of 13 signing deaf children aged 5-14 years on normed tests of British Sign Language (BSL) sentence comprehension, repetition of nonsense signs, expressive grammar and narrative skills, alongside tests of non-verbal intelligence and fine motor control. Results show these children to have a significant language delay compared to their peers matched for age and language experience. This impaired development cannot be explained by poor exposure to BSL, or by lower general cognitive, social, or motor abilities. As is the case for SLI in spoken languages, we find heterogeneity within the group in terms of which aspects of language are affected and the severity of the impairment. We discuss the implications of the existence of language impairments in a sign language for theories of SLI and clinical practice. © 2010 The British Psychological Society.
‘The Hands And Mouth Do Not Always Slip Together in British Sign Language: Dissociating Articulatory Channels in the Lexicon’, Psychological Science, 21 (2010), 1158-1167,
In contrast to the single-articulatory system of spoken languages, sign languages employ multiple articulators, including the hands and the mouth. We asked whether manual components and mouthing patterns of lexical signs share a semantic representation, and whether their relationship is affected by the differing language experience of deaf and hearing native signers. We used picture-naming tasks and word-translation tasks to assess whether the same semantic effects occur in manual production and mouthing production. Semantic errors on the hands were more common in the English-translation task than in the picture-naming task, but errors in mouthing patterns showed a different trend. We conclude that mouthing is represented and accessed through a largely separable channel, rather than being bundled with manual components in the sign lexicon. Results were comparable for deaf and hearing signers; differences in language experience did not play a role. These results provide novel insight into coordinating different modalities in language production. © The Author(s) 2010.
‘The Efficacy of Fingerspell Coding and Visual Imaging Techniques in Improving the Spelling Proficiency of Deaf Signing Elementary-Phase Children: A South African Case Study’, Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 22 (2010), 581-594,
Research suggests that restricted access to phonological coding exacerbates deaf children's reading and writing problems. Conversely, bilingual-bicultural programs are advocated on the hypothesis that well-developed sign language skills and visual coding strategies (based on sign language) may offer deaf children phonological/orthographic link, thus enhancing their written English skills. To test this hypothesis, this study used a quasi-experimental pre- and post-test design among prelingually profoundly deaf (late-signing) elementary-phase children attending a residential school for the Deaf in rural South Africa (treatment group: N = 32, mean age = 119.19 months, SD = 22.73, comparison group: N = 32, mean age = 117 months, SD = 21.36). After a year of computer-based exercises explicitly guiding them in fingerspell coding, visual imaging and the principles of "print-language mapping" between South African Sign Language and English, the pre- and post-test results revealed that the treatment group had made significant gains in spelling proficiency. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
‘Lexical noun phrases in texts written by deaf children and adults with different proficiency levels in sign language’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (2010), 439-468,
We report an analysis of lexical noun phrases (NPs) in narrative and expository texts written by Dutch deaf individuals from a bimodal bilingual perspective. Texts written by Dutch deaf children and adults who are either proficient in Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN) or low-proficient in SLN were compared on structures that either overlap in Dutch and SLN (presence of overt subject and object NPs, NP modifiers, and NP-internal agreement), or are absent in SLN (articles). We found that deaf participants experienced significant difficulty with lexical NPs. Further, deaf proficiently signing children (but not adults) more often omitted obligate articles than deaf low-proficiently signing children. Deaf proficiently signing children and adults did not differ from low-proficiently signing children and adults, however, in the use of NP modifiers, NP-agreement errors and omissions of obligatory NPs. We conclude that proficiency in sign language seems to affect particularly those aspects that differ substantially across sign language and oral language, in this case, articles. We argue that adopting a bimodal bilingual approach is important to understand the writing of deaf children. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
‘Without boundaries: An inquiry into Deaf epistemologies through a metaparadigm’, American Annals of the Deaf, 154 (2010), 428-434,
THE ONGOING DEBATE on Deaf epistemologies reflects two major paradigms in deaf education: positivism and constructivism. The present article investigates Deaf epistemologies through a metaparadigm, which should blur the boundaries among different paradigms and connect the epistemological inquiry to instructional practice for d/Deaf students. The author states that researchers and educators should not be obsessed with defending a particular paradigm and attacking others, but should move toward paradigmatic integration. If successful instructional practices are to be fully understood, each paradigm needs insights from the others. Furthermore, effective classroom instruction should be based on the goal of the educational activity and the ability of the students in the classroom. Mainstream theories and research in English literacy education can and should be applicable to d/Deaf students; furthermore, using appropriate instructional tools, teachers of the d/Deaf can and should teach phonologically related skills to their students.
‘Early vocabulary development in deaf native signers: A british sign language adaptation of the communicative development inventories’, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 51 (2010), 322-331,
Background: There is a dearth of assessments of sign language development in young deaf children. This study gathered age-related scores from a sample of deaf native signing children using an adapted version of the MacArthur-Bates CDI (Fenson et al., 1994). Method: Parental reports on children's receptive and expressive signing were collected longitudinally on 29 deaf native British Sign Language (BSL) users, aged 8-36 months, yielding 146 datasets. Results: A smooth upward growth curve was obtained for early vocabulary development and percentile scores were derived. In the main, receptive scores were in advance of expressive scores. No gender bias was observed. Correlational analysis identified factors associated with vocabulary development, including parental education and mothers' training in BSL. Individual children's profiles showed a range of development and some evidence of a growth spurt. Clinical and research issues relating to the measure are discussed. Conclusions: The study has developed a valid, reliable measure of vocabulary development in BSL. Further research is needed to investigate the relationship between vocabulary acquisition in native and non-native signers. © 2009 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
‘Mobilizing the deaf community in uruguay’, Grassroots Development, 31 (2010), 54-55,
The deaf community in Uruguay, totaling less than 1% of the country's inhabitants, has successfully organized to push for deaf-focused laws and government programs and policies. The consequent benefits to Deaf Uruguayans include bilingual primary education in Uruguayan sign language (LSU) and Spanish, assignment of interpreters to secondary schools, universities, and employment interviews, and recognition of LSU as an official language. An exploratory case study of the Deaf community in Montevideo studied the involvement of this community than the other Uruguayan disability groups outnumbering Deaf communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was found that the community needed Deaf-focused development in Latin America and the Caribbean due to pervasive communication and language barriers that result in less accommodation of deaf citizens than of those belonging to other disability groups.
‘Enhancing education for deaf children: Research into practice and back again’, Deafness and Education International, 12 (2010), 217-235,
Decades of research on educational and basic scientific questions relating to deaf children have yielded a wealth of knowledge about how they learn and develop as thinking, social, problem-solving individuals. However, we currently lack channels for communication from teachers to researchers about the priorities in education and from researchers to teachers about scientific progress that might be effectively utilized in the learning context. As a result, research often fails to address educational priorities, knowledge gained from relevant investigations is rarely translated into practice, and decision-making is often governed by administrative expedience rather than evidence. To address this situation, this paper identifies the current research priorities relating to deaf education and research outcomes that appear likely to have a significant impact on the development of educational practice. Practitioner priorities also are identified, and explanations for the gap between research and practice are analyzed. Ways in which the gaps between research and practice can be addressed are proposed. The goal is to provide a catalyst for broad-based discussions about how to include teachers in educational research planning and create genuine and effective partnerships between researchers and teachers to enhance educational outcomes for deaf pupils. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2010.
‘Policy and practice in sign bilingual education: Development, challenges and directions’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (2010), 147-158,
A sign bilingual approach to the education of deaf children was first introduced in the UK in 1990. This paper reviews the growth of sign bilingual education in the UK and documents significant milestones in the development of sign bilingual policy and practice since the 1980s. This overview demonstrates how key issues in sign bilingual education have evolved and how priorities have changed over time and enables comparisons with contexts beyond the UK to be drawn. Current issues in sign bilingual education are analysed within our twenty-first century educational context in which both the advancing technology and medical understanding are providing new opportunities for deaf pupils and changing their learning and communication needs. Particular themes addressed include research into early literacy and also the role of sign language for deaf children with cochlear implants. From this analysis, new directions for sign bilingual education are suggested in terms of learning and teaching and a future research agenda. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
‘The impact of Visual Phonics on the phonological awareness and speech production of a student who is deaf: A case study’, American Annals of the Deaf, 155 (2010), 124-130,
‘Signs of change’, Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 33 (2010), 5.1-5.20,
This study explores contemporary attitudes to Australian Sign Language (Auslan). Since at least the 1960s, sign languages have been accepted by linguists as natural languages with all of the key ingredients common to spoken languages. However, these visual-spatial languages have historically been subject to ignorance and myth in Australia and internationally. Absorbing these views, deaf Australians have felt confused and ambivalent about Auslan. Whilst recognising the prestige of spoken and signed versions of the majority language and the low status of their own, they have been nevertheless powerfully drawn to sign language. In the past two decades, a growing awareness and acceptance of Auslan has emerged among deaf and hearing Australians alike, spurred by linguistic research, lobbying by deaf advocacy groups and other developments. These issues are explored using semi-structured interviews with deaf and hearing individuals, participant observation in the deaf community, and analysis of government and educational language policies.
‘Technology as a learning tool for ASL literacy’, Sign Language Studies, 10 (2010), 197-213,
This article discusses the role of technology in supporting ASL literacy. This attention to technology is part of an exploratory study of Deaf elementary school students participating in an ASL identity text project at a bilingual/bicultural school for Deaf students in Ontario, Canada. This study is a contribution to the cross-Canada Multiliteracies project, which proposes a new approach to literacy pedagogy that also includes an increased attention to technological applications. The Ontario ASL curriculum and its use of ASL technology are also elements of this exploratory study.
‘Sensitivity to conversational maxims in deaf and hearing children’, Journal of Child Language, 37 (2010), 929-943,
We investigated whether access to a sign language affects the development of pragmatic competence in three groups of deaf children aged 6 to 11 years: native signers from deaf families receiving bimodal/bilingual instruction, native signers from deaf families receiving oralist instruction and late signers from hearing families receiving oralist instruction. The performance of these children was compared to a group of hearing children aged 6 to 7 years on a test designed to assess sensitivity to violations of conversational maxims. Native signers with bimodal/bilingual instruction were as able as the hearing children to detect violations that concern truthfulness (Maxim of Quality) and relevance (Maxim of Relation). On items involving these maxims, they outperformed both the late signers and native signers attending oralist schools. These results dovetail with previous findings on mindreading in deaf children and underscore the role of early conversational experience and instructional setting in the development of pragmatics. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009.
‘Bilingual education for deaf children in Sweden’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (2010), 159-174,
In 1981, Swedish Sign Language gained recognition by the Swedish Parliament as the language of deaf people, a decision that made Sweden the first country in the world to give a sign language the status of a language. Swedish was designated as a second language for deaf people, and the need for bilingualism among them was officially asserted. This was reflected in the first bilingual curriculum, introduced in special schools for the deaf and hard of hearing in 1983, which stated that the language of instruction in these schools should be Swedish sign language as well as Swedish, the latter of which, for deaf children, was primarily intended to be in its written form. These provisions were designed to ensure that pupils would be able to develop their bilingualism. In 1994, this curriculum was replaced by a new one that raised the bar even higher. In accordance with this curriculum, schools became responsible for ensuring that all deaf and hard of hearing pupils would be bilingual by the time they completed school. In this paper, I will present details regarding the background of the Swedish Parliament's decision and also compare and discuss the steering documents for the schools in this regard. I will also describe some of the developmental work that was implemented early in schools for the deaf, where teachers collaborated closely with linguistic researchers. This work will be related to contemporary research on sign language linguistics and Swedish as a second language for deaf people. I will then present results from the bilingual approach, as reflected in the leaving certificates of deaf school leavers over the years. Finally, I will briefly discuss the current situation Swedish special schools face today, in which a quickly growing number of deaf children with cochlear implants are applying for admission. Although the need for bilingualism among these children is fully recognised, the attainment of this goal may require schools to adopt different means of instruction. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
‘Deaf adults and the comprehension of Miranda’, Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 10 (2010), 107-132,
The Miranda Warning and Waiver ASL (MWWT-ASL) is a bilingual test constructed and administered to three groups of deaf adults in postsecondary education (n = 34) who differed on bilingual (ASL/English) proficiency, IQ, and number of years using sign language. The deaf adults read the MWW in English print and viewed it on a DVD as the Miranda was translated into ASL by a certified legal interpreter. Participants' retelling tasks were videotaped. The videotapes were then transcribed and back-translated into English, compared to the Miranda rights in English, and scored on a five-point scale (0-4). Age, IQ, reported years of using sign language, and English-reading grade level were found to be strongly and positively correlated to retelling scores on the MWWT-ASL. Further, findings revealed that deaf adults who are reading at the eighth-grade level or below would be linguistically incompetent to understand the Miranda warning and waiver even if it is presented in both ASL and English. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
‘Codeswitching Techniques: Evidence-Based Instructional Practices for the ASL/English Bilingual Classroom’, American Annals of the Deaf, 155 (2010), 407-424,
‘Translanguaging in the bilingual classroom: A pedagogy for learning and teaching?’, Modern Language Journal, 94 (2010), 103-115,
This article reports on research that questions commonsense understandings of a bilingual pedagogy predicated on what Cummins (2005, 2008) refers to as the " two solitudes" assumption (2008, p. 65). It sets out to describe a flexible bilingual approach to language teaching and learning in Chinese and Gujarati community language schools in the United Kingdom. We argue for a release from monolingual instructional approaches and advocate teaching bilingual children by means of bilingual instructional strategies, in which two or more languages are used alongside each other. In developing this argument, the article takes a language ecology perspective and seeks to describe the interdependence of skills and knowledge across languages. ©2010 The Modern Language Journal.
‘Deafness in a multilingual society: A review of research for practice’, Educational and child psychology /, 27 (2010), 41-49,
‘Psychosocial development in a Danish population of children with cochlear implants and deaf and hard-of-hearing children’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 15 (2010), 50-58,
‘Access all areas: Identity issues and researcher responsibilities in workplace settings’, Text and Talk, 30 (2010), 105-124,
This article examines the particular difficulties and challenges experienced by a practitioner-researcher while collecting signed language interpreting data within the specific institutional setting of the workplace. Given the complex relationships that exist between the minority Deaf community and that of the majority hearing community, as well as the tensions present between Deaf people and signed language interpreters, undertaking research in this area requires both sensitivity and an in-depth understanding of the power imbalances involved. Practitioner-researchers in this field are positioned between the Deaf and hearing communities, and have to maintain a finely tuned awareness of the issues raised by their insider/outsider status. Exploring issues of methodology, access, identity, and participant observation, this paper examines the process of collecting video data for the analysis of interpreted events. The paper draws on an ethnographic study of interpreted interaction within the workplace, and considers the complex relationship between the hearing researcher and the Deaf research participants, concluding with what I see as a fundamental requirementcollaboration with and information dissemination to all those involved in the research process. © 2010 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG.
‘Sign language processing’, Linguistics and Language Compass, 4 (2010), 430-444,
Sign languages present a unique and natural opportunity to investigate the cognitive mechanisms of language comprehension and production, particularly in terms of their universality. Sign-speech comparisons can lead to important theoretical insights about language processing. In the present paper, we enquire about the processing - recognition and production - of sign languages with special attention to the effects of age of acquisition and iconicity. Our aim is to provide a review of current findings about the psychological processes involved in sign language processing examining what aspects may be universal and what aspects are affected by modality. © 2010 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
‘Is teaching sign language in early childhood classrooms feasible for busy teachers and beneficial for children?’, YC Young Children, 65 (2010), 92-97,
‘Creating and (re)negotiating boundaries: Representations as mediation in visually oriented multilingual swedish school settings’, Language, Culture and Curriculum, 23 (2010), 251-276,
This article brings together salient findings regarding communication and identity through studies of everyday social practices, studies of discourses about these practices and policy documents pertaining to special schools from previous and ongoing ethnographic projects based at the KKOM-DS (Communication, Culture and Diversity - Deaf Studies) research group in Sweden. Central findings regarding the complex nature of language usage in these 'bilingual' Swedish-Swedish Sign Language settings are highlighted and the key concept of different types of chaining is empirically explicated. The work presented here also takes its point of departure in how Self and Other are represented in everyday talk, in how the organisation of time and space and how the sociohistorical discourse about language, 'bilingualism' and identity in policy documents mediate a particular world view in terms of an 'imagined and pure homogeneity'. Together, these two empirically grounded analyses highlight a tension between human beings' ways of being or their actions and orientations in social practices and human beings' ways of understanding and conceptualising bilingualism in educational settings. The empirical analyses suggest that understanding linguistic competencies and the organisation of the primary languages in the special schools, on the one hand, and human beings' use of both the languages, on the other hand, are very different phenomena. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
‘Cued speech for enhancing speech perception and first language development of children with cochlear implants’, Trends in Amplification, 14 (2010), 96-112,
‘Happen can't hear: An analysis of code-blends in hearing, native signers of American Sign Language’, Sign Language Studies, 11 (2010), 205-240,
‘Hearing impariment issues’, Uvod u problematiku oštecenja sluha, 53 (2010), 55-62,
The paper discusses the basic concepts connected with the hearing impairment which are important for better understanding of the IFLA Guidelines for Libraries serving persons with a hearing impairment. The basic terms connected with the causes of hearing impairments (prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal ones) are defi ned, as well as the types of hearing loss with respect to the degree of loss (deafness, hard of hearing), the time of hearing impairment onset (pre-lingual, post-lingual), and the location of hearing impairment (conductive, perceptive, and mixed). Furthermore, specifi c features of the hearing impaired persons communication are presented, with an emphasis on lip-reading skills and manual forms of communication (fi nger-spelling, simultaneous communication and sign language), as well as basic characteristics of the two main approaches in deaf children's education - the one which forbids the use of manual forms of communication in educational settings and the one which supports it. During the last 15 to 20 years, the huge heterogeneity of the population of hearing impaired people has been even more enlarged by the use of cochlear implants. The heterogeneity of this population demands the availability of diverse educational alternatives, in order to fully satisfy their diverse communicational and educational needs. At the end of the article we elaborate the ways of providing an access to information for hearing impaired people equal to the one of the people with good hearing. Equal access to information for hearing impaired people is an imperative in the contemporary world, supported by recommendations of the World Federation of the Deaf. The essence of achieving such an access to information is to enable hearing impaired persons to receive complete information, with easiness and in the modality she/he prefers. © VBH 2010.
‘Literacy behaviors of deaf preschoolers during video viewing’, Sign Language Studies, 11 (2010), 76-99,
A pressing concern in the education of deaf children is their lack of academic success as measured by literacy rates. Most deaf children finish high school reading below a fourth-grade level. Educational television programs have successfully fostered preschool hearing children's emergent literacy skills. As for preschool deaf children, however, there has been only limited research on whether this medium can be effective. This study uses descriptive analyses to determine the type and frequency of literacy behaviors that preschool deaf children engage in while viewing an educational video in American Sign Language. Children were videotaped during three such sessions, and the videos were coded for literacy-related engagement behaviors. The results of this study indicate that preschool deaf children engaged in a variety of such behaviors regardless of age and ASL exposure and that these behaviors increased after multiple video viewings. © 2010 Project MUSE®. 10.1353/sls.2010.0001.
‘Vocabulary instruction through books read in American sign language for English-language learners with hearing loss’, Communication Disorders Quarterly, 31 (2010), 98-112,
Reading to children improves vocabulary acquisition through incidental exposure, and it is a best practice for parents and teachers of children who can hear. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing are at risk for not learning vocabulary as such. This article describes a procedure for using books read on DVD in American Sign Language with English-language learners who are deaf or hard of hearing. This research examined the effectiveness of DVDs as a tool to increase a students production of the printed word in American Sign Language. The researchers used expository books with math vocabulary in a multiple-baseline design (ABC) across three sets of five vocabulary words. Four participants aged 10 to 12 with severe to profound hearing loss engaged in vocabulary activities using the DVD math expository books read through American Sign Language. DVDs alone were less effective for increasing vocabulary than when accompanied with preteaching of the target vocabulary words. © 2010 Hammill Institute on Disabilities.
‘Bilingualism and attention: A study of balanced and unbalanced bilingual deaf users of American sign language and English’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 15 (2010), 263-273,
Early deafness is thought to affect low-level sensorimotor processing such as selective attention, whereas bilingualism is thought to be strongly associated with higher order cognitive processing such as attention switching under cognitive load. This study explores the effects of bimodal-bilingualism (in American Sign Language and written English) on attention switching, in order to contrast the roles of bilingual proficiency and age of acquisition in relation to cognitive flexibility among deaf adults. Results indicated a strong high-proficiency bilingual advantage in the higher order attention task. The level of proficiency in 2 languages appears to be the driving force for cognitive flexibility. However, additional data are needed to reach conclusive interpretation for the influence of age of second language acquisition on higher order attention-switching ability and associated cognitive flexibility. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘The use of narrative analysis as a research and evaluation method of atypical language: The case of deaf writing’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (2010), 225-241,
The present paper argues the use of narratives as the most appropriate evaluation method in cases of atypical language production. Narrative as a genre has an ecological validity that other genres used in language research and evaluation do not have. Narratives develop naturally from very early, they are independent of education and academic skills, and they are meaningful because of their direct contact to experience. As a result the paper argues that narrative analysis is the most appropriate evaluation and research method for atypical language, one instance of which is deaf writing. The paper will present an example of narrative analysis application on a story written by a deaf writer. Via the illustrative example it will be shown that narrative analysis captures deeper levels of the language production by exploring the content of information, and the structure of text. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
‘Deaf utopias? Reviewing the sociocultural literature on the world's "Martha's Vineyard situations’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 15 (2010), 3-16,
Martha's Vineyard-an island off the East Coast of the United States-is known as a community where "everyone signed" for several hundred years, a utopia in the eyes of many Deaf people. Currently, there exist around the world a number of small similar "shared signing communities," for example, in Mexico, Bali, Israel, and Ghana. A few studies about these have emerged, which give some information about the social and cultural patterns in such communities. Deaf studies researchers have begun the process of "synthesizing" and theorizing this information, and have developed typologies based on "traditional" Western urban Deaf communities. This article critically reviews the existing literature and raises new questions regarding the study and theorizing of such communities. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Deaf children's engagement in an educational video in american sign language’, American Annals of the Deaf, 155 (2010), 360-368,
OVER TIME, children's educational television has successfully modified programming to incorporate research-based strategies to facilitate learning and engagement during viewing. However, research has been limited on whether these same strategies would work with preschool deaf children viewing videos in American Sign Language. In a descriptive study, engagement behaviors of 25 preschool deaf children during multiple viewings of an educational video in ASL were examined. The video incorporated research-based interactive strategies to facilitate engagement while targeting vocabulary through ASL, fingerspelling, and English print. Each of 3 viewing sessions was recorded; videos were transcribed and coded for frequency of children's movements, pointing, fingerspelling, and signing. Behaviors were analyzed for frequency within and across multiple viewings and by level of signing skills. It was found that each of these engagement behaviors occurred frequently throughout viewings and increased across multiple viewings regardless of a child's age or signing skills.
‘Predictors of reading development in deaf children: a 3-year longitudinal study’, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 107 (2010), 229-243,
‘The Relationship between Applied Linguistic Research and Language Policy for Bilingual Education’, Applied Linguistics, 31 (2010), 72-93,
Currently, restrictive-language policies seem to threaten bilingual education throughout the USA. Anti-bilingual education initiatives have passed easily in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts, while one was closely defeated in Colorado, and federal education policy has re-invigorated the focus on English education for English language learners, while concomitantly obfuscating the possibility of native language maintenance and developmental bilingual education. This is the educational landscape within which bilingual education researchers, educators, and students must face the formidable challenge of preserving educational choice and bilingual education. Thus, substantive research is needed on how bilingual educators navigate this challenging ideological and policy landscape. Based on an ethnographic study of bilingual education language policy, this article takes up this challenge by focusing on how beliefs about Applied Linguistics research influence the interpretation and appropriation of federal language policy in one US school district. The results have implications for the relationship between the Applied Linguistic research community and language policy processes.
‘Medical signbank: Bringing deaf people and linguists together in the process of language development’, Sign Language Studies, 10 (2010), 258-275,
In this article we describe an Australian project in which linguists, signed language interpreters, medical and health care professionals, and members of the Deaf community use the technology of the Internet to facilitate cooperative language development. A web-based, interactive multimedia lexicon, an encyclopedic dictionary, and a database of Australian Sign Language (Auslan) are being used to create an effective, accepted, and shared sign language vocabulary for the discussion of medical and mental health issues by deaf clients and health professionals in interactions mediated by Auslan interpreters. The site, called Medical Signbank, is a means of monitoring Auslan vocabulary use and innovation by interpreters and of providing an explanation of basic medical and mental health terminology to deaf people with limited English or literacy skills. Medical Signbank will use the interactive capabilities of the Internet to turn the tables on language planning and standardization-from "top down" to "bottom up"-and, by so doing, encourage an organic and more natural process of language development.
‘Deaf epistemology: Deafhood and deafness’, American Annals of the Deaf, 154 (2010), 486-492,
EAF EPISTEMOLOGY constitutes the nature and extent of the knowledge that deaf individuals acquire growing up in a society that relies primarily on audition to navigate life. Deafness creates beings who are more visually oriented compared to their auditorily oriented peers. How hearing individuals interact with deaf individuals shapes how deaf individuals acquire knowledge and how they learn. Aspects of the Deaf episteme, not caused by deafness but by Deafhood, have a positive impact on how deaf individuals learn, resist audism, stay healthy, and navigate the world. Research on psychology, health, and education are reviewed to illustrate how visually oriented beings think and view the world differently from the majority. The article provides support to the theory of multiple epistemologies, and has implications for families, teachers, and researchers.
‘Bilingualism, biculturalism, and deafness’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (2010), 133-145,
This paper contains three parts. In the first part, what it means to be bilingual in sign language and the spoken (majority) language is explained, and similarities as well as differences with hearing bilinguals are discussed. The second part examines the biculturalism of deaf people. Like hearing biculturals, they take part, to varying degrees, in the life of two worlds (the deaf world and the hearing world), they adapt their attitudes, behaviors, and languages to both worlds, and they combine and blend aspects of the two. The decisional process they go through in choosing a cultural identity is discussed and the difficulties met by some groups are examined. The third part begins with a discussion of why early bilingualism is crucial for the development of deaf children. The reasons that bilingualism and biculturalism have not normally had the favor of those involved in nurturing and educating deaf children are then discussed. They are of two kinds: misunderstandings concerning bilingualism and sign language; and the lack of acceptance of certain realities by many professionals in deafness, most notably members of the medical world. The article ends with a discussion of the role of the two languages in the development of deaf children. © 2010 Oxford University Press.
‘Assessment of sign language development: The case of deaf children in the Netherlands’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 15 (2010), 107-119,
In this article, we will describe the development of an assessment instrument for Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN) for deaf children in bilingual education programs. The assessment instrument consists of nine computerized tests in which the receptive and expressive language skills of deaf children at different linguistic levels (phonology, vocabulary, morphosyntax, and narration) are assessed. We will describe how the instrument was developed and normed, and present some psychometric properties of the instrument. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
‘On the relation between the signing and reading skills of deaf bilinguals’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (2010), 187-199,
In this paper, we will describe the theoretical underpinning of many bilingual education programs for deaf children: Cummins' Linguistic Interdependence theory. Then, we will review some of the studies that have been conducted on the relation between reading and signing skills, and discuss how difficult it is to interpret their findings within Cummins' framework. We will present new data on the relation between deaf children's vocabulary knowledge and morpho-syntactic skills in Sign Language of the Netherlands and spoken Dutch that imply that Cummins' theory may be too narrow as an educational model of bilingual programs for deaf children. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
‘The relationship between applied linguistic research and language policy for bilingual education’, Applied Linguistics,, 31 (2010), 72-93,
‘Deaf epistemology: The Deaf way of knowing’, American Annals of the Deaf, 154 (2010), 471-478,
HE STANDARD EPISTEMOLOGY requires the use of hard science to gain knowledge and discover the truth. In contrast, Deaf epistemology relies heavily on personal testimonies, personal experiences, and personal accounts to document knowledge. In recent years, a number of deaf schools have adopted deaf-centric policies shaped by Deaf epistemology in an effort to improve academic performance of deaf students. Because of federal laws, all schools are now expected to show accountability in the performance of their students, with data becoming increasingly available for public scrutiny. The preliminary data from three wellknown deaf schools are beginning to show that the effectiveness of deafcentric approaches can be substantiated by the standard epistemology. For this reason, Deaf epistemology and the standard epistemology should not always be viewed as having an oxymoronic relationship.
‘Toward an equal level of educational attainment between deaf and hearing people in Sweden?’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 14 (2009), 312-323,
Various educational reforms in Sweden have resulted in a formally equivalent educational system for deaf and hearing pupils. Has this resulted in equal levels of educational attainment? This article compares 2,144 people born between 1941 and 1980 who attended a special education program for the deaf and 100,000 randomly chosen individuals from the total population born between 1941 and 1980. Data consist of registered information about the individuals in the year 2005. Results demonstrate that the deaf population has a lower level of educational attainment than the reference population. Women have a higher level of educational attainment than men, and younger people have a higher level than older people in each population. Neither sex, age category, nor immigrant background accounts for the variance in the level of educational attainment between the populations. The educational reforms have not been sufficient to reduce the unequal level of educational attainment between deaf and hearing people. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Working memory, deafness and sign language’, Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 50 (2009), 495-505,
Working memory (WM) for sign language has an architecture similar to that for speech-based languages at both functional and neural levels. However, there are some processing differences between language modalities that are not yet fully explained, although a number of hypotheses have been mooted. This article reviews some of the literature on differences in sensory, perceptual and cognitive processing systems induced by auditory deprivation and sign language use and discusses how these differences may contribute to differences in WM architecture for signed and speech-based languages. In conclusion, it is suggested that left-hemisphere reorganization of the motion-processing system as a result of native sign-language use may interfere with the development of the order processing system in WM. © 2009 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.
‘Lexical and grammatical abilities in deaf Italian preschoolers: The role of duration of formal language experience’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 14 (2009), 63-75,
We evaluated language development in deaf Italian preschoolers with hearing parents, taking into account the duration of formal language experience (i.e., the time elapsed since wearing a hearing aid and beginning language education) and different methods of language education. Twenty deaf children were matched with 20 hearing children for age and with another 20 hearing children for duration of experience. Deaf children showed a significant delay in both vocabulary and grammar when compared to same-age hearing children yet a similar development compared to hearing children matched for duration of formal language experience. The delay in linguistic development could be attributable to shorter formal language experience and not to deafness itself. Deaf children exposed to spoken language accompanied by signs tended to understand and produce more words than children exposed only to spoken language. We suggest that deaf children be evaluated based on their linguistic experience and cognitive and communicative potential. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press.
‘The role of sign phonology and iconicity during sign processing: The case of deaf children’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 14 (2009), 436-448,
To investigate the influence of sign phonology and iconicity during sign processing in deaf children, the roles of these sign features were examined using an experimental sign-picture verification paradigm. Participants had to make decisions about sign-picture pairs, manipulated according to phonological sign features (i.e., hand shape, movement, and location) and iconic sign features (i.e., transparent depiction of meaning or not). We found that phonologically related sign pairs resulted in relatively longer response latencies and more errors whereas iconic sign pairs resulted in relatively shorter response latencies and fewer errors. The results showed that competing lexical sign candidates (neighbor signs) were activated during sign processing by deaf children. In addition, deaf children exploit the iconicity of signs during sign recognition. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Languaging: University Students Learn the Grammatical Concept of Voice in French’, The Modern Language Journal, 93 (2009), 5-29,
In this article we explore the process and product of languaging as it concerns the learning of the grammatical concept of voice (active, passive, and middle) in French. We examine and analyze the amount and type of languaging produced by a small sample of university students as they struggle to understand the concept of voice. Students who are high languagers learn about the grammatical concept of voice in French with greater depth of understanding than low languagers. We demonstrate that there is a relationship between the quality and quantity of languaging and performance as measured by immediate and delayed posttest stages. These findings suggest that languaging is a key component in the internalization process of second language grammatical concepts. Implications of our research for pedagogy are briefly considered.
‘Social construction of American sign language-english interpreters’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 14 (2009), 105-130,
Instructors in 5 American Sign Language-English Interpreter Programs and 4 Deaf Studies Programs in Canada were interviewed and asked to discuss their experiences as educators. Within a qualitative research paradigm, their comments were grouped into a number of categories tied to the social construction of American Sign Language-English interpreters, such as learners' age and education and the characteristics of good citizens within the Deaf community. According to the participants, younger students were adept at language acquisition, whereas older learners more readily understood the purpose of lessons. Children of deaf adults were seen as more culturally aware. The participants' beliefs echoed the theories of P. Freire (1970/1970) that educators consider the reality of each student and their praxis and were responsible for facilitating student self-awareness. Important characteristics in the social construction of students included independence, an appropriate attitude, an understanding of Deaf culture, ethical behavior, community involvement, and a willingness to pursue lifelong learning. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press.
‘Motives and outcomes of New Zealand sign language legislation: A comparative study between New Zealand and Finland’, Current Issues in Language Planning, 10 (2009), 272-292,
The medicalized interpretation of deafness has until recently seen the rights and protections of sign language users embedded in disability law. Yet the rights and protections crucial to sign language users centre predominantly on matters of language access, maintenance and identity. Legislators, motivated by pressure from sign language communities and in response to international human rights laws, have begun to enact statutes that include provisions pertaining to sign language. The New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006 (NZSL Act 2006 hereafter) made NZSL an official language but created minimal enforceable rights or obligations. This paper explores the significance of this legislation both in New Zealand, in comparison with the Maori Language Act 1987, and internationally, in comparison with the legislative situation in Finland. Finland is considered to be a leader in sign language user rights. Similarities between New Zealand and Finland such as geography, population size, type of government and economy provide for a comparative study. This paper considers whether the NZSL Act 2006 fulfilled the intention of Parliament and the desire of the Deaf community to make a material difference to accessing citizenship through NZSL, particularly in education, or whether there were possible non-community motives for the NZSL Act 2006 that prevented it from fulfilling its potential. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.
‘Effects of Varying Rate of Signing on ASL Manual Signs and Nonmanual Markers’, Language and Speech, 52 (2009), 245-285,
Spoken languages are characterized by flexible, multivariate prosodic systems. As a natural language, American Sign Language (ASL), and other sign languages (SLs), are also expected to be characterized in the same way. Artificially created signing systems for classroom use, such as signed English, serve as a contrast to natural sign languages. The present article explores the effects of changes in signing rate on signs, pauses, and, unlike previous studies, a variety of nonmanual markers. Rate was a main effect on the duration of signs, the number of pauses and pause duration, the duration of brow raises, the duration of licensed lowered brows, the number and duration of blinks, all of which decreased with increased signing rate. This indicates that signers produced their different signing rates without making dramatic changes in the number of signs, but instead by varying the sign duration, in accordance with previous observations (Grosjean, 1978, 1979). These results can be brought to bear on three different issues: (1) the difference between grammatical nonmanuals and non-grammatical nonmanuals; (2) the fact that nonmanuals in general are not just a modality effect; and (3) the use of some nonmanuals as pragmatically determined as opposed to overt morphophonological markers reflecting the semantic-syntax-pragmatic interfaces.
‘Children with cochlear implants: The communication journey’, Cochlear Implants International, 10 (2009), 41-62,
Cochlear implantation is now a well-established procedure for profoundly deaf children providing access to speech through hearing for many of them. Much attention has focused on which communication mode to adopt with this group of children but very little work has looked at the choices that parents make before and after cochlear implantation. This study, following on from two earlier studies, looked in depth at the experiences of 12 families. It finds that parents choose the most effective way of communicating with their child but retain as their goal, the development of oral communication skills. For many this is a journey in which different approaches are utilised at various stages in the child's development. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Survey on sign language interpreting in China’, Interpreting, 11 (2009), 137-163,
Though research into sign language interpreting (SLI) has been recognized as an integral part of general translation studies, especially of interpreting studies, SLI is yet to make its way into the consciousness of translation studies researchers on the Chinese mainland. This paper presents data collected from two surveys carried out in China, one of the sign language interpreters and one of the deaf community, covering areas including the interpreters' professional profiles, the SLI market, professional issues, interpreting difficulties, directionality, quality issues and the role of the interpreter. The paper ends with an analysis of the unique challenges facing the professional development of and research into SLI in China. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘Two cultures, one programme: Deaf professors as subaltern?’, Deafness and Education International, 11 (2009), 221-249,
Deaf instructors of American Sign Language have taught ASL in formal institutions of higher learning for several decades now, yet little is known of the challenges they face within those contexts. In this study, interviews with instructors of five ASL-English Interpreter Programs (AEIP) and four Deaf Studies Programs (DSP) in Canada identified a number of common themes in particular to the intersection of culture, power, and identity. Within a post-colonial framework differences were found in the discursive practices of the participants as Deaf or non-Deaf individuals. Evidence of systemic audism experienced by the Deaf staff was noted at a number of levels, perhaps due to the existence of a 'Grand Narrative of Hearing' and a process of 'Worlding' based on the ideology of the hearing majority. As a result perhaps some of the Deaf instructors were ascribed or adopted the role of subaltern, where they should have instead experienced substantial social capital. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Structural priming of adjective-noun structures in hearing and deaf children’, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104 (2009), 179-196,
We examined priming of adjective-noun structures in Dutch hearing and deaf children. In three experiments, hearing 7- and 8-year-olds, hearing 11- and 12-year-olds, and deaf 11- and 12-year-olds read a prenominal structure (e.g., the blue ball), a relative clause structure (e.g., the ball that is blue), or a main clause (e.g., the ball is blue). After reading each prime structure, children described a target picture in writing. Half of the target pictures contained the same noun as the prime structure and half contained a different noun. Hearing 7- and 8-year-olds and 11- and 12-year-olds, as well as deaf 11- and 12-year-olds, showed priming effects for all three structures in both the same-noun and different-noun conditions. Structural priming was not boosted by lexical repetition in the hearing and deaf 11- and 12-year-olds; a lexical boost effect was observed only in the 7- and 8-year-olds and only in the relative clause structure. The findings suggest that hearing and deaf children possess abstract representations of adjective-noun structures independent of particular lexical items. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
‘Puerto Rican and deaf: A view from the borderland’, Centro Journal, 21 (2009), 85-107,
A little-known aspect of the Great Migration is the story of Puerto Rican families who came with their deaf children to New York City. This paper examines the interplay of language (oral and sign), culture, and family structure among the deaf and hearing members of such families. It also looks at the formation and activities of the deaf Puerto Rican community of the 1940s-1970s and its interaction with the Catholic Church and the hearing Puerto Rican community. It concludes with an overview of the concerns and controversies that deaf communities face today.
‘Learning to look: The acquisition of eye gaze agreement during the production of ASL verbs’, Bilingualism, 12 (2009), 393-409,
In American Sign Language (ASL), native signers use eye gaze to mark agreement (Thompson, Emmorey and Kluender, 2006). Such agreement is unique (it is articulated with the eyes) and complex (it occurs with only two out of three verb types, and marks verbal arguments according to a noun phrase accessibility hierarchy). In a language production experiment using head-mounted eye-tracking, we investigated the extent to which eye gaze agreement can be mastered by late second-language (L2) learners. The data showed that proficient late learners (with an average of 18.8 years signing experience) mastered a cross-linguistically prevalent pattern (NP-accessibility) within the eye gaze agreement system but ignored an idiosyncratic feature (marking agreement on only a subset of verbs). Proficient signers produced a grammar for eye gaze agreement that diverged from that of native signers but was nonetheless consistent with language universals. A second experiment examined the eye gaze patterns of novice signers with less than two years of ASL exposure and of English-speaking non-signers. The results provided further evidence that the pattern of acquisition found for proficient L2 learners is directly related to language learning, and does not stem from more general cognitive processes for eye gaze outside the realm of language. © 2009 Cambridge University Press.
‘The Link Between Form and Meaning in American Sign Language: Lexical Processing Effects’, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 35 (2009), 550-557,
Signed languages exploit iconicity (the transparent relationship between meaning and form) to a greater extent than spoken languages. where it is largely limited to onomatopoeia. In a picture-sign matching experiment measuring reaction times, the authors examined the potential advantage of iconicity both for 1st- and 2nd-language learners of American Sign Language (ASL). The results show that native ASL signers are faster to respond when a specific property iconically represented in a sign is made salient in the corresponding picture, thus providing evidence that a closer mapping between meaning and form can aid in lexical retrieval. While late 2nd-language learners appear to use iconicity as an aid to learning sign (R. Campbell, P. Martin, & T. White, 1992), they did not show the same facilitation effect as native ASL signers, suggesting that the task tapped into more automatic language processes. Overall, the findings suggest that completely arbitrary mappings between meaning and form may not be more advantageous in language and that, rather, arbitrariness may simply be an accident of modality. © 2009 American Psychological Association.
‘Are you getting the message? The effects of SimCom on the message received by deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students’, Sign Language Studies, 9 (2009), 266-286+379-380,
When hearing speakers address a mixed audience of hearing and deaf participants,1 they have a choice of three methods by which to convey the information in their presentation. They may choose to use English and provide an English-to-ASL interpreter, use ASL and provide an ASL-to-English interpreter, or use simultaneous communication (SimCom). The choice to use SimCom (i.e., to speak and sign at the same time) is based in part on the idea that equivalent information will be communicated directly and simultaneously to both hearing and deaf audience members. This study examines the effects of SimCom on the degree of correct information received by deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students. Our objective is to ascertain whether a qualitative difference exists in the comprehensible input in order to determine whether all of the students are receiving equivalent information in the classroom. Previous research on SimCom shows that the auditory and visual messages produced are not equivalent; the current research seeks to determine whether the received messages are equivalent. Direct feedback from deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students is the indicator of message equivalence. Our methodology consisted of showing several short video clips from various presentations given using SimCom. Participants viewed the clips and then responded to one or two questions about the information presented in them. The number of correct responses was tallied and compared across groups. Results show that the messages received by the different cohorts are not equivalent; therefore, the use of SimCom in the classroom needs to be reconsidered.
‘Dual language use in sign-speech bimodal bilinguals: fNIRS brain-imaging evidence’, Brain and Language, 109 (2009), 112-123,
The brain basis of bilinguals' ability to use two languages at the same time has been a hotly debated topic. On the one hand, behavioral research has suggested that bilingual dual language use involves complex and highly principled linguistic processes. On the other hand, brain-imaging research has revealed that bilingual language switching involves neural activations in brain areas dedicated to general executive functions not specific to language processing, such as general task maintenance. Here we address the involvement of language-specific versus cognitive-general brain mechanisms for bilingual language processing. We study a unique population, bimodal bilinguals proficient in signed and spoken languages, and we use an innovative brain-imaging technology, functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS; Hitachi ETG-4000). Like fMRI, the fNIRS technology measures hemodynamic change, but it is also advanced in permitting movement for unconstrained speech and sign production. Participant groups included (i) hearing ASL-English bilinguals, (ii) ASL monolinguals, and (iii) English monolinguals. Imaging tasks included picture naming in "Monolingual mode" (using one language at a time) and in "Bilingual mode" (using both languages either simultaneously or in rapid alternation). Behavioral results revealed that accuracy was similar among groups and conditions. By contrast, neuroimaging results revealed that bilinguals in Bilingual mode showed greater signal intensity within posterior temporal regions ("Wernicke's area") than in Monolingual mode. Significance: Bilinguals' ability to use two languages effortlessly and without confusion involves the use of language-specific posterior temporal brain regions. This research with both fNIRS and bimodal bilinguals sheds new light on the extent and variability of brain tissue that underlies language processing, and addresses the tantalizing questions of how language modality, sign and speech, impact language representation in the 7brain. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
‘In space no one can see you waving your hands: Making citizenship meaningful to Deaf worlds’, Citizenship Studies, 13 (2009), 31-44,
This article suggests that there is an underlying social contract that defines relationships between deaf and hearing people and which ultimately influences state provisions as well as society's perception of Deaf people. It is outdated and does not have the consent of Deaf communities. It will be argued that any renegotiation of the social contract needs to take into consideration a number of 'elements' that would be the context for that negotiation. Deaf citizens are marginalised in society largely due to a citizenship that assumes an idealised individual as a speaking and hearing citizen, with a social policy constructed and made in the image of hearing culture, that is rooted in a philosophy of favouring by default the instruction of deaf children via oral means in overwhelming mainstream education. These state policies have resulted in an entrenched social exclusion of Deaf people. Citizenship is recognised as an inclusive and momentum concept and therefore this situation is not unchangeable. A renegotiation of the social contract may require a form of group rights which nevertheless recognises the transnational nature of Deaf communities. As part of that process it will be necessary for Deaf people to obtain control over how their communities are run and resources allocated. That would entail the withering away of hearing control in a social policy context within Deaf spheres of influence. The new social contract would aim not for a paternal citizenship, but an empowering and Deaf-led one.
‘The bimodal bilingual brain: Effects of sign language experience’, Brain and Language, 109 (2009), 124-132,
Bimodal bilinguals are hearing individuals who know both a signed and a spoken language. Effects of bimodal bilingualism on behavior and brain organization are reviewed, and an fMRI investigation of the recognition of facial expressions by ASL-English bilinguals is reported. The fMRI results reveal separate effects of sign language and spoken language experience on activation patterns within the superior temporal sulcus. In addition, the strong left-lateralized activation for facial expression recognition previously observed for deaf signers was not observed for hearing signers. We conclude that both sign language experience and deafness can affect the neural organization for recognizing facial expressions, and we argue that bimodal bilinguals provide a unique window into the neurocognitive changes that occur with the acquisition of two languages. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
‘Bilingual university level education for the deaf - Understanding inclusive policies as a space for freedom: First approaches’, Educação superior bilíngue para surdos: O sentido da política inclusiva como espaço da liberdade: Primeiras aproximações, 15 (2009), 15-30,
This study aims to present an essay about the current experience of implanting the Bilingual Higher Education Institute - ISBE at the National Institute for the Education of the Deaf - INES. Two factors substantiate this reflection: the dialogue with Hanna Arendt and the conception of politics as a space for freedom. Initially, the scene is set by the current context for deaf education, after the Decree number 5626/2005, that regulates federal law number 10436, which rules on Brazilian Sign Language - LIBRAS. Next, we trace the basic elements that have constituted the recent construction of bilingual teaching experience at INES/ISBE, with the Bachelor in Education and the main barriers that have been faced. In our closing reflections, we intend to discuss the meaning of inclusive policies within the context of Bilingual Cultural Policies, whereby the historical opening of this course may represent an attempt at greater freedom.
‘Narrative competences of deaf children in German Sign Language’, Sign Language and Linguistics, 12 (2009), 113-160,
Hearing children acquire discourse competences like storytelling through everyday interaction and are systematically supported in this process by adults. In contrast, deaf children in Germany often lack appropriate interlocutors with German Sign Language proficiency in family or school. The focus of our research is on narrative competences in deaf children and on the consequences of the lack of interlocutors on the acquisition of these competences. We carried out three studies to examine narrative skills of deaf children aged 8 to 17. We collected data from dyadic conversations with deaf adults and analyzed this data against the background of a cognitive approach to language acquisition and of conversation analysis. From a developmental perspective, our results indicate that the narrative competences of most of the tested non-native signing children have not developed as would be appropriate for their age. From an interactive perspective, deaf adults cooperate with the children in telling their stories by using different strategies. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘Language and literacy acquisition through parental mediation in American sign language’, Sign Language Studies, 9 (2009), 417-456+483,
This longitudinal case study examined the language and literacy acquisition of a Deaf child as mediated by her signing Deaf parents during her first three years of life. Results indicate that the parents' interactions with their child were guided by linguistic and cultural knowledge that produced an intuitive use of child-directed signing (CDSi) in American Sign Language (ASL) and that the child developed in ways similar to her hearing, speaking counterparts. Parental attention to eye gaze and eye contact, especially prior to the advent of the first sign, are described, as are the ways they mediated their child's transference of knowledge about their visual language, ASL, to printed English. These findings demonstrate that when deaf children are immersed in a visually accessible natural language environment from birth, they can participate in the kinds of mediated interaction that provide the linguistic resources and the cognitive mapping necessary for increasingly complex development. Implications for the development of deaf children are addressed in light of continuing reports of underachieve-ment in this population, whose members are typically deprived of the linguistic and cognitive resources afforded by early immersion in a natural signed language.
‘Issues in second language literacy education with learners who are deaf’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 12 (2009), 325-334,
Deaf learners whose first language is American Sign Language face particular challenges and constraints in developing literacy in English as a second language. These constraints are interrogated and discussed in terms of their relationship to issues of language proficiency in both L1 and L2, and to models of second language literacy education. Suggestions are proposed as to ways in which these constraints might be addressed in designing future bilingual programs for deaf learners. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.
‘Phonology and reading: A response to Wang, Trezek, Luckner, and Paul’, American Annals of the Deaf, 154 (2009), 338-345,
FOUR CRITICAL RESPONSES to an article, "The Role of Phonology and Phonologically Related Skills in Reading Instruction for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing" (Wang, Trezek, Luckner, & Paul, 2008), are presented. Issue is taken with the conclusions of the article by Wang and colleagues regarding the "necessary" condition of phonological awareness for the development of reading skills among deaf readers. Research findings (not cited by Wang and colleagues) are pointed out that reveal weak correlations between phonemic awareness and reading comprehension, and stronger correlations between other variables such as overall language skill and early exposure to a visual language.
‘Co-speech gesture in bimodal bilinguals’, Language and Cognitive Processes, 24 (2009), 290-312,
The effects of knowledge of sign language on co-speech gesture were investigated by comparing the spontaneous gestures of bimodal bilinguals (native users of American Sign Language and English; n = 13) and non-signing native English speakers (n = 12). Each participant viewed and re-told the Canary Row cartoon to a non-signer whom they did not know. Nine of the thirteen bimodal bilinguals produced at least one ASL sign, which we hypothesise resulted from a failure to inhibit ASL. Compared with non-signers, bimodal bilinguals produced more iconic gestures, fewer beat gestures, and more gestures from a character viewpoint. The gestures of bimodal bilinguals also exhibited a greater variety of handshape types and more frequent use of unmarked handshapes. We hypothesise that these semantic and form differences arise from an interaction between the ASL language production system and the co-speech gesture system.
‘Sign languages in deaf teacher training in Spain. A historical view’, Las lenguas de signos en la formación de los maestros de sordos en España. Una visión histórica, 349 (2009), 437-449,
Sign Language has traditionally been the fundamental factor that has stated a difference among the educative methods used for deaf children's education. Since the origin of the specific training for deaf and deaf-mutes' teachers, created 150 years ago, and the creation of specialities within the Spanish teaching system (Hearing and Language's title, etc.) which took place later on, contents and capacities related to language of signs have been present only in certain periods. The reasons that have made possible it inclusion within the deaf and deaf-mutes' teacher learning program were nor always explicitit. These reasons were mainly related with a theoretical increasing in the teacher's efficiency by means of the beneficits in children's learning when using their innate competence together with the concept of teachers and administrative and political authorities, where in certain degree sign language is assumed to be part of deaf people's identity. In 2007, an organic national law regulates the Spanish sign language teaching and learning within the educative field, which will lead to: A specific educative offer with bilingual approaches for students by the educative administration (oral language and sign language) so as oral approaches that will allow a proper access to the curriculum. Deaf students or students with hearing handicap and their families will be able to choose one or another teaching model. The lastly years of Spanish experience regarding the sign language usage within basic education and as a regularized right ex novo, namely the 2007 law, require the specialized teachers' formation to be adapted and to provide an appropriate response to the main principles entailed in this law. Whatever going against this idea would create holes where deaf students' right for equality within education would not be provided neither respected.
‘Bilingual first-language development: Dominant language takeover, threatened minority language take-up’, Bilingualism, 12 (2009), 213-237,
This study explores the extent to which bilingual speakers in stable bilingual communities become fully bilingual in their two community languages. Growing evidence shows that in bilingual communities in which one language is very dominant, acquisition of the dominant language may be quite unproblematic across sub-groups, while acquisition of the minority language can be hampered under conditions of reduced input. In Wales, children are exposed to both English and Welsh from an early age, either in the home or at school, or both. The data reported here indicate that regardless of home language background, speakers develop equivalent, mature command of English, but that command of Welsh is directly correlated with the level of input in Welsh in the home and at school. Furthermore, maintenance of Welsh in adulthood may be contingent on continued exposure to the language. The data have implications for theories of bilingual acquisition in stable versus immigrant bilingual communities, for optimal conditions for bringing up bilingual children, and for theories of critical periods of acquisition. © 2009 Cambridge University Press.
‘Are deaf students' reading challenges really about reading?’, American Annals of the Deaf, 154 (2009), 357-370,
READING ACHIEVEMENT among deaf students typically lags significantly behind hearing peers, a situation that has changed little despite decades of research. This lack of progress and recent findings indicating that deaf students face many of the same challenges in comprehending sign language as they do in comprehending text suggest that difficulties frequently observed in their learning from text may involve more than just reading. Two experiments examined college students' learning of material from science texts. Passages were presented to deaf (signing) students in print or American Sign Language and to hearing students in print or auditorially. Several measures of learning indicated that the deaf students learned as much or more from print as they did from sign language, but less than hearing students in both cases. These and other results suggest that challenges to deaf students' reading comprehension may be more complex than is generally assumed.
‘Toward a cultural perspective and understanding of the disability and deaf experience in special and multicultural education’, Remedial and Special Education, 30 (2009), 67-83,
This position paper provides a rationale for infusing cultural perspectives and understandings of the Disability and Deaf experiences into special and multicultural education teacher preparation programs. Substantial evidence of well-established features of the Disability community and Deaf community that meet definitional criteria for culture as conveyed in the multicultural education literature is presented. The extent that Disability and Deaf cultures have been reflected in special and multicultural education textbooks is addressed to validate the need for the incorporation of cultural perspectives of Disability and Deaf experiences into teacher preparation programs. A conspicuous absence of discussion about the culture of Disability and Deafness from the perspectives of members of these communities is reported. Implications of these findings for teacher preparation programs and for educational policy, practice, and research are discussed. Recommendations for the acknowledgement and support of cultural perspectives and understandings related to the Disability and Deaf experiences are offered. © 2009 Hammill Institute on Disabilities.
‘(Meta) communication strategies in inclusive classes for deaf students’, American Annals of the Deaf, 154 (2009), 371-381,
HOW CAN an inclusive classroom for deaf students be successful? The use of metacommunication strategies by teachers and hearing peers seems promising. Schools that promote this approach tend to improve deaf students' psychosocial development and academic achievement. However, this is not a general rule. The present study identifies the elements of success, with the investigators basing their analysis on extensive observation of 4 bilingual classes conducted by regular education and specialized teachers. The study was conducted in 3 public elementary schools in BrasÍlia, Brazil. Data were collected through direct observation (156 hours) and video recording (34 hours). Results were qualitatively analyzed from a microgenetic perspective. The investigators devised 14 categories of social interaction, e.g., visual contact and responsivity, multimodal communication, co-construction of meanings, flexible use of space, and sign language instruction for hearing students.
‘A comparative study of speech development between deaf children with cochlear implants who have been educated with spoken or spoken + sign language’, International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 73 (2009), 109-114,
Objective: To compare speech development following unilateral cochlear implant (CI) between a group of prelingually deaf children who have been educated exclusively using spoken language and another group who have used two languages (spoken and sign language). Design: A simple group quasi-experimental design was used with a control group. Methods: The sample comprised 7 girls and 11 boys, aged between 4 and 8 years old, who received a CI between the ages of 15 months and 5 years old. The sample was divided into two groups, G1-bilingual and G2-spoken language. In both groups, aspects such as speech intelligibility, receptive vocabulary, psycho-linguistic skills, adaptive behaviour and behavioural problems were measured. Results: The children in Group 1 (bilingual) had better verbal and manual expression whereas those in Group 2 (spoken) achieved better results in terms of speech intelligibility, auditory reception and grammatical closure. These differences were confirmed statistically using Analysis of Variance. No significant differences were observed in relation to: receptive vocabulary, social and communicative skills, visual reception, auditory and visual association, visual closure and visual or auditory sequential memory. Conclusion: The development of speech in these children is irrefutable; however, this study contributes a paradoxical element to the discussion: the bilingual group obtained better results in verbal fluency, hence these children should be able to evoke a greater number of words than those educated using just spoken language. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
‘Phonological awareness and decoding in deaf/hard-of-hearing students who use visual phonics’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 13 (2008), 405-416,
‘Vocabulary training of spoken words in hard-of-hearing children’, Deafness and Education International, 10 (2008), 80-92,
This study examined the effects of using signs in spoken language vocabulary training of hard-of-hearing children. Fourteen hard-of-hearing children participated in the present study. Vocabulary training with the support of signs showed a statistically significant effect in the participants' learning and retention of new spoken language vocabulary. The results of this study provide some justification for the use of signs during spoken vocabulary instruction in hard-of-hearing children with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Cued American English: A variety in the visual mode’, World Englishes, 27 (2008), 196-216,
Cued American English (CAE) is a visual variety of English derived from a mode of communication called Cued Speech (CS). CS, or cueing, is a system of communication for use with the deaf, which consists of hand shapes, hand placements, and mouth shapes that signify the phonemic information conventionally conveyed through speech in spoken languages. In small language communities in the United States, native deaf users of CAE and those who communicate with them have facilitated the development of a natural variety of English that is specific to the mode of cueing. This paper defines CAE as a variety of English, including its features, functional spectrum, social acquisition, code switching protocols, and intersection with English as a Second Language in the American Deaf community. The author discusses grammatical accommodations and visual prosodic features, reviews relevant research, and describes the CS system in detail as a means by which cueing maps to and facilitates natural language. © Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing.
‘Research on Bi-Bi instruction’, American Annals of the Deaf, 153 (2008), 3-4,
‘The onset and mastery of spatial language in children acquiring British Sign Language’, Cognitive Development, 23 (2008), 1-19,
In the course of language development children must solve arbitrary form-to-meaning mappings, in which semantic components are encoded onto linguistic labels. Because sign languages describe motion and location of entities through iconic movements and placement of the hands in space, child signers may find spatial semantics-to-language mapping easier to learn than child speakers. This hypothesis was tested in two studies: a longitudinal analysis of a native signing child's use of British Sign Language to describe motion and location events between the ages 1-10 and 3-0, and performance of 18 native signing children between the ages of 3-0 and 4-11 on a motion and location sentence comprehension task. The results from both studies argue against a developmental advantage for sign language learners for the acquisition of motion and location forms. Early forms point towards gesture and embodied actions followed by protracted mastery of the use of signs in representational space. The understanding of relative spatial relations continues to be difficult, despite the iconicity of these forms in the language, beyond 5 years of age. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
‘Setting the stage for school health-promoting programmes for Deaf children in Spain’, Health Promotion International, 23 (2008), 311-327,
Implementing health-promoting programmes for the most excluded and at-risk social groups forms a key part of any efforts to address underserved populations and reduce health inequalities in society. However, many at-risk children, particularly children in Deaf communities, are not reached, or are poorly served, by health-promoting programmes within the school setting. This is so because schools are effective as health-promoting environments for d/Deaf children only to the extent that they properly address their unique communication needs and ensure they are both able and enabled to learn in a communication-rich and supportive psycho-social environment. This article examines how the usually separate strands of school health promotion and d/Deaf education might be woven together and illustrates research with Deaf community members that involves them and gives their perspective. The primary objective of this study was to map Deaf pilot bilingual education programmes in Spain - one of the first countries to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (United Nations. (2006) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Resolution A/RES/61/106.) - with particular attention to their compliance to the Convention's article 24. Following pre-testing, 516 key informants were surveyed by mail (response rate: 42.08%) by using a snow-ball key-informant approach, within a Participatory Action Research framework, at a national, regional and local level. The results show that although some schools have achieved recommended standards, bilingual programmes are in various stages of formulation and implementation and are far from being equally distributed across the country, with only four regions concentrating more than 70% of these practices. This uneven geographical distribution of programmes probably reflects more basic differences in the priority given by regions, provinces, and municipalities to the Deaf community's needs and rights as an important policy objective and may reinforce or widen inequalities by favouring or discriminating rather than achieving access and equity for this noticeably overlooked community. © The Author (2008). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Parents' Views on Changing Communication After Cochlear Implantation’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 13 (2008), 104-116,
We sent questionnaires to families of all 288 children who had received cochlear implants at one center in the United Kingdom at least 5 years previously. Thus, it was a large, unselected group. We received 142 replies and 119 indicated that the child and family had changed their communication approach following cochlear implantation. In 113 cases the change was toward spoken language and in 6 cases the change was toward signed communication. Parents were asked to respond to statements about communication with their deaf child, and their responses indicated that parents wanted the most effective means of communication and one that their child would find most useful in the future. Findings that emerged from parents' comments indicated that the change toward greater use of spoken language was child-led and driven by increased audition. Parents also valued the contribution of signed communication.
‘American sign language and early intervention’, Canadian Modern Language Review, 64 (2008), 581-604,
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the introduction in several countries of universal neonatal hearing screening programs has changed the landscape of education for deaf children. Due to the increasing provision of early intervention services for children identified with hearing loss, public education for deaf children often starts in infancy. While infant hearing screening and intervention programs hold promise for enhancing deaf children's language development, concerns have been raised that these programs may not provide a well-informed or adequate range of options for families with deaf children. In particular, Ontario children who receive cochlear implants have frequently not been provided with support for learning American Sign Language (ASL), despite evidence for the benefits that learning ASL confers on spoken and written English language development in deaf children. This paper presents an applied linguistics perspective on early intervention policies and programs for deaf children. © 2008 The Canadian Modern Language Review.
‘The role of phonology and phonologically related skills in reading instruction for students who are deaf or hard of hearing’, American Annals of the Deaf, 153 (2008), 396-407,
The Article challenges educators to rethink reading instruction practices for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The authors begin with a discussion of the role of phonology in reading, then summarize the evidence of phonological coding among skilled deaf readers and investigate alternative routes for acquiring phonologically related skills such as the use of speechreading, articulatory feedback, Visual Phonics, and Cued Speech. Finally, they present recent intervention studies and proposed procedures to employ phonics-based instruction with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The authors conclude with the assertion that the teaching of phonologically related skills by means of instructional tools such as Visual Phonics and Cued Speech can and should be incorporated into reading instruction for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The authors recommend additional research in this important area.
‘Parents' and teachers' views on deaf children's literacy at home: Do they agree?’, Deafness and Education International, 10 (2008), 22-39,
This paper compares the views of parents and teachers of the deaf on deaf children's literacy at home. We made DVD recordings of 12 young deaf children (aged 3-5) sharing books with their parents at home. Six families used British Sign Language (BSL) as their main means of communication and for interacting around books, and six used spoken language. Each dyad shared one book of their choice and they all shared Where's My Teddy? (Alborough, 2002), which was a book chosen by the researchers. One month later, the parents were shown the recording and asked for their views on it and on their child's literacy development. The teacher of the deaf working with each family was shown the same recording and asked similar questions. Results revealed that the parents and teachers of the deaf held some views in common, but focused on different aspects of literacy development. Implications for practice include developing a shared understanding of the routes to literacy that individual deaf children will follow. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Influence of linguistic environment on children's language development: Flemish versus Dutch children’, Deafness and Education International, 10 (2008), 226-243,
In the present study, language development of Dutch children with a cochlear implant (CI) in a bilingual educational setting and Flemish children with a CI in a dominantly monolingual educational setting is compared. In addition, we compared the development of spoken language with the development of sign language in Dutch children. Eighteen children with a CI participated in the study: six Dutch children older than 18 months at implantation and 12 Flemish children, of whom seven were younger than 18 months at implantation and five were older than 18 months. Tests were administered on auditory perception, speech intelligibility, spoken language and sign language (Dutch children). Five assessments were made to monitor language development of the children: a pre-test before implantation and four post-tests at six, 12, 24 and 36 months after implantation. In general, Flemish children showed more progress in spoken language development than Dutch children. Moreover, earlier implanted Flemish children showed more progress than later implanted Flemish children. This applies to auditory perception, speech intelligibility and spoken language. Whereas spoken language of Dutch children improved in the course of time, the development of sign language in Dutch children did not show any progress. Despite possible alternative explanations, such as better residual aided hearing before implantation or more professional support, it is plausible that the differences are partly caused by the linguistic environment. The lack of progress in development of sign language might be explained by the decreasing use of sign language by parents after implantation. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Apartheid in deaf education : Examining workforce diversity’, American Annals of the Deaf, 153 (2008), 384-395,
Asurvey Of 3,227 professionals in 313 deaf education programs found that 22.0% of teachers and 14.5% of administrators were deaf a less than 10% increase in deaf professionals since 1993. Additionally, 21.7% of teachers and 6.1% of administrators were professionals of color. Of these minority teachers, only 2.5% were deaf persons of color. Only 3 deaf administrators of color were identified. The study describes how apartheid or intellectual oppression may result from unchanged hiring practices in K-12 programs for the deaf and in postsecondary institutions. Using a bottle metaphor, the researchers describe how deaf persons of color are often stuck in a bottleneck on the highway to opportunity. Relevant data underscore that the field of deaf education must diversify its professional force in order to utilize the intellectual, linguistic, and multicultural proficiencies of hearing teachers of color, deaf teachers, and deaf teachers of color.
‘Speech to sign language translation system for Spanish’, Speech Communication, 50 (2008), 1009-1020,
This paper describes the development of and the first experiments in a Spanish to sign language translation system in a real domain. The developed system focuses on the sentences spoken by an official when assisting people applying for, or renewing their Identity Card. The system translates official explanations into Spanish Sign Language (LSE: Lengua de Signos Española) for Deaf people. The translation system is made up of a speech recognizer (for decoding the spoken utterance into a word sequence), a natural language translator (for converting a word sequence into a sequence of signs belonging to the sign language), and a 3D avatar animation module (for playing back the hand movements). Two proposals for natural language translation have been evaluated: a rule-based translation module (that computes sign confidence measures from the word confidence measures obtained in the speech recognition module) and a statistical translation module (in this case, parallel corpora were used for training the statistical model). The best configuration reported 31.6% SER (Sign Error Rate) and 0.5780 BLEU (BiLingual Evaluation Understudy). The paper also describes the eSIGN 3D avatar animation module (considering the sign confidence), and the limitations found when implementing a strategy for reducing the delay between the spoken utterance and the sign sequence animation. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
‘The poetry of a minority community: Deaf Poet Pierre Pélissier and the formation of a deaf identity in the 1850s’, Sign Language Studies, 8 (2008), 241-263+325,
This study investigates the cultural and educational ideas of the French deaf poet-teacher Pierre Pélissier (1814-1863) who was an instructor at the Paris Deaf Institute from the early 1840s until his death in 1863. As a young man, Pélissier became interested in composing poetry and through his verse, captured many of the social frustrations facing deaf people who had to manage in a hearing world. Once he became a teacher, Pélissier devoted his energies to developing the best methods to educate deaf youth. In the mid-nineteenth-century, he found himself defending natural sign language against proponents of spoken language. Pélissier responded with a his own book (published in 1856) on how sign language could be used in the French primary schools to educate deaf children. He advocated a type of bilingual educational environment for primary schools that relied on hearing and deaf students using the manual alphabet and sign language in a shared classroom setting. Pélissier's analysis of sign language as a pedagogical method clearly challenged the prevailing social view that deaf teachers were somehow less capable educators of deaf children than those who were hearing.
‘Descriptions of the American deaf community, 1830-2000: Epistemic foundations’, Disability and Society, 23 (2008), 129-140,
Prior to the formation of schools for the deaf in America in the early 19th century, with rare exceptions, deaf people lived under largely solitary conditions. After the formation of such schools they became a community with their own language, organizations and cultural traditions. Several social theorists have proffered various descriptions of the American deaf community. Prior studies have described the American deaf community in medical, disability and cultural terms, tied those to institutional stakeholders and posited no impact by historical changes. I argue that the various descriptions are shaped by epistemes, or social thought, and transformations in epistemes generate changes in descriptions. From 1830 to 2000 there were three major epistemes in American intellectual history. They are romanticism in the first half of the 19th century, modernism in the period from the second half of 19th century to the first half of the 20th century and postmodernism since the mid 20th century.
‘Explicit processing demands reveal language modality-specific organization of working memory’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 13 (2008), 466-484,
The working memory model for Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) predicts that processing differences between language modalities emerge when cognitive demands are explicit. This prediction was tested in three working memory experiments with participants who were Deaf Signers (DS), Hearing Signers (HS), or Hearing Nonsigners (HN). Easily nameable pictures were used as stimuli to avoid confounds relating to sensory modality. Performance was largely similar for DS, HS, and HN, suggesting that previously identified intermodal differences may be due to differences in retention of sensory information. When explicit processing demands were high, differences emerged between DS and HN, suggesting that although working memory storage in both groups is sensitive to temporal organization, retrieval is not sensitive to temporal organization in DS. A general effect of semantic similarity was also found. These findings are discussed in relation to the ELU model. © 2008 The Author(s).
‘Learning English from signed English: An impossible task?’, American Annals of the Deaf, 153 (2008), 37-47,
‘Ordered short-term memory differs in signers and speakers: Implications for models of short-term memory’, Cognition, 107 (2008), 433-459,
Capacity limits in linguistic short-term memory (STM) are typically measured with forward span tasks in which participants are asked to recall lists of words in the order presented. Using such tasks, native signers of American Sign Language (ASL) exhibit smaller spans than native speakers ([Boutla, M., Supalla, T., Newport, E. L., & Bavelier, D. (2004). Short-term memory span: Insights from sign language. Nature Neuroscience, 7(9), 997-1002]). Here, we test the hypothesis that this population difference reflects differences in the way speakers and signers maintain temporal order information in short-term memory. We show that native signers differ from speakers on measures of short-term memory that require maintenance of temporal order of the tested materials, but not on those in which temporal order is not required. In addition, we show that, in a recall task with free order, bilingual subjects are more likely to recall in temporal order when using English than ASL. We conclude that speakers and signers do share common short-term memory processes. However, whereas short-term memory for spoken English is predominantly organized in terms of temporal order, we argue that this dimension does not play as great a role in signers' short-term memory. Other factors that may affect STM processes in signers are discussed. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
‘The structure of teachers' attitudes towards integration of deaf children and youth, sign language and support of educational interpreters in regular educational settings’, Stavovi prema integraciji gluhe djece, znakovnom jeziku i uključivanju tumača za znakovni jezik u redovne vrtiće i škole, 44 (2008), 11-30,
The sample included alltogether 449 teachers of regular preschools and schools in Zagreb area. By using factor analysis, 6 factors were extracted. The investigation showed that teachers have had mainly positive attitudes towards socializational-, educational- and emotional effects of educational integration of deaf children and youth, as well as towards additional training of teachers and sign language, while the attitudes towards the inclusion of educational interpreters into regular pre/school settings were undetermined.
‘Sign Language and the Brain: A Review’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 13 (2008), 3-20,
How are signed languages processed by the brain? This review briefly outlines some basic principles of brain structure and function and the methodological principles and techniques that have been used to investigate this question. We then summarize a number of different studies exploring brain activity associated with sign language processing especially as compared to speech processing. We focus on lateralization: is signed language lateralized to the left hemisphere (LH) of native signers, just as spoken language is lateralized to the LH of native speakers, or could sign processing involve the right hemisphere to a greater extent than speech processing? Experiments that have addressed this question are described, and some problems in obtaining a clear answer are outlined.
‘Hand and mouth: Cortical correlates of lexical processing in British sign language and speechreading english’, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20 (2008), 1220-1234,
Spoken languages use one set of articulators - the vocal tract, whereas signed languages use multiple articulators, including both manual and facial actions. How sensitive are the cortical circuits for language processing to the particular articulators that are observed? This question can only be addressed with participants who use both speech and a signed language. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare the processing of speechreading and sign processing in deaf native signers of British Sign Language (BSL) who were also proficient speechreaders. The following questions were addressed: To what extent do these different language types rely on a common brain network? To what extent do the patterns of activation differ? How are these networks affected by the articulators that languages use? Common perisylvian regions were activated both for speechreading English words and for BSL signs. Distinctive activation was also observed reflecting the language form. Speechreading elicited greater activation in the left mid-superior temporal cortex than BSL, whereas BSL processing generated greater activation at the temporo-parieto-occipital junction in both hemispheres. We probed this distinction further within BSL, where manual signs can be accompanied by different types of mouth action. BSL signs with speech-like mouth actions showed greater superior temporal activation, whereas signs made with nonspeech-like mouth actions showed more activation in posterior and inferior temporal regions. Distinct regions within the temporal cortex are not only differentially sensitive to perception of the distinctive articulators for speech and for sign but also show sensitivity to the different articulators within the (signed) language. © 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
‘The linguistic milieu of Norwegian children with hearing loss’, American Annals of the Deaf, 153 (2008), 65-77,
The article is based on a national survey in Norway of the linguistic situation of deaf children. Parents, teachers, and children were asked to make judgments on topics related to the children's language milieu at home and at school by means of detailed questions using two response methods: a language inventory and rating scales. The inventory is more detailed than those in other studies and required all three groups to consider not only the use of the two native languages, Norwegian and Norwegian Sign Language, but other forms combining sign and speech. The data revealed that languages used with the children included both native languages as well as various mixtures depending on context, sit-uation, and the nature and purpose of the communication. The results are considered from the perspective of the amount and quality of language input and intake necessary for language acquisition and literacy.
‘Individual differences in sign language abilities in deaf children’, American Annals of the Deaf, 152 (2008), 495-504,
THE STUDY attempted to identify characteristics of individual differences in sign language abilities among deaf children. Connections between sign language skills and rapid serial naming, hand motor skills, and early fluency were investigated. The sample consisted of 85 Finnish deaf children. Their first language was sign language. Simple correlations and multiple linear-regression analysis demonstrated the effect of early language development and serial hand movements on sign language abilities. Other significant factors were serial fingertapping and serial naming. Heterogeneity in poor sign language users was noted. Although identifying learning disorders in deaf children is complicated, developmental difficulties can be discovered by appropriate measurements. The study confirmed the results of earlier research demonstrating that the features of deaf and hearing children's learning resemble each other. Disorders in signed and spoken languages may have similar bases despite their different modalities.
‘Visual and phonological coding in working memory and orthographic skills of deaf children using chilean sign language’, American Annals of the Deaf, 152 (2008), 467-479,
Deaf children can improve their reading skills by learning to use alternative, visual codes such as fingerspelling. A sample of 28 deaf children between the ages of 7 and 16 years was used as an experimental group and another sample of 15 hearing children of similar age and academic level as a control group. Two experiments were carried out to study the possible interactions between phonological and visual codes and working memory, and to understand the relationships between these codes and reading and orthographic achievement. The results highlight the relationship between dactylic and orthographic coding. Just as phoneme-to-grapheme knowledge can facilitate reading for hearing children, fingerspelling-to-grapheme knowledge has the potential to play a similar role for deaf readers.
‘Spheres of symbolic activity and deaf children's construction of knowledge’, Esferas de atividade simbólica e a construção de conhecimento pela criança surda, 14 (2008), 427-446,
This study is grounded on a bilingual approach and it aims to explore and to approach the symbolic spheres of language - gesture, drawing, narrative and writing - concomitantly to sign language in deaf children's language development and to the building of new knowledge. Theoretical and methodological constructs stemming from the Historic-Cultural perspective and its articulation with the microgenetic analysis were used in this qualitative analysis. Research subjects were two deaf boys who were in the process of bilingual language acquisition - Brazilian sign language and the written modality of Brazilian Portuguese; both were in the second grade of Brazilian elementary education level, with ages between 9 and 10 years and both had audiological diagnoses of profound bilateral deafness. The focus of the analysis highlighted the emergence of changing processes in the dynamics of interactions between the research subjects, taking into account the particular and global aspects in their occurrence and constitution. Symbolic activities enable the broadening of sign language and beginning access to writing, which in turn promote the consolidation of signing and language development. The priority given to sign language use associated with working with semiotic activities which take into account linguistic particularities and semiotic mediations were vital for language development of these deaf children and for the construction of knowledge, in a way that is both satisfactory and adequate to their constitution as active subjects and participants in language.
‘American Sign Language syntactic and narrative comprehension in skilled and less skilled readers: Bilingual and bimodal evidence for the linguistic basis of reading’, Applied Psycholinguistics, 29 (2008), 367-388,
We tested the hypothesis that syntactic and narrative comprehension of a natural sign language can serve as the linguistic basis for skilled reading. Thirty-one adults who were deaf from birth and used American Sign Language (ASL) were classified as skilled or less skilled readers using an eighth-grade criterion. Proficiency with ASL syntax, and narrative comprehension of ASL and Manually Coded English (MCE) were measured in conjunction with variables including exposure to print, nonverbal IQ, and hearing and speech ability. Skilled readers showed high levels of ASL syntatic ability and narrative comprehension whereas less skilled readers did not. Regression analyses showed ASL syntactic ability to contribute unique variance in English reading performance when the effects of nonverbal IQ, exposure to print, and MCE comprehension were controlled. A reciprocal relationship between print exposure and sign language proficiency was further found. The results indicate that the linguistic basis of reading, and the reciprocal relationship between print exposure and "through the air" language, can be bimodal, as in being a sign language or a spoken language, and bilingual, as in being ASL and English. © 2008 Copyright Cambridge University Press.
‘Reading abilities after cochlear implantation: The effect of age at implantation on outcomes at 5 and 7 years after implantation’, International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 72 (2008), 1471-1478,
‘Reorganizing teacher preparation in deaf education’, Sign Language Studies, 8 (2008), 160-180+218-219,
preparation program that combines best practices in bilingual education and deaf education. The training curriculum designed for this program relies on research that finds a correlation between ASL fluency and English literacy. Also discussed is a collaborative project between training faculty and K-12 partners to transition between more traditional deaf education practices and new teaching and assessment practices focused on ASL literacy development as well as development in other languages.
‘The signing brain: the neurobiology of sign language’, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12 (2008), 432-440,
Most of our knowledge about the neurobiological bases of language comes from studies of spoken languages. By studying signed languages, we can determine whether what we have learnt so far is characteristic of language per se or whether it is specific to languages that are spoken and heard. Overwhelmingly, lesion and neuroimaging studies indicate that the neural systems supporting signed and spoken language are very similar: both involve a predominantly left-lateralised perisylvian network. Recent studies have also highlighted processing differences between languages in these different modalities. These studies provide rich insights into language and communication processes in deaf and hearing people. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
‘The construction of deaf children as marginal bilinguals in the mainstream’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 11 (2008), 519-540,
The political discourse of Deaf ethnolinguistic identity has empowered Deaf people in recent decades to deconstruct a pathological model of deafness and the deficit pedagogy that centres on acquisition of speech and social assimilation. The engagement of Deaf community members in consultation and employment in the New Zealand (NZ) education system has progressed the ideological recognition of Deaf claims for a bilingual identity and pedagogy in the education arena. However these priorities sit uneasily within the special education discourse which assumes an individual needs-based approach to accommodating diverse learners in regular school settings. The recognition of sign language and Deaf experience as valid cultural capital raises questions about the sociolinguistic status and educational needs of deaf children individually enrolled in mainstream schools, contexts which do not currently afford the interactional conditions for a sign bilingual education. Based on a larger study of deaf children in NZ mainstream primary schools, this paper analyses an illustrative case study of a 10-year-old deaf boy with a cochlear implant, to critically consider the extent to which mainstreamed deaf learners are constructed as potential bilinguals in the discourse that defines and addresses their needs. Analysis shows this learner to be positioned as a marginal bilingual or defective monolingual by the aggregation of beliefs, decisions, interactions and resources that construct his educational context. Finally, the paper reports the vision of Deaf informants working in the mainstream school system for changing learning outcomes, from a construct of deaf children as members of a collective with a heritage of cultural adaptations that should inform appropriate educational responses. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.
‘The word in sign language: Empirical evidence and theoretical controversies’, Linguistics, 46 (2008), 249-308,
This article is concerned with the word in sign language, the grammatical and especially the prosodic word. Both notions of the word are central in sign language linguistics and psycholinguistic. Converging evidence for the size and complexity of the prosodic word is reviewed, stemming from morphological processes such as compounding, derivation, and classification as well as from phonological processes such as coalescence, epenthesis, and deletion. Additional evidence from slips of the hand and their repairs is presented showing that (i) in slips, grammatical as well as prosodic words are involved and that (ii) slip-repair sequences may keep within the limit of the prosodic word. The distinctive morphological typology and the canonical word shape pattern in sign language is explained by modality differences which act on the Phonetic Form (PF) interface. Sign languages are processed more on the vertical axis simultaneously whereas spoken languages are processed more on the horizontal axis sequentially. As a corollary, the information packaging in both language modalities is different while processing is basically the same. Controversial theoretic topics around the notion of the word in sign language such as iconicity and notoriously recalcitrant constructions such as classifier predicates are discussed. © Walter de Gruyter 2008.
‘The relationship between the reading and signing skills of deaf children in bilingual education programs’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 13 (2008), 518-530,
This paper reports on one experiment in which we investigated the relationship between reading and signing skills. We administered a vocabulary task and a story comprehension task in Sign Language of the Netherlands and in written Dutch to a group of 87 deaf children from bilingual education programs. We found a strong and positive correlation between the scores obtained in the sign vocabulary task and the reading vocabulary task when age, short-term memory scores, and nonverbal intelligence scores were controlled for. In addition, a correlation was observed between the scores in the story comprehension tasks in Sign Language of the Netherlands and written Dutch but only when vocabulary scores for words and signs were not taken into account. The results are briefly discussed with reference to a model we recently proposed to describe lexical development for deaf children in bilingual education programs (Hermans, D., Knoors, H., Ormel, E., & Verhoeven, L., 2008). In addition, the implications of the results of the present study for previous studies on the relationship between reading and signing skills are discussed. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Bimodal bilingualism’, Bilingualism, 11 (2008), 43-61,
Speech - sign or "bimodal" bilingualism is exceptional because distinct modalities allow for simultaneous production of two languages. We investigated the ramifications of this phenomenon for models of language production by eliciting language mixing from eleven hearing native users of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Instead of switching between languages, bilinguals frequently produced code-blends (simultaneously produced English words and ASL signs). Code-blends resembled co-speech gesture with respect to synchronous vocal - manual timing and semantic equivalence. When ASL was the Matrix Language, no single-word code-blends were observed, suggesting stronger inhibition of English than ASL for these proficient bilinguals. We propose a model that accounts for similarities between co-speech gesture and code-blending and assumes interactions between ASL and English Formulators. The findings constrain language production models by demonstrating the possibility of simultaneously selecting two lexical representations (but not two propositions) for linguistic expression and by suggesting that lexical suppression is computationally more costly than lexical selection. © 2008 Cambridge University Press.
‘Research ethics in sign language communities’, Sign Language Studies, 9 (2008), 104-131+247,
Codes of ethics exist for most professional associations whose members do research on, for, or with sign language communities. However, these ethical codes are silent regarding the need to frame research ethics from a cultural standpoint, an issue of particular salience for sign language communities. Scholars who write from the perspective of feminists, indigenous peoples, and human rights advocates have commonly expressed dissatisfaction with their lack of representation in conversations about research ethics. Members of sign language communities and their advocates can learn from others who share in this struggle and contribute much to this topic. We propose the development of sign language communities' terms of reference (SLCTR) as a means to research by, for, and with sign language communities.
‘Adapting tests of sign language assessment for other sign languages-a review of linguistic, cultural, and psychometric problems’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 13 (2008), 138-147,
Given the current lack of appropriate assessment tools for measuring deaf children's sign language skills, many test developers have used existing tests of other sign languages as templates to measure the sign language used by deaf people in their country. This article discusses factors that may influence the adaptation of assessment tests from one natural sign language to another. Two tests which have been adapted for several other sign languages are focused upon: the Test for American Sign Language and the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test. A brief description is given of each test as well as insights from ongoing adaptations of these tests for other sign languages. The problems reported in these adaptations were found to be grounded in linguistic and cultural differences, which need to be considered for future test adaptations. Other reported shortcomings of test adaptation are related to the question of how well psychometric measures transfer from one instrument to another. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press.
‘Learning to read and write by deaf children (Apprentissage de la lecture-écriture chez les enfants sourds)’, Enfance, 59 (2007), 254-262,
Most deaf children face difficulties learning to read and write. This article describes the differences observed within that group of students and underlines their areas of strengths (for instance punctuation and word spelling) and weaknesses (namely morphosyntax). The possible causes of their specific difficulties are then presented. The role of oral language in literacy acquisition and the consequences of its limited mastery are mentioned. The benefit of sign language-based knowledge in learning to read and write is discussed as well. Finally, suggestions are made for professionals and families. © P.U.F.
‘Current state of knowledge: Language and literacy of children with hearing impairment’, Ear and Hearing, 28 (2007), 740-753,
‘Teaching sign language to hearing parents of deaf children: An action research process’, Deafness and Education International, 9 (2007), 83-100,
This paper provides an overview of the challenges in learning a signed language as a second language, in particular for hearing parents with deaf children, and details an action research process that led to the design of a new curriculum for teaching Australian Sign Language (Auslan) to the families of deaf children. The curriculum was developed through research and consultation with various stakeholders. Implementation of the curriculum confirmed a lack of resources, leading to further research and the development of family-specific resources for teaching and learning Auslan. The process of development of these resources has potential application for other signed language teachers, researchers, teachers of the deaf and associated professionals who are working with families in their learning of a signed language. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Language Access and Theory of Mind Reasoning: Evidence From Deaf Children in Bilingual and Oralist Environments’, Developmental Psychology, 43 (2007), 1156-1169,
This investigation examined whether access to sign language as a medium for instruction influences theory of mind (ToM) reasoning in deaf children with similar home language environments. Experiment 1 involved 97 deaf Italian children ages 4-12 years: 56 were from deaf families and had LIS (Italian Sign Language) as their native language, and 41 had acquired LIS as late signers following contact with signers outside their hearing families. Children receiving bimodal/bilingual instruction in LIS together with Sign-Supported and spoken Italian significantly outperformed children in oralist schools in which communication was in Italian and often relied on lipreading. Experiment 2 involved 61 deaf children in Estonia and Sweden ages 6-16 years. On a wide variety of ToM tasks, bilingually instructed native signers in Estonian Sign Language and spoken Estonian succeeded at a level similar to age-matched hearing children. They outperformed bilingually instructed late signers and native signers attending oralist schools. Particularly for native signers, access to sign language in a bilingual environment may facilitate conversational exchanges that promote the expression of ToM by enabling children to monitor others' mental states effectively. © 2007 American Psychological Association.
‘When timing is everything: Age of first-language acquisition effects on second-language learning’, Applied Psycholinguistics, 28 (2007), 537-549,
‘German deaf children's understanding of referential distinction in written German and German Sign Language’, Educational and Child Psychology, 24 (2007), 59-76,
‘Narrative structure and narrative development in deaf children’, Deafness and Education International, 9 (2007), 187-196,
Researchers, the Deaf community, teachers of deaf children and speech and language therapists all share a concern about how to improve deaf children's written language skills. One part of literacy is story writing or narrative. A fi nding from a small number of studies is that children exposed to sign language from early childhood onwards achieve the highest level of bilingualism and become skilled readers and writers (Hoffmeister, 2000; Morgan, 2005). Potential contributing factors may include fi rst language transfer, meta-linguistic awareness, cognitive readiness, motivation, parental interaction and emotional well-being. This paper reviews the fi rst three contributing factors and outlines the theoretical case for bilingual narrative activities in deaf children. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘What really matters in the early literacy development of deaf children’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12 (2007), 411-431,
With much earlier identification of hearing loss come expectations that increasing numbers of deaf children will develop literacy abilities comparable to their hearing age peers. To date, despite claims in the literature for parallel development between hearing and deaf learners with respect to early literacy learning, it remains the case that many deaf children do not go on to develop age-appropriate reading and writing abilities. Using written language examples from both deaf and hearing children and drawing on the developmental models of E. Ferreiro (1990) and D. Olson (1994), the discussion focuses on the ways in which deaf children draw apart from hearing children in the third stage of early literacy development, in the critical move from emergent to conventional literacy. Reasons for, and the significance of, this deviation are explored, with an eye to proposing implications for pedagogy and research, as we reconsider what really matters in the early literacy development of deaf children. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Parents sharing books with young deaf children in spoken English and in BSL: The common and diverse features of different language settings’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12 (2007), 385-405,
Twelve parents of young deaf children were recorded sharing books with their deaf child-six from families using British Sign Language (BSL) and six from families using spoken English. Although all families were engaged in sharing books with their deaf child and concerned to promote literacy development, they approached the task differently and had different expectations in terms of outcome. The sign bilingual families concentrated on using the book to promote BSL development, engaging in discussion around the book but without referring to the text, whereas the spoken language families were focused on features of the text and less inclined to use the book to promote wider knowledge. Implications for early intervention and support are drawn from the data. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘The right to be heard: Citizenship and language’, Political Geography, 26 (2007), 121-140,
In this paper we address the importance and contestation of language in terms of citizenship and the development of political communities by focusing on the example of a minority language - British Sign Language. Language is crucial to debates about citizenship and belonging because the State has to rely on language for its very functioning, indeed political practice itself is a form of communicative action. For individuals language is deeply implicated in their ability to claim and maintain their rights and in their affective connections with others and sense of identification. The paper therefore begins by identifying that Deaf people's legal entitlements (e.g. to vote) are an abstract form of citizenship because as sign language users they have difficulties understanding both political and wider civil institutions and practices, and so lack the cultural proficiencies necessary to exercise citizenship in a substantive sense. We then go onto consider citizenship in the broader sense of how groups are included or situated in the public sphere, and in doing so to consider the extent to which Deaf people might be understood to have a liveable place in an oral society. The final section examines how the sense of injustice which flows from Deaf people's experiences of marginalisation in the public realm means that they are developing alternative forms of political commitment predicated on non-state spaces of belonging - where they can live their language - at both local and transnational scales. The paper concludes by reflecting on the notion of differentiated citizenship and the implications of Deaf people's claims to language rights. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
‘Innovation in teaching deaf students physics and astronomy in Bulgaria’, Physics Education, 42 (2007), 98-104,
This paper presents a new strategy to be implemented in Bulgarian schools in teaching physics and astronomy to students with impaired hearing at grades 7 (13-year-old students) and 8 (14-year-old students). The strategy provides effective education for students with hearing disabilities in mainstream schools as well as for those attending specialized schools. A multimedia CD has been developed, which offers a large number of basic terms from the corresponding fields of physics and astronomy, accompanied by textual explanation and various illustrations. The terms are explained in Bulgarian, Bulgarian Sign Language and English. This multimedia product can be used by children with hearing disabilities, as well as by children without disorders. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd.
‘Does language input matter in bilingual writing? Translation versus direct composition in deaf school students' written stories’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 10 (2007), 127-151,
This paper presents the findings of an experiment in which 20 Greek Deaf students produced written texts under two different conditions of language input: (1) a translation from a videotaped story in Greek sign language, and (2) a direct composition produced from a picture story - a neutral non-linguistic input. Placing Deaf writing within a bilingual frame, the effect of language input on the quality of written texts was explored, i.e. whether or not the use of sign language facilitates the teaching of written language. In this paper, similarities and differences between Deaf writers and hearing bilingual writers are explored in terms of current theoretical perspectives on bilingual learners: Deaf writing, similar to bilingual writing, is the result of an interaction between two languages, although in the case of Deaf writing, the languages are an unrelated sign language and written language; the role of first language in teaching; and whether sign language qualifies as L1 for Deaf students. This discussion is complemented by the quantitative results in the study, which showed that the use of a language (in the form of translation) in second language writing may facilitate certain features, such as the organisation of text, but not others, such as the grammar of text. The implications of the findings for bilingual education and Deaf education are discussed.
‘The role of sign language for deaf children with cochlear implants: Good practice in sign bilingual settings’, Deafness and Education International, 9 (2007), 214-231,
A central feature of a sign bilingual approach is the use of sign language, and the associated role of deaf adults in deaf children's education. This project explores whether this approach is compatible with the goals of cochlear implantation, which are to maximise a deaf child's potential to hear and improve speech perception. There is no specific research into the of role sign language to support deaf children's linguistic and social emotional development post implantation and the notion of good practice has not been explored. This project focused on six sign bilingual educational settings to examine this issue in two phases. Phase 1 identified the distinctive features of sign bilingual provision in the UK. This provided a framework for phase 2 which investigated ways in which this type of provision addresses the language, learning and social needs of pupils with cochlear implants. Central to this was a focus on the participants' own perceptions of good sign bilingual practice for pupils with cochlear implants. The study provides examples of identified good practice and an insight into the benefits of the linguistic and cultural features of sign bilingual settings for pupils with cochlear implants. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Hate English! Why? ⋯' Signs and English from deaf children's perception results from a preliminary study of deaf children's experiences of sign bilingual education’, Deafness and Education International, 9 (2007), 197-213,
To date, much information about Sign Bilingualism,1 gleaned from parents and/or teachers, has been written from a strong hearing viewpoint. As deaf children should be the main beneficiaries from a Sign Bilingual Education,2 this project was designed to enable the children to recall their experiences and share their multi-aspect views with other deaf children and the deaf researcher. The children had opportunities to express themselves freely in their first language, British Sign Language, using the deaf-centred prompting tools to inform/enlighten readers about their experiences of a Sign Bilingual journey. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Neural representation of binding lexical signs and words in the episodic buffer of working memory’, Neuropsychologia, 45 (2007), 2258-2276,
The episodic buffer accommodates formation and maintenance of unitary multidimensional representations based on information in different codes from different sources. Formation, based on submorphemic units, engages posterior brain regions, while maintenance engages frontal regions. Using a hybrid fMRI design, that allows separate analysis of transient and sustained components, an n-back task and an experimental group of 13 hearing native signers, with experience of Swedish Sign Language and Swedish since birth, we investigated binding of lexical signs and words in working memory. Results show that the transient component of these functions is supported by a buffer-specific network of posterior regions including the right middle temporal lobe, possibly relating to binding of phonological loop representations with semantic representations in long-term memory, as well as a loop-specific network, in line with predictions of a functional relationship between loop and buffer. The left hippocampus was engaged in transient and sustained components of buffer processing, possibly reflecting the meaningful nature of the stimuli. Only a minor role was found for executive functions in line with other recent work. A novel representation of the sustained component of working memory for audiovisual language in the right inferior temporal lobe may be related to perception of speech-related facial gestures. Previous findings of sign and speech loop representation in working memory were replicated and extended. Together, these findings support the notion of a module that mediates between codes and sources, such as the episodic buffer, and further our understanding of its nature. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
‘In search of a new, linguistically and culturally sensitive paradigm in deaf education’, American Annals of the Deaf, 152 (2007), 302-311,
FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY, educators have recognized the low academic achievement of deaf children in America. Teacher training programs in deaf education historically have emphasized medical-pathological views of deaf people and deaf education rather than appropriate pedagogies that draw upon and build on deaf students' linguistic and cultural knowledge. A recent and growing interest in educating deaf children bilingually acknowledges the value of American Sign Language and English in the classroom. The authors address the dire need for prospective teachers and teacher educators to rethink their views of deaf people and, in doing so, rethink the teaching methodologies in deaf education.
‘Spanish sign language comprehension’, La comprensión en lengua de signos española, 30 (2007), 87-107,
This study compares sign and oral language in terms of information transmission efficiency. The study sample were 36 signing deaf persons, 36 bearing persons who had good knowledge of sign language, and 36 hearing persons who had no knowledge of sign language. Oral and sign language comprehension were assessed using texts with three different difficulty levels. After being exposed to the texts, subjects had to explain what they had understood, answer a set of related questions, and give the text a title. Comprehension assessment of subjects' account evaluated, among others, explicit contents, invented ideas, and number of comprehension errors. The results show that deaf subjects' signed comprehension was higher than that of hearing subjects using oral language with respect to explicit contents, invented ideas and number of errors. Hearing subjects' oral comprehension was higher than deaf subjects' signed comprehension with respect to their answers to closed text questions. On the other hand, comparisons between signed and oral comprehension in bilingual subjects showed that they differed in 1) the quantity of explicit contents mentioned and the number of repetitions requested to understand the text, in both cases higher in the signed version: 2) subjects' self-assessment of their own comprehension which was higher in oral comprehension. The results indicate that sign language allows individuals to convey abstract and complex information in a manner similar to oral language. However, the age sign language is learned can affect the number and type of errors made in signed comprehension © 2007 by Fundación Infancia y Aprendizaje.
‘Re-defining 'norms': D/deaf young people's transitions to independence’, Sociological Review, 55 (2007), 104-123,
Traditionally, young people's transitions from a state of dependent childhood to an independent adult identity have been measured in terms of a developmental stage model. However, it is increasingly being recognised that young people are not a universal category and that their transitions need to be understood within the diverse context of peers, family, and communities. This paper draws on a rich body of work from the interdisciplinary field of Deaf studies and original research with D/deaf young people - a group generally overlooked by sociological research - to challenge and to advance conventional interdisciplinary debates about youth transitions in two ways. In the first half of the paper we examine D/deaf young people's conventional school-to-work, housing and domestic transitions and in doing so reflect upon the ways that their experiences shed a new light on understandings of these traditional markers of independent adulthood. In the second half of the paper we challenge conventional definitions of what marks an important transition by focusing on the transition that many D/deaf young people themselves define as the most significant in their lives, learning BSL and the transition to an independent D/deaf identity that this enables them to make. In doing so the paper mainstreams within sociology an important body of research about D/deaf people's experiences from Deaf studies. © 2007 The Editorial Board of The Sociological Review.
‘Parental language input patterns and children's bilingual use’, Applied Psycholinguistics, 28 (2007), 411-424,
This article reports on a study that addresses the following question: why do some children exposed to two languages from early on fail to speak those two languages? Questionnaire data were collected in 1,899 families in which at least one of the parents spoke a language other than the majority language. Each questionnaire asked about the home language use of a family consisting of at least one parent and one child between the ages of 6 and 10 years old. The results show that the children in these families all spoke the majority language, but that minority language use was not universal. Differences in parental language input patterns used at home correlated with differences in child minority language use. Home input patterns where both parents used the minority language and where at most one parent spoke the majority language had a high chance of success. The "one parent-one language" strategy did not provide a necessary nor sufficient input condition. Implications for bilingual families are discussed. © 2007 Cambridge University Press.
‘The efficacy of ASL/english bilingual education: Considering public schools’, American Annals of the Deaf, 152 (2007), 73-87,
The study investigated the efficacy and viability of American Sign Language (ASL)/English bilingual education for public schools serving deaf and hard of hearing children. Prior research related to ASL/English bilingual education is reviewed. Quantitative data related to the reading comprehension achievement of 25 deaf and hard of hearing students that were collected for the study are analyzed. The subjects' school program is described in depth. Overall performance of the sample is discussed. A description of high and low gainers is included. A statistically significant correlation between years of ASL usage and reading achievement is identified. Implications for the implementation of ASL/English bilingual methodology are reviewed, and suggestions for future research are offered.
‘Citizenship and sign bilingualism: '⋯ There is nothing wrong with being bilingual ⋯ it's a positive and fantastic thing!’, Deafness and Education International, 9 (2007), 173-186,
The issue of the education of deaf children is addressed in relation to citizenship and sign bilingualism. Citizenship is a contested concept and those who advocate a sign bilingual approach use the discourse of citizenship when arguing for the value of their method, but so too do other approaches. The sign bilingual approach may benefit from a deeper exposition of the ways in which the concept of citizenship is being shaped, particularly by revealing the phonocentric nature of citizenship and the non-statist values of sign bilingualism. Citizenship, however, does not inevitably have to be phonocentric; sign bilingualism can draw on the concept of social justice to pursue the case for a holistic approach to the education of deaf children. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Writing profiles of deaf children taught through British Sign Language’, Deafness and Education International, 9 (2007), 2-23,
Congenitally, profoundly deaf children whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) and whose speech is largely unintelligible need to be literate to communicate effectively in a hearing society. Both spelling and writing skills of such children can be limited, to the extent that no currently available assessment method offers an adequate appraisal of their competence. Our aim was to create such an instrument to aid assessment and to support teachers in setting objectives for their deaf students' writing development. Writing samples describing the same four-picture story were collected from 29 congenitally, profoundly deaf 10-year-old users of BSL. Six experienced teachers of the deaf ranked their writing productions in five levels; the correlations between their ranks were high and significant. This indicates that the children's texts were classified reliably into categories, which could then be used for further descriptive analysis. The texts in each category were analysed qualitatively to provide descriptive profiles for each level. An indication of the concurrent validity of the profiles was obtained through significant correlations with reading comprehension measures. Future research should ascertain further the reliability and validity of this instrument and its usefulness in setting goals for improving deaf children's writing ability. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Using online glossing lessons for accelerated instruction in ASL for preservice deaf education majors’, American Annals of the Deaf, 152 (2007), 331-343,
TEACHERS OF DEAF and hard of hearing students must serve as language models for their students. However, preservice deaf education teachers typically have at most only four semesters of American Sign Language (ASL) training. How can their limited ASL instructional time be used to increase their proficiency? Studies involving deaf and hard of hearing students have revealed that glosses (written equivalents of ASL sentences) can serve as "bridges" between ASL and English. The study investigated whether glossing instruction can facilitate hearing students' learning of ASL. A Web site was developed in which ASL glossing rules were explained and glossing exercises provided. Posttest scores showed the experimental group improving from 39% to 71% on ASL grammar knowledge. These findings indicate that online glossing lessons may provide the means to obtain ASL skills more readily, thus preparing deaf education teachers to serve as ASL language models.
‘Denying claims of discrimination in the Federal Court of Australia: Arguments against the use of native sign language in education’, Sign Language Studies, 7 (2007), 360-386+510,
In this article I analyze two cases that are the result of parents' complaints against education authorities for alleged indirect discrimination on the basis of their child's lack of access to instruction through Auslan in regular school settings. Although bilingual/bicultural programs for deaf students in Australia are available in some special schools and deaf facilities, the subject of complaint in these cases relates to the lack of provision of regular classroom staff members who are fluent in Auslan. Both cases were decided in favor of the complainants. Despite the parents' calls for Auslan to be used with their deaf children, the formal complaints, and attempts at conciliation, the education providers have maintained a vigorous defense (in one case also appealing the decision of the Federal Court of Australia). It is there-fore of potential interest to educational researchers and sign linguists to know how the respondents argued their cases against the use of Native Sign Language (NSL) in the classroom. Legal counsel is bound to represent its clients' views; therefore, the defendants' arguments are a reflection of the views and attitudes of the education authorities whom they represent. This article provides a detailed account of their denial of the claims of discrimination. In doing so, it presents perhaps the first comprehensive account in the public domain of the way in which these authorities view NSL and their reasons for denying its use with deaf children for whom Auslan is their first or preferred language.
‘Deaf children at school in France: Promoting a bilingual project’, Les enfants sourds à l'école en France: Pour un projet bilingue, 59 (2007), 237-244,
The quite recent rehabilitation of French Sign Language as a full linguistic system leads to limited evolutions in the teaching of deaf children. The possibility for parents to choose a bilingual teaching (French/French sign language) is recognized by French laws since 1991, it is therefore not a real new educational way. This paper is not intended to rewrite History, but aims at questioning the present situation and to set it inside a diachronic reflection. In this respect, its goal is to draw up educational prospects that take into account the needs of deaf children within the framework of an «Inclusive school», a place where universality and peculiarities are equally balanced. © P.U.F.
‘Reading against all odds: A pilot study of two deaf students with dyslexia’, American Annals of the Deaf, 152 (2007), 63-72,
Learning to read and write is a challenge for most deaf children due to their limited experiences with, and access to, spoken language. In the case of deaf students who have difficulty processing visual print, literacy becomes an even greater challenge. The study piloted an intervention procedure that incorporated the principles of automaticity, repetition, functional vocabulary, and a positive teacher-student relationship as recommended in programs for struggling readers and adapted them to the needs of two deaf high school students with dyslexia in an American Sign Language-English bilingual program. The findings reveal gains in reading ability on the formal measures, though not more than would be expected over a 6-month period simply due to development. The real improvements were noted in the students' attitudes toward literacy, improved social interaction, and increased self-confidence.
‘Text composition by deaf and hearing middle-school students: The role of working memory’, Reading and Writing, 20 (2007), 333-360,
The aim of this study was to compare the compositional performances of deaf and hearing students and to investigate the relationships between these performances and working memory capacities. Fifteen prelingually deaf, sign-using students and 15 hearing students composed a descriptive text and performed working memory tasks. The deaf students had poorer compositional performances in terms of fluency and spelling. They also displayed shorter writing and phonological spans. Correlations indicate that greater visuospatial capacity is associated with better conceptual processing in hearing students, but with an increase in grammatical errors in both deaf and hearing students. In the conclusion, we evoke ways of improving writing skills in deaf students in relation to working memory. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
‘Mother - Child story book interactions: Literacy orientation of pre-schoolers with hearing impairment’, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 7 (2007), 49-72,
The current study explored literacy interest or orientation of pre-school children with hearing impairment during mother - child story book interactions.Twelve pre-schoolers with varying types and levels of hearing impairment were observed during mother - child home book reading and toy play. Story books included both narrative and manipulative book genres. Child orientation to the task was qualitatively rated with a four-point Orientation Rating to Book Reading/Toy Play; mothers' modification of the book's text was scored with the Modification of the Book's Text Rating. Results indicated that (1) children should have more than one opportunity to explore and interact with a book before orientation is assessed, (2) children demonstrated a higher mean level of orientation to manipulative books versus narrative books across the three interactions, and (3) modification was negatively correlated with children's age (i.e. the text was more likely to be read verbatim with younger children). Copyright © 2007 Sage Publications.
‘Educational responses to varying objectives of parents of deaf children: A dutch perspective’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12 (2007), 243-253,
In 1999, Mary Brennan wrote "By recognising the child as, in effect, a 'little linguist' we are also recognising the power and effectiveness of the child's linguistic capacity" (Brennan, 1999). The recognition of the power and effectiveness of deaf children's linguistic capacity needs to be taken a step further. Focus should be on the conditions in the children's environments necessary to develop their linguistic capacity to its fullest potential and to enhance the use of this capacity in academic and social learning. This leads to the issue of the identification of the right language and instructional mix for deaf children, the topic that is addressed in this article. Essential in this process of identification are the educational objectives parents of deaf children have and the choices they make. This is related to a second issue, that of professional advice. Both issues are characterized by several dilemmas. These dilemmas are illustrated and directions are put forward that will enable educators to negotiate these dilemmas. © 2007 Oxford University Press.
‘A look at teaching standards in ASL teacher preparation programs’, Sign Language Studies, 8 (2007), 4-41+106,
As an American Sign Language instructor working with ASL majors at Gallaudet University for twenty years, I became piqued by a few questions: Are there enough ASL teacher preparation programs in the country, and how prepared are their graduates? This article addresses these topics.
‘Language approaches used with deaf pupils in Scottish schools: 2001-2004’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12 (2007), 530-551,
In this article we address "language approach" data as a key variable in quantitative, large-scale research on educational achievement, focusing on our work for the Achievements of Deaf Pupils in Scotland (ADPS) project. The complexity of approaches is addressed, with a particular focus on a "no-exclusion" model of service. In this context 3 years of language-related data are discussed, using constructions of language variables that take into account the variability in deaf pupils' hearing loss levels, types of provision, and professional practice. We see this as a necessary first step toward offering a nuanced context for understanding patterns in the educational outcomes among the ADPS population to be reported in a later article. The ADPS data on language approach can reveal general patterns at macro levels: our analysis suggests that, in Scotland, the extent and quality of British Sign Language/English provision may be determined more by local factors than by linguistic requirements and that ostensibly responsive policies can mask a limited spectrum for pupils and their families. However, the ADPS data are insufficiently sensitive to detailed and local variations to reflect the full complexity of language situations over time-a situation which represents an ongoing challenge for all long-term, large-scale studies. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Deaf cultural production in twentieth-century Madrid’, Sign Language Studies, 7 (2007), 431-457+511,
This article chronicles the recent processes of identity formation among deaf people in Spain, both analyzing Spanish-language poetry published in the journal Faro del Silencio and outlining new directions for research on Deaf culture in Spain in terms of film, theater, visual poetry. It draws attention to the significant connections between the Spanish and American contexts in both the development of deaf history itself and the subsequent theoretical support for Deaf identity in its cultural and linguistic aspects. This essay suggests that the question of a cultural Deaf identity in Spain, and Deaf identities elsewhere, can never be an easy one. The discussion advances the notion that further analyses of Deaf culture and literature in Spain will aid in this process to promote the formation of an inclusive even contradictory identity.
‘The transition from fingerspelling to english print: Facilitating english decoding’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12 (2007), 172-183,
Fingerspelling is an integral part of American Sign Language (ASL) and it is also an important aspect of becoming bilingual in English and ASL. Even though fingerspelling is based on English orthography, the development of fingerspelling does not parallel the development of reading in hearing children. Research reveals that deaf children may initially treat fingerspelled words as lexical items rather than a series of letters that represent English orthography and only later begin to learn to link handshapes to English graphemes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether a training method that uses fingerspelling and phonological patterns that resemble those found in lexicalized fingerspelling to teach deaf students unknown English vocabulary would increase their ability to learn the fingerspelled and orthographic version of a word. There were 21 deaf students (aged 4-14 years) who participated. Results show that students were better able to recognize and write the printed English word as well as fingerspell the word, when training incorporated fingerspelling that is more lexicalized. The discussion focuses on the degree to which fingerspelling can serve as a visual phonological bridge as an aid to decode English print. © 2007 Oxford University Press.
‘Sign language and deaf education: A new tradition’, Sign Language and Linguistics (Online), 9 (2006), 233-254,
Deaf education in Croatia still continues to use a predominantly auditory-speech approach, spoken Croatian only, and simultaneous communication (SC). In the last few years a few changes in tradition have been made: most importantly, educational interpreting is now available in high schools and at the university level. Given the lack of bilingual deaf education and early sign language exposure, deaf children make very slow progress in literacy, compared with deaf children of deaf parents. Benefits of early sign language acquisition can be seen in deaf children of deaf parents not only in better social adaptation skills, but also in their better academic achievement compared with other deaf children. The cultural approach to deaf education views sign language as the most natural linguistic form of deaf people, and a powerful means of communication for all purposes and in all circumstances. Here, we discuss case studies of Sweden, with 20 years of tradition in deaf bilingual education; the Netherlands, with about 10 years of deaf bilingual education; and Spain, where deaf bilingual education is in the process of implementation. These examples (Sweden, Spain, Netherlands) demonstrate the processes of policy changes and the shift to deaf education that is aimed at taking care of the needs of deaf children and their families, as well as implementing the human rights protections for linguistic minorities. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘Creating and contesting signs in contemporary Japan: Language ideologies, identity, and community in flux’, Sign Language Studies, 7 (2006), 11-29,
‘Fingerspelling and sign language as alternative codes for reading and writing words for chilean deaf signers’, American Annals of the Deaf, 151 (2006), 299-310,
THE STUDY examined the role of sign language and fingerspelling in the development of the reading and writing skills of deaf children and youth, twenty-six deaf participants (13 children, 13 adolescents), whose first language was Chilean Sign Language (CHSL), were examined. Their dactylic abilities were evaluated with tasks involving the reading and writing of dactylic and orthographic codes. The study included three experiments: (a) the identification of Chilean signs and fingerspelled words, (b) the matching of fingerspelled words with commercial logos, and (c) the decoding of fingerspelled words and the mapping of these words onto the writing system. The results provide convergent evidence that the use of fingerspelling and sign language is related to orthographic skills. It is concluded that fingerspelling can facilitate the internal representation of words and serve as a supporting mechanism for reading acquisition.
‘Children are just lingual': The development of phonology in British Sign Language (BSL)’, Lingua, 116 (2006), 1507-1523,
This paper explores three universal tendencies in spoken language acquisition: consonant and vowel harmony, cluster reduction and systemic simplification, using a corpus of 1018 signs from a single child exposed to British Sign Language (BSL) from birth. Child signs were recorded from naturalistic deaf parent-deaf child interaction between the ages of 19-24 months. Child errors were analysed by handshape, movement and location segments, as well as the accurate production of prosodic features, using an autosegmental phonology approach. Unadult like forms at this age were observed with 41% of handshapes, 45% of movements and 25% of locations. There were 47% of signs produced with unadult like prosodic features. Analysis of the results concludes that early child signing broadly follows proposed universal tendencies in language acquisition. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
‘Reading comprehension of Dutch deaf children’, Reading and Writing, 19 (2006), 49-76,
In this study, the reading comprehension of deaf children and adolescents in the Netherlands is examined along with their word identification. The reading comprehension of 464 deaf students and the word identification of 504 deaf students between 6 and 20 years of age was examined. The results show the reading comprehension scores of deaf children to be far below the scores of hearing children. On average, the deaf subjects scored at a level equivalent to a hearing child in the first grade. The word identification scores of the deaf children, however, were almost equivalent to the scores of hearing children. Although reading comprehension and word identification appear to be related, this relation does not completely explain the comprehension difficulties encountered by deaf children. Additional factors are required to explain deaf children's difficulties with reading comprehension. © Springer 2006.
‘Visual phonics: An english code buster?’, American Annals of the Deaf, 151 (2006), 452-457,
VISUAL PHONICS is an instructional program to provide print awareness, alphabet knowledge, and sound-letter correspondence for children with hearing loss who experience difficulty developing a foundation of phonemic awareness skills. Its purpose is "to clarify the sound symbol relationship between spoken English and print" (Waddy-Smith & Wilson, 2003, p. 15). It is implemented in numerous school districts, particularly in California and Florida, and can be learned in a 2-day workshop. Administrators, teachers, and speech pathologists see potential benefit in using Visual Phonics to help students with hearing loss raise their achievement scores in reading and spelling. However, it is critical to note that Visual Phonics has virtually no research base. Researchers, teachers, and speech pathologists are called upon to collect their data and begin research on the effectiveness of Visual Phonics. This is a case in which the research-to-practice gap must be closed.
‘How many people use ASL in the United States?: Why estimates need updating’, Sign Language Studies, 6 (2006), 306-335+355-356,
This article traces the sources of the estimates of the number of American Sign Language users in the United States. A variety of claims can be found in the literature and on the Internet, some of which have been shown to be unfounded but continue to be cited. In our search for the sources of the various (mis)understandings, we have found that all of the data-based estimates of the number of people who use ASL in the United States have their origin in a single study published in the early 1970s, which inquired about signing in general and not ASL use in particular. There has been neither subsequent research to update these estimates nor any specific study of ASL use. The article concludes with a call to action to rectify this problem. Copyright ©2002 Oxford University Press.
‘Children's communication mode five years after cochlear implantation: Changes over time according to age at implant’, Cochlear Implants International, 7 (2006), 77-91,
One hundred and seventy six children who had received cochlear implants at one centre in the UK were followed up for five years post-implant. The cohort was divided into three groups by age at implant. 1: Under three years of age; 2: Between three and five; 3: Over five. Their mode of communication was noted at four key intervals - pre-implant; 1, 3 and 5 years post-implant. It was classified as either oral or sign. By five years post-implant, 83% of group 1 were using oral communication, 63.5% of group 2 and 45.1% of group 3. The results showed that the mode of communication five years post-implant is statistically related to age at implantation with more children implanted younger using an oral mode of communication (p = 0.001). Children implanted younger are more likely to change communication mode over time from sign to oral, and do so more quickly than those implanted later. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Implications of utilizing a phonics-based reading curriculum with children who are deaf or hard of hearing’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11 (2006), 202-213,
Extensive literature has reiterated the reading difficulties of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Building and expanding upon the work of B. J. Trezek and K. W. Malmgren (2005), this study demonstrated that given 1 year of instruction from a phonics-based reading curriculum supplemented by Visual Phonics, kindergarten and first-grade students who were deaf or hard of hearing could demonstrate improvements in beginning reading skills as measured by standardized assessments of (a) word reading, (b) pseudoword decoding, and (c) reading comprehension. Furthermore, the acquisition of beginning reading skills did not appear to be related to degree of hearing loss. In this study, students with various degrees of hearing loss benefited equally well from this phonics-based reading curriculum supplemented by Visual Phonics. © 2006 Oxford University Press.
‘Implications of utilizing a phonics-based reading curriculum with children who are deaf or hard of hearing’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 10 (2006), 202-213,
‘The argument for a constitutional right to communication and language’, Sign Language Studies, 6 (2006), 255-272,
‘Considerations on the interface between the Brazilian sign language (LIBRAS) and Portuguese language in the initial construction of writing of deaf children’, Algumas considerações sobre a interface entre a língua Brasileira de sinais (LIBRAS) e a língua Portuguesa na construção inicial da escrita pela criança surda, 26 (2006), 205-229,
This paper proposes a psycholinguistic reflection on the conceptual constructions of deaf children in what regards writing. Based on a dialogue with the ideas of Emília Ferreiro and Ana Teberosky, this work reveals that the psychogenesis of writing experienced by deaf children who have sign language as their first and instruction language, occurs in a different way than that of hearing children in the initial process of constructing writing. The main specificities of this acquisition are related to the non-phonetization of writing, to an intense exploration of the visual-spatial aspects of writing and to the usage of the phonologic parameters of sign language as a regulating and organizing element of writing. Such peculiarities thus demand that school and alphabetizing teachers revise their conceptions on the process of writing of the deaf, thinking of (new) pedagogical practices that take into account the bilingual reality and its soundless relationship to writing. © 2006 CEDES.
‘Language and identity: Deafness in question’, Lingua(gem) e identidade: A surdez em questão, 27 (2006), 299-314,
This paper approaches the role of sign language in the construction of deaf identity. Various authors have discussed how language relates to the construction of identity, pointing out that identity constitutes through meaning - when a subject means they becomes meaningful (Orlandi, 1998). We thus attempt to link this discussion to the field of deaf studies, considering that in the case of deaf children the privileged interaction partner is another deaf person. Most students have their first contact with this language in schools and institutions for the deaf. We have observed advantages when deaf teachers take over classroom teaching: one is that students are able to develop narrative constructions in sign language; another one is that this experience enables them to perceive themselves as deaf, and construct a deaf identity as early as 5-7 years., when they take on and differentiate roles in interaction, especially with regard to the deaf teacher and the hearing teacher. In the field of deafness, the bilingual education approach anticipates deaf people's awareness of the meaning of deafness, which until quite recently was occurred in adulthood. © 2006 CEDES.
‘Evidence from the wider use of the BSL Receptive Skills Test’, Deafness and Education International, 8 (2006), 33-47,
Following the development and standardization of the British Sign Language (BSL) Receptive Skills Test (Herman et al., 1999), the test was made widely available to professionals working with deaf children. Test users were asked to return completed score-sheets on individual children they had tested in order to compare a selection of children from the wider population of deaf children with those from the sample upon whom the test was standardized. The analysis of almost 200 score sheets is presented. Overall, children from the wider population achieved lower standard scores than those from the standardization sample, with the exception of native signers, whose scores were equivalent to the native signers' scores in the original sample. The findings raise important questions about the adequacy of BSL provision for deaf children in hearing families. Data on tester ratings and children's reading scores provide an opportunity for a preliminary investigation of the psychometric properties of the test. Finally, tester feedback on the test itself, the training offered and the overall contribution of the test to assessing deaf children's BSL development are reviewed. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Incidental word learning in a hearing child of deaf adults’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11 (2006), 76-93,
It is unclear how children develop the ability to learn words incidentally (i.e., without direct instruction or numerous exposures). This investigation examined the early achievement of this skill by longitudinally tracking the expressive vocabulary and incidental word-learning capacities of a hearing child of Deaf adults who was natively learning American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English. Despite receiving only 20% of language input in spoken English, the child's expressive vocabularies at 16 and 20 months of age, in each language, were similar to those of monolingual age-matched peers. At 16 months of age, the child showed signs of greater proficiency in the incidental learning of novel ASL signs than she did for spoken English words. At 20 months of age, the child was skilled at incidental word learning in both languages. These results support the methodology as it applies to examining theoretical models of incidental word learning. They also suggest that bilingual children can achieve typical vocabulary levels (even with minimal input in one of the languages) and that the development of incidental word learning follows a similar trajectory in ASL and spoken English. © The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Grammatical processing in American Sign Language: Age of first-language acquisition effects in relation to syntactic structure’, Language and Cognitive Processes, 21 (2006), 608-635,
Sentence processing in American Sign Language (ASL) was investigated as a function of age of first language acquisition with a timed grammatical judgement task. Participants were 30 adults who were born deaf and first exposed to a fully perceptible language between the ages of birth and 13 years. Stimuli were grammatical and ungrammatical examples of six ASL syntactic structures: Simple, negative, agreement verb, wh-question, relative clause and classifier sentences. As delay in exposure to a first language increased, grammatical judgement accuracy decreased, independent of ASL syntactic structure. The signers were less accurate and responded more slowly to ungrammatical as compared with grammatical stimuli, especially the early and delayed first-language learners in comparison to the native learners. The results held across grammaticised facial expressions, signed markers and verb type. These results, in conjunction with previous findings, indicate that the onset of first language acquisition affects the ultimate outcome of syntactic knowledge for all subsequent language acquisition. © 2005 Psychology Press Ltd.
‘Noun/Verb Pairs in Austrian Sign Language (ÖGS)’, Sign Language and Linguistics (Online), 9 (2006), 71-94,
The present work provides the evidence for a measurable distinction between members of formationally related Noun/Verb Pairs in ÖGS. Like similar investigations in other sign languages, such as American (ASL), Australian (Auslan) and British (BSL), this empirical study investigates nouns and verbs of related pairs in ÖGS from several perspectives. The primary investigation focuses on the movement component of signs, which is identified as the major differentiating factor between related nouns and verbs. The study also briefly examines nonmanual markers and the adjacent lexical categories of nouns and verbs in context. The findings are compared with the distinctions reported for other sign languages and show that ÖGS also follows the distinction model that other sign languages use for distinguishing between related nouns and verbs, in particular, distinctions in the movement components of signs. The formational difference between related ÖGS nouns and verbs is systematically shown in their duration, with verbs substantially longer in duration than their comparable nouns. It is not known whether this observed difference will generalize to the wider comparison of ÖGS unrelated verbs and nouns. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘Blue listerine, parochialism, and ASL literacy’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11 (2006), 373-381,
There are not many elements of human life that have had as significant an impact on our development as literacy. Literacy has certainly been, and remains, a crucial issue especially in Deaf Education and in the Deaf World. The traditional definition of literacy has been exclusively understood as reading and writing. However, this article is intended to provide a thoughtful and provocative commentary that supports adopting new directions and comprehensive definitions for understanding literacy, which includes both written and signed languages. By applying ideas from Deaf Studies and New Literacy Studies we will conduct a thorough exploration of the fundamental components of literacy and illuminate important political and practical applications related to Deaf Education. © 2006 Oxford University Press.
‘Language development in deaf children's interactions with deaf and hearing adults: A dutch longitudinal study’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11 (2006), 238-251,
The language development of two deaf girls and four deaf boys in Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN) and spoken Dutch was investigated longitudinally. At the start, the mean age of the children was 3;5. All data were collected in video-recorded semistructured conversations between individual children and deaf and hearing adults. We investigated the lexical richness and syntactic complexity of the children's utterances in SLN and spoken Dutch, as well as language dominance and interactional participation. Richness and complexity increase over time, as well as children's participation. An important outcome is that syntactic complexity is higher in utterances with both sign and speech. SLN does not have higher outcomes on richness or complexity, but is dominant in terms of frequency of use. © 2006 Oxford University Press.
‘Benefits of sign language interpreting and text alternatives for deaf students' classroom learning’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11 (2006), 421-437,
Four experiments examined the utility of real-time text in supporting deaf students' learning from lectures in postsecondary (Experiments 1 and 2) and secondary classrooms (Experiments 3 and 4). Experiment 1 compared the effects on learning of sign language interpreting, real-time text (C-Print), and both. Real-time text alone led to significantly higher performance by deaf students than the other two conditions, but performance by deaf students in all conditions was significantly below that of hearing peers who saw lectures without any support services. Experiment 2 compared interpreting and two forms of real-time text, C-Print and Communication Access Real-Time Translation, at immediate testing and after a 1-week delay (with study notes). No significant differences among support services were obtained at either testing. Experiment 3 also failed to reveal significant effects at immediate or delayed testing in a comparison of real-time text, direct (signed) instruction, and both. Experiment 4 found no significant differences between interpreting and interpreting plus real-time text on the learning of either new words or the content of television programs. Alternative accounts of the observed pattern of results are considered, but it is concluded that neither sign language interpreting nor real-time text have any inherent, generalized advantage over the other in supporting deaf students in secondary or postsecondary settings. Providing deaf students with both services simultaneously does not appear to provide any generalized benefit, at least for the kinds of materials utilized here. © Copyright 2006 Oxford University Press.
‘The experience of deaf people in the spheres of daily activities’, A experiência de pessoas surda em esferas de atividade do cotidiano, 26 (2006), 231-249,
This paper analyzes statements of deaf subjects on the ways they participate to spheres of activities in which different segments of the population circulate in their everyday life (at work, in commercial places and in public services, for example). The interviews reveal that the deaf are faced with difficulties in situations that, usually, are banal for hearing people. Furthermore, the interviewed show a very partial recognition of the unsatisfactory and unequal conditions for their insertion in these different spaces, and admit their dependency on the hearing as natural or even blame themselves for their problems. The analyses manifest that the political changes announced occur in an inconsistent way. "Eliminating attitude and communication barriers" implies coping with issues linked to the power relationships between deaf and hearing people and cannot be conceived of as a sum of localized initiatives. © 2006 CEDES.
‘Reading in a second language: Language practices that constitute the subjectivity(ies) of a group of adult deaf’, A leitura em segunda língua: Práticas de linguagem constitutivas da(s) subjetividade(s) de um grupo de surdos adultos, 26 (2006), 185-204,
Based on the realization of bilingual reading workshops, this work discusses some aspects that constitute the subjectivity(ies) of a group of adult deaf. Grounded on discursive interactions in Brazilian sign language (LIBRAS), such space allowed a transformation of the social places assumed by the subjects because it permitted the establishment of dialogs between life stories and the different social relationships constructed within and by the group. Assuming that subjectivity is always relative, determined by the various looks of the others and constructed in distinct social-ideological places and times, and that it constitutes a plural event discursively marked, in which the self completes itself dialogically in its relationship(s) to the others, the discussions presented in this study highlight the need to re-think the educational spaces as loci of discursive interactions and thus of transformation and constitution of the subject. © 2006 CEDES.
‘Bilingual language profiles of deaf students: An analysis of the written narratives of three deaf writers with different language proficiencies’, Deafness and Education International, 8 (2006), 144-168,
Literature on bilingual education suggests that the material used in teaching second language writing has an impact on the quality of the text. In addition, the material interacts differently with the level of bilingual proficiency of the students. This paper attempts to explore the written stories of three deaf students, which were produced under two different conditions: Translation from a signed narrative vs. direct composition from a picture narrative. The three deaf students represent three language groups, with different proficiencies in Greek Sign Language and written Greek. It will be shown that a) each representative produces a unique writing style in accordance to his/her language proficiencies and b) each representative reacts differently to the stimulus material facilitating (or not) different aspects of writing. The narratives were explored in terms of their discourse and technical characteristics. Implications for deaf education and the teaching of writing are discussed. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Being there is not enough: Inclusion is both deaf and hearing’, Deafness and Education International, 8 (2006), 88-100,
Australia and New Zealand are two South Pacific nations with a shared history of British colonisation and close links maintained through kinship, travel, shared media and business relationships. Our public education systems also reflect a shared history of educational ideas and responses to the challenges of increasingly heterogeneous populations. In both countries, most deaf students are integrated into regular schools, and at the same time official recognition has been given to native sign language. We illustrate the ways in which inclusion can expose and dismantle - or alternatively, serve to fortify - the barriers of 'ableist' tenets; and contend that the presence of deaf students in regular classrooms must be underpinned by transformative practices that go beyond 'simple inclusion'. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
‘Interviews with deaf children about their experiences using cochlear implants’, American Annals of the Deaf, 150 (2005), 260-267,
WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK of a longitudinal study of deaf children with cochlear implants, 11 children with implants were interviewed. The objective was to shed light on what it is like for a child to use a cochlear implant, based on these children's own experience with implants, which ranged from 5.0 to 7.5 years. Six of the children were in schools for the deaf, five in regular classes. All but one used an implant daily. The children appreciated that an implant enabled them to perceive sounds in the environment. Some of the children in regular classes could take part in one-to-one conversations with teachers but had difficulty following teaching and discussions. This observation was consistent with what the children's parents and teachers had maintained. Peer interaction was said to be best when other children had the use of at least some signs.
‘The experience of story reading: Deaf children and hearing mothers' interactions at story time’, American Annals of the Deaf, 150 (2005), 369-378,
THE STUDY EXAMINED scaffolding interactions between deaf children and hearing mothers in which story reading was used as a tool to aid in the development of narrative comprehension and linguistic reasoning. The dyadic interactions were examined from the perspective of the theoretical works of Vygotsky (1934/1962, 1978, 1929/1981, 1960/1981). The sample group consisted of 7 dyads of hearing mothers and their deaf children ages 4.2 to 9.5 years. The mothers signed a story to their children. The dyadic interactions reflected the different levels of scaffolding and functioning within the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1934/1962, 1978). The researchers found that story reading provides an excellent framework for both cognitive and emotional growth within the parent/child dyad. Mothers who engaged their children in mutual dialogue also used elaboration. This was reflected in their children's linguistic reasoning.
‘Does the knowledge of a natural sign language facilitate deaf children's learning to read and write? (La connaissance d'une langue des signes peut-elle faciliter l'apprentissage de l'écrit chez l'enfant sourd?)’, Enfance, 57 (2005), 285-297,
This article presents cross-linguistic research involving two separate studies that focus on the relationship between fundamental linguistic skills developed in natural sign languages (American Sign Language and French Sign Language) and written language (English and French) by severe to profoundly school-aged deaf students. Overall, the results of both investigations demonstrate that there is a significant correlation between sign language proficiency and written language (reading and writing) performance, especially regarding discourse devices used in the production and comprehension of narratives. The findings from the first study, conducted in California with 140 deaf children and adolescents between 8 and 15 years, indicate that the sign language proficiency of deaf children can predict their performance in reading and writing two years later. The results of the second investigation, conducted in the French speaking part of Switzerland with 39 deaf students ages 8 to 17 years, demonstrate that the linguistic skills necessary to learn a written language can be developed in a sign language as an alternative or complement to language skills developed in an oral language.
‘Comparing action gestures and classifier verbs of motion: Evidence from australian sign language, Taiwan sign language, and nonsigners' gestures without speech’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 10 (2005), 272-290,
Recent research into signed languages indicates that signs may share some properties with gesture, especially in the use of space in classifier constructions. A prediction of this proposal is that there will be similarities in the representation of motion events by sign-naive gesturers and by native signers of unrelated signed languages. This prediction is tested for deaf native signers of Australian Sign Language (Auslan), deaf signers of Taiwan Sign Language (TSL), and hearing nonsigners using the Verbs of Motion Production task from the Test Battery for American Sign Language (ASL) Morphology and Syntax. Results indicate that differences between the responses of nonsigners, Auslan signers, and TSL signers and the expected ASL responses are greatest with handshape units; movement and location units appear to be very similar. Although not definitive, these data are consistent with the claim that classifier constructions are blends of linguistic and gestural elements. © The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
‘Deaf parents' perspectives on deaf education’, Sign Language Studies, 5 (2005), 415-440,
‘Aphasia in a bilingual user of British sign language and english: Effects of cross-linguistics cues’, Cognitive Neuropsychology, 22 (2005), 719-736,
This paper is a single case investigation of "Maureen," a Deaf woman who was bilingual in British Sign Language (BSL) and English, and who had aphasia following a left-hemisphere CVA. Input Investigations revealed that comprehension of British Sign Language was severely impaired. The presence of semantic errors, and comparable difficulties in English, suggested that the problem arose, at least in part, from a central semantic deficit. This was also supported by the results of a BSL lexical judgement task, showing that she could differentiate real BSL signs from minimally related nonsigns. Maureen was completely unable to sign, but produced occasional English spoken words, particularly as echolalic translations of BSL signs. This observation was investigated in assessments of cued English naming. These showed that Maureen could be cued to produce English spoken nouns (but not verbs) by the provision of the corresponding BSL sign. In contrast, gesture cues had no effect. This cueing effect with signs is informative about the nature of the bilingual language system, and suggests that Maureen may be able to exploit direct (nonsemantic) links between her BSL and English lexicons. © 2005 Psychology Press Ltd.
‘Code mixing in mother-child interaction in deaf families’, Sign Language and Linguistics (Online), 8 (2005), 151-174,
In this paper we discuss the mixed language input of four deaf mothers and the mixed output of their three deaf and three hearing children. Taking a strict definition of code-mixing (as defined by Muysken 2000) we find that the deaf mothers mainly use a form of code-mixing, or mixed code-blending, called congruent lexicalization, which results in a mixed form between NGT (Sign Language of the Netherlands) and Dutch in a structure which is compatible with both NGT and Dutch. The deaf children (up to 3 years), who are only just beginning to become bilingual, hardly produce any code-mixed utterances. The hearing children, however, are clearly bilingual in NGT and Dutch, and use code-blending of the mixed type in more or less the same form as their mothers do. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘Literacy in the homes of young deaf children: Common and distinct features of spoken language and sign bilingual environments’, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 5 (2005), 53-78.,
‘Sign language structure: An outline of the visual communication system of the American deaf. Studies in Linguistics’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 10 (2005), 3-37,
‘Children with cochlear implants from bilingual families: Considerations for intervention and a case study’, Volta Review, 105 (2005), 29-39,
The common assumption that children who are deaf cannot or should not become orally bilingual is challenged. The author reviews current research and describes the benefits achieved by expanding a child's linguistic opportunities through including parents and their home language in intervention. A case study of a bilingual chad with a cochlear implant is presented, with special attention to auditory and speech intervention, consultation with school providers, and intervention techniques and strategies used to encourage oral bilingual language development.
‘Conjoining word and image in British Sign Language (BSL): An exploration of metaphorical signs in BSL’, Sign Language Studies, 5 (2005), 360-382,
‘Deaf education in China: History, current issues, and emerging deaf voices’, American Annals of the Deaf, 150 (2005), 457-469,
An overview is provided of (a) deaf education in China, (b) views of deaf Chinese, and (c) recent empowering international collaborations. China's national policy focuses on oral/aural education and hearing rehabilitation. However, everyday practice in schools for deaf children includes various forms of Chinese Sign Language. Early childhood education focuses on speech and hearing. Elementary and secondary school curricula reflect low expectations for deaf students and lack the same academic content provided to hearing students. There are limited higher education opportunities. There are no support services such as note takers or interpreters for mainstreamed students. There are no deaf teacher preparation or interpreter training programs. Jobs are few; the vast majority of deaf adults are unemployed. Deaf people interviewed for the article describe their needs, their dreams, and the changes they are witnessing, which result in part from recent empowering international collaborations.
‘Methods and procedures in sign language acquisition studies’, Sign Language and Linguistics (Online), 8 (2005), 7-58,
Sign language acquisition is a relatively new field and is still developing its own good practice. This paper gives an overview of the most common procedures in research design, choice of subjects, transcription and documentation. The paper concludes with a brief overview of the chronology of development of sign languages. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘Teaching sign language to the families of the deaf: focusing the learning process’, Ensino de língua de sinais a familiares de surdos: enfocando a aprendizagem., 17 (2005), 89-98,
BACKGROUND: According to bilingual education, only through sign language will deaf children attain linguistic and cognitive development, enabling them to learn a second language--spoken or written. However, it is also necessary for families to learn sign language in order to have a more efficient communication. AIM: To analyze methodological aspects of the teaching-learning process of Sign Language to family groups. METHOD: Transcription and analysis of video recordings were made. RESULTS: The practice of teaching of the deaf teacher modifies itself during the research period and his attitude influences the way by which parents participate. CONCLUSION: The teaching methodology used by the deaf teacher interferes significantly in the motivation/participation of parents, followed by the acceptance of deafness and sign language.
‘Orange eyes: Bimodal bilingualism in hearing adults from deaf families’, Sign Language Studies, 5 (2005), 188-230,
‘Policy challenges for bilingual and immersion education in Australia: Literacy and language choices for users of aboriginal languages, Auslan and Italian’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 8 (2005), 178-187,
This paper deals with the author's recent work on political, sociolinguistic and educational aspects of bilingual and immersion education in Australia. Among the cases considered are: the development of a professional position statement on bilingual and immersion education, to be disseminated to policy makers; advising on an Auslan (Australian language of the Deaf) bilingual programme; and a proposed investigation of why there are no Italian late immersion programmes in Victoria, despite the importance of Italian as a community language of long standing. Several aspects of heritage/community language education in Australia will be discussed: political issues of programme staffing and funding; the impact of sociolinguistic factors, relating to a particular community language and how it is viewed by its own and other communities, on the types of programmes that will be undertaken; and the effect of educational decisions taken by school administrators on the language learning experiences of children in immersion programmes. © 2005 M. de Courcy.
‘Review of sign language assessment instruments’, Sign Language and Linguistics (Online), 8 (2005), 59-96,
This article reviews and discusses existing sign language assessment instruments and those that are still under development. There are three groupings of sign language assessments: (1) instruments to assess and monitor the process of sign language acquisition in deaf children, (2) assessments for educational purposes, and (3) instruments for linguistic research. These will be discussed individually with regard to a range of issues, such as target age group, linguistic content of the assessment instrument, background of the instrument and development, usability and availability, and strengths and weaknesses. The article concludes with an evaluation of the reviewed instruments. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘Category politics: Deaf students' inclusion in the 'hearing university’, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 9 (2005), 389-403,
This article investigates the way in which deaf tertiary students' identity is constructed within the university - an overwhelmingly 'hearing' institution. It is a descriptive and analytical account of the experiences of two deaf teacher education students as they reflect on their progress and experiences in higher education. Data have been analysed within an interpretive framework of category politics and the construction of difference. The study found that providing the same access to the same information in the same form did little to address the discursive marginality of these students.
‘Requirements for bilingual education of deaf people’, Revista de Logopedia, Foniatria y Audiologia, 25 (2005), 28-37,
This article begins with the analyses of the causes for the development of the bilingual education applied to deaf people. One of theses causes is related to the low academic achievement of many deaf students in oral academic settings. On the other hand, the researches into sign language show that it is a language with the same linguistic status as oral languages. This educational model for deaf people has also been developed thanks to a social, historical and cultural context sensitive to the respect of differences. In the second part we explain the benefits associated to the bilingual education of deaf people, specially, they can find easier to understand the academic lessons, and this kind of education may have a positive influence on their cognitive, communicative, social and emotional development. Finally, if we want that bilingual education achieves those benefits, it is neccesary to fulfil certain requirements such as, institutional and community support to the project, positive attitudes towards the use of sign language, the use of this language in the ordinary class, the development of instruments for assessing the command of sign language, etc. We dedicate the rest of the article to explain this requirements. Copyright 2005 AELFA y Grupo Ars XXI de Comunicación, S.L.
‘Comprehension of sign language interpreting: Deciphering a complex task situation’, Sign Language Studies, 4 (2004), 345-366+405-406,
Remarkably few studies have examined the outcomes of sign language interpreting. Three experiments reported here examine deaf students' comprehension of interpreting in American Sign Language and English-based signing (transliteration) as a function of their sign language skills and preferences. In Experiments 1 and 2, groups of deaf students varying in their sign language skills viewed either an ASL or English-based interpretation of a nontechnical lecture, followed by either a written comprehension test (Experiment 1) or a signed comprehension test (Experiment 2). Experiment 3 involved a more technical (physics) lecture, separate testing of students with greater ASL or English-based sign skills and preferences, and control of students' prior content knowledge. Results consistently demonstrate that regardless of the deaf students' reported sign language skills and preferences, they were equally competent in comprehending ASL interpreting and English transliteration, but they gained less knowledge from lectures than hearing peers in comparison groups. The results raise questions about how much deaf students actually learn in interpreted classrooms and the link between their communication preferences and learning.
‘Discourse genre and linguistic mode: Interpreter influences in visual and tactile interpreted interaction’, Sign Language Studies, 4 (2004), 118-137+216,
This study investigates visual and tactile ASL-English interpreters' influences on interactive discourse through an interactional sociolinguistic analysis of videotaped, interpreted interactions. We examine the participation framework of each of the interactions to determine whether the interpreters' utterances influence the interaction. For example, how do interpreters' code choices align them with the Deaf-sighted, Deaf-Blind, or hearing participants? How do interpreters create footings within their renditions and self-generated nonrenditions? Based on a growing body of research on tactile signed languages and on signed language interpretation of dyadic interaction such as student-teacher meetings, medical interviews, and multi-party genres such as classroom discourse, this study examines ways in which discourse genre and linguistic mode contribute to those interpreter-generated influences.
‘Sign language interpreting: The relationship between metalinguistic awareness and the production of interpreting omissions’, Sign Language Studies, 4 (2004), 369-393+406,
This article presents the findings of the first linguistic analysis of sign language interpreting carried out in Australia. A study was conducted on ten Australian Sign Language/English interpreters to determine the rate and occurrence of interpreting omissions and the interpreters' level of metalinguistic awareness in relation to their production of interpreting omissions. After videotaping interpretations, analyzing the interpreters' output, and conducting postinterpreting task reviews and retrospective interviews, the authors report that all the interpreters appeared to have high levels of metalinguistic awareness with regard to their production of interpreting omissions. This finding led to the definition of five categories of interpreting omissions: conscious strategic, conscious intentional, conscious unintentional, conscious receptive, and unconscious omissions. The findings of this study can be applied in the education of signed and spoken interpreters not only in Australia but also worldwide.
‘Vocabulary Use by Low, Moderate, and High ASL-Proficient Writers Compared to Hearing ESL and Monolingual Speakers’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 9 (2004), 86-103,
The written English vocabulary of 72 deaf elementary school students of various proficiency levels in American Sign Language (ASL) was compared with the performance of 60 hearing English-as-a-second-language (ESL) speakers and 61 hearing monolingual speakers of English, all of similar age. Students were asked to retell "The Tortoise and the Hare" story (previously viewed on video) in a writing activity. Writing samples were later scored for total number of words, use of words known to be highly frequent in children's writing, redundancy in writing, and use of English function words. All deaf writers showed significantly lower use of function words as compared to their hearing peers. Low-ASL-proficient students demonstrated a highly formulaic writing style, drawing mostly on high-frequency words and repetitive use of a limited range of function words. The moderate- and high-ASL-proficient deaf students' writing was not formulaic and incorporated novel, low-frequency vocabulary to communicate their thoughts. The moderate- and high-ASL students' performance revealed a departure from findings one might expect based on previous studies with deaf writers and their vocabulary use. The writing of the deaf writers also differed from the writing of hearing ESL speakers. Implications for deaf education and literacy instruction are discussed, with special attention to the fact that ASL-proficient, deaf second-language learners of English may be approaching English vocabulary acquisition in ways that are different from hearing ESL learners.
‘Classroom discourse practices of a deaf teacher using American Sign Language’, Sign Language Studies, 5 (2004), 39-62,
‘Neural correlates of working memory for sign language’, Cognitive Brain Research, 20 (2004), 165-182,
Eight, early bilingual, sign language interpreters participated in a PET study, which compared working memory for Swedish Sign Language (SSL) with working memory for audiovisual Swedish speech. The interaction between language modality and memory task was manipulated in a within-subjects design. Overall, the results show a previously undocumented, language modality-specific working memory neural architecture for SSL, which relies on a network of bilateral temporal, bilateral parietal and left premotor activation. In addition, differential activation in the right cerebellum was found for the two language modalities. Similarities across language modality are found in Broca's area for all tasks and in the anterior left inferior frontal lobe for semantic retrieval. The bilateral parietal activation pattern for sign language bears similarity to neural activity during, e.g., nonverbal visuospatial tasks, and it is argued that this may reflect generation of a virtual spatial array. Aspects of the data suggesting an age of acquisition effect are also considered. Furthermore, it is discussed why the pattern of parietal activation cannot be explained by factors relating to perception, production or recoding of signs, or to task difficulty. The results are generally compatible with Wilson's [Psychon. Bull. Rev. 8 (2001) 44] account of working memory. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
‘The changing American family & ethnically diverse children with hearing loss and multiple needs’, Volta Review, 104 (2004), 285-305,
The purposes of this paper are to examine the degree of ethnic diversity that exists among children with hearing loss; to review how this affects implementation of auditory-based intervention for children with many needs; and to suggest ways that auditory-based therapists can respect and respond to diversity for the improvement of services to minority groups. While the information presented reflects American data, similar trends in other developed countries, in particular those with high immigration levels from developing countries, suggest that they face similar issues.
‘Sign language interpreter training, testing, and accreditation: An international comparison’, American Annals of the Deaf, 149 (2004), 350-359,
THE ARTICLE EXPLORES sign language interpreter training, testing, and accreditation in three major English-speaking countries, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, by providing an overview of the training and assessment of sign language interpreters in each country. The article highlights the reasons these countries can be considered leaders in the profession and compares similarities and differences among them. Key similarities include the provision of university interpreter training, approval for training courses, license "maintenance" systems, and educational interpreting guidelines. Differences are noted in relation to training pre-requisites, types and levels of accreditation, administration of the testing system, and accreditation of deaf interpreters. The article concludes with predictions about future developments related to the establishment of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters and the development of sign language interpreting research as a research discipline.
‘Children with Cochlear Implants: Changing Parent and Deaf Community Perspectives’, Archives of Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, 130 (2004), 673-677,
‘The assessment and achievement of proficiency in a native sign language within a sign bilingual program: The pilot auslan receptive skills test’, Deafness and Education International, 6 (2004), 57-81,
The assessment of sign language proficiency is essential for evaluating the outcomes of sign bilingual education. This paper reports an attempt to assess the sign language proficiency of children in a self-described sign bilingual program in Sydney by adapting a British Sign Language (BSL) test to Australian Sign Language (Auslan). The test appears to measure basic Auslan skills in young children and, in particular, appears to identify native-like signers. However, two qualifications need to be made regarding how standardized norms are established (and thus their interpretation) and the make-up and population size of this study. Namely, the original BSL test is not normed on native signers alone; and the number of subjects in the study is extremely small and varied. These factors limit the generalizations that can be made from the data. Further testing with a larger population of signers is essential before results could be confidently interpreted. However, due to the small number of potential subjects in Australia, such data may never become available. Despite these observations and qualifications, it does appear from this study that the sign bilingual program under investigation faces important challenges in ensuring that all children achieve early native-like proficiency in the community signed language.
‘Literacy development in deaf students: Case studies in bilingual teaching and learning’, American Annals of the Deaf, 149 (2004), 17-27,
BILINGUAL MODEL has been applied to educating deaf students who are learning American Sign Language (ASL) as their first language and written English as a second. Although Cummins's (1984) theory of second-language learning articulates how learners draw on one language to acquire another, implementing teaching practices based on this theory, particularly with deaf students, is a complex, confusing process. The purposes of the present study were to narrow the gap between theory and practice and to describe the teaching and learning strategies used by the teachers and parents of three elementary school children within a bilingual/bicultural learning environment for deaf students. The findings suggest that strategies such as using ASL as the language of instruction and making translation conceptual rather than literal contribute to literacy learning. Findings further indicate that some inconsistencies persist in applying a bilingual approach with deaf students.
‘The cultural construction of linguistic incompetence through schooling: Deaf education and the transformation of the linguistic environment in Bali, Indonesia’, Sign Language Studies, 5 (2004), 6-38,
‘Effectiveness of multimedia reading materials when used with children who are deaf’, American Annals of the Deaf, 149 (2004), 394-403,
THE PURPOSE of the study was to assess the relative effectiveness of print, sign, and pictures in the transfer of reading-related information to children who are deaf. By means of personal computers, deaf children were presented CD-ROM-generated stories in four different formats: print only, print plus pictures, print plus sign language, and print plus pictures plus sign. A repeated-measure design was used to analyze participants' reading comprehension performance. Significant differences were found among the four presentation options. One observed phenomenon was that participants would switch from American Sign Language to Signed English when analyzing text. The study findings suggest that presenting stories on CD-ROM with multiple modes of reading cues, such as print, pictures, and sign language, may be an enjoyable and interesting supplement to standard reading practices.
‘The relationship between reading achievement and morphological word analysis in deaf and hearing students matched for reading level’, J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ, 9 (2004), 269-285,
This study extends the findings of Gaustad, Kelly, Payne, and Lylak (2002), which showed that deaf college students and hearing middle school students appeared to have approximately the same morphological knowledge and word segmentation skills. Because the average grade level reading abilities for the two groups of students were also similar, those research findings suggested that deaf students' morphological development was progressing as might be expected relative to reading level. This study further examined the specific relationship between morphologically based word identification skills and reading achievement levels, as well as differences in the error patterns of deaf and hearing readers. Comparison of performance between pairs of deaf college students and hearing middle school students matched for reading achievement level shows significant superiority of younger hearing participants for skills relating especially to the meaning of derivational morphemes and roots, and the segmentation of words containing multiple types of morphemes. Group subtest comparisons and item analysis comparisons of specific morpheme knowledge and word segmentation show clear differences in the morphographic skills of hearing middle school readers over deaf college students, even though they were matched and appear to read at the same grade levels, as measured by standardized tests.
‘Education of deaf students in Spain: legal and educational politics developments’, J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ, 9 (2004), 327-332,
This article examines the legal instruments and educational politics affecting deaf persons' educational rights in Spain. We present a historical view of deaf education in Spain before and after the Congress of Milan (1880) and then introduce educational legislation and practices in recent decades. At present, Spanish legislation is moving toward recognition of sign languages and the suitability of bilingual education for deaf students at all educational levels. This is a consequence of taking into account the low academic achievement of two generations of deaf students educated in a monolingual model. Bilingual projects are now run throughout Spain. We emphasize that efforts must be made in the legal sphere to regulate the way in which professionals who know sign language and Deaf culture-teachers, interpreters, deaf adult models-are incorporated in bilingual deaf schools.
‘Survey of Residential and Day Schools for Deaf Students in the United States That Identify Themselves as Bilingual-Bicultural Programs’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 8 (2003), 79-91,
The purpose of this survey was to determine how many residential and day schools for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in the United States described themselves as bilingual-bicultural (BiBi) programs and to describe characteristics of those programs related to initial implementation, whether a single language (e.g., English or ASL) is promoted as the first language (L1) and the language of instruction for all deaf students, how English is conveyed conversationally to deaf students, the quality of ASL abilities of BiBi instructional and support staff; general characteristics of the curriculum and the specific reading and bicultural components of the curriculum; and characteristics of research being conducted to establish the efficacy of BiBi methods. Ninety-one percent (n = 71) of the 78 day and residential schools listed in the 1998 Directory of the American Annals of the Deaf participated in the survey, with 19 schools identifying themselves as BiBi. These included 16 residential schools and 3 day schools. Depending on the source for numbers of students in residential and day schools at the time of the survey, between 36% and 40% of students were in programs that identified themselves as BiBi. Sixteen of the programs reported becoming a BiBi program between 1989 and 1994 and only three after 1994. Of the 19 programs, 37% reported use of manually coded English (MCE) for conveying English to the students. Fluency in ASL of instructional and support staff varied, with 47% of the programs reporting that no more than half of the instructional staff were fluent in ASL and 68% of the programs reporting that no more than half of the support staff were fluent. Only 21% of the 19 programs reported having a formal BiBi curriculum with annual goals and suggested materials and procedures for teachers. Research implications of these data are discussed.
‘The Contribution of Phonological Awareness and Receptive and Expressive English to the Reading Ability of Deaf Students with Varying Degrees of Exposure to Accurate English’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 8 (2003), 464-484,
This study was planned with the knowledge that the tasks of reading require the same acquisition of skills, whether a child is hearing or deaf, monolingual, or bilingual. Reading and language research literature was reviewed. Subjects were 31 deaf students (7.9–17.9 years of age) who attended one of three U.S. programs. Performance on 15 language and literacy measures was analyzed. Results were that students who scored highest on a passage-comprehension measure also were more able (a) to provide synonyms, antonyms, and analogies of read words and phrases, (b) to read more listed words, and (c) to substitute one phoneme more correctly for another to create new words than were readers with lower scores. Two groups of students also were compared: a Longer Exposure to English Group (n = 22) who used Signing Exact English (SEE) for 5 years or more and a Shorter Exposure Group (n = 8) exposed to SEE for less than 2 years. A correlational analysis revealed that there were no significant relationships among 14 background variables with the exception of “age of identification of hearing loss,” a variable then covaried in subsequent analysis of covariance. Students in the Longer Exposure Group scored higher on all measures. Significant differences were found between groups for short-term memory, receptive and expressive English, and five phonological subtests. Mini-case studies and the performance of eight students in the Longer Exposure Group who scored lowest on the comprehension measure also are discussed.
‘Deaf persons and computer use’, American Annals of the Deaf, 148 (2003), 376-384,
EAF PERSONS' COMPUTER USE was studied (N = 227). Respondents self-administered a survey in their preferred language (voice, American Sign Language, captions, or printed English). A small nonparticipant sample was also recruited. Demographics were consistent with those in other studies of deaf people: 63% of respondents reported computer use, mostly at home; 50% of nonparticipants reported computer use. Subjects with hearing loss due to meningitis were less likely to use computers (p = .0004). Computer use was associated with English usage at home (p = .008), with hearing persons (p = .002), and with physicians and nurses (p = .00001). It was also associated with the use of Signed English as a child to communicate (p = .02), teacher use of Signed English (p = .04), and teacher use of ASL (p = .03). Two thirds of respondents reported using computers, though nonresponder data suggested less use among all deaf persons. Computer use was associated with English use and inversely associated with hearing loss due to meningitis.
‘Parents' and teachers' evaluations of the communicative abilities of deaf children’, American Annals of the Deaf, 148 (2003), 287-294,
THE AUTHORS COMPARED evaluations by parents and teachers of the communicative abilities of deaf children. Such comparisons between parents' and professionals' assessments of the language development of children who are deaf can provide useful information on which to base ecologically valid intervention approaches. A secondary interest of the authors was to investigate the possible influences on language development of gender, the presence or absence of cochlear implantation, and communication modality (i.e., auditory-verbal or bilingual). The study included the mothers and teachers of 14 deaf children educated in auditory-verbal or bilingual programs. Two scales from a survey instrument, Profiles of the Hearing Impaired (Webster & Webster, 1995), were used. No significant differences between the teachers' and parents' evaluations were found. Gender, cochlear implantation, and communication modality were found to have no significant effect on the evaluations.
‘The use of repair strategies: Bilingual deaf children using sign language and spoken language’, American Annals of the Deaf, 148 (2003), 308-314,
THE LANGUAGE EFFECTS on repair strategies employed by 7 bilingual deaf children (native signers who also used spoken language) was examined. During two sessions - one conducted in sign language and the other in spoken language - each child described a picture. The examiner stopped the child twice to request clarification. The children's responses to the requests were coded into seven repair strategies. Results indicated that language mode significantly influenced repair strategy behavior: In sign language, the children used a greater frequency, variety, and level of strategies. The position of the clarification request also had an effect: Later in the sequence, the children used more advanced strategies. It was assumed that these native signers evidenced a higher language level in sign, which allowed them to use more advanced communicational strategies in sign than in spoken language. This performance gap should be considered in intervention.
‘Rhyme Generation in Deaf Students: The Effect of Exposure to Cued Speech’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 8 (2003), 250-270,
This study compares the rhyme-generation ability of deaf participants with severe to profound hearing losses from cued speech (CS) and non-cued speech (NCS) backgrounds with a hearing comparison group for consistent orthography-to-phonology (O-P) rhyming elements, or rimes (e.g., -ail in sail is always pronounced the same), and inconsistent orthography-to-phonology (I-O-P) rhyming elements where the orthographic rime (e.g., -ear) has different pronunciations in words such as bear, and rear. Rhyming accuracy was better for O-P target words than for I-O-P target words. The performance of the deaf participants from CS backgrounds, although falling between that of the hearing and the NCS groups, did not differ significantly from that of the hearing group. By contrast, the performance of the NCS group was lower than that of the hearing group. Hearing and CS participants produced more orthographically different responses (e.g., blue-few), whereas participants from the NCS group produced more responses that are orthographically similar (e.g., blue-true), indicating that the hearing and CS groups rely more on phonology and the NCS group more on spelling to generate rhymes. The results support the use of cued speech for developing phonological abilities of deaf students to promote their reading abilities.
‘Brazilian Sign Language lexicography and technology: Dictionary, digital encyclopedia, chereme-based sign retrieval, and quadriplegic deaf communication systems’, Sign Language Studies, 3 (2003), 393-430+501-502,
The Brazilian Sign Language digital encyclopedia contains a databank of fifty-six hundred signs glossed in Portuguese and English, along with descriptions and illustrations of their sign form (sublexical structure) and meaning (referent). The encyclopedia includes a sublexical-component indexing system and a menu-based sign-retrieval system. These allow deaf users to locate specific signs based on five parameters, their cheremes, and allochers: (1) hands: articulation (e.g., 1-9, A-Z), orientation, and relationships; (2) fingers: type and articulation; (3) place; (4) movement: type, frequency/intensity, hand, finger, and body; and (5) facial expression. By taking advantage of imagery and linguistic processes involved in mental-lexicon access, the sign-retrieval system takes sign language dictionaries beyond the traditional alphabetical indexing of glosses. Utilizing the extensive sign bank, an eye-blink, air-puff-operated communication and telecommunication system allows deaf users with quadriplegia to select automatically scanned animated signs, compose messages, and have them printed and spoken with digitized speech in Portuguese and English.
‘Examining interactions across language modalities: Deaf children and hearing peers at school’, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 34 (2003), 115-135,
Deaf youth easily become communicatively isolated in public schools, where they are in a small minority among a majority of hearing peers and teachers. This article examines communicative strategies of deaf children in an American "mainstream" school setting to discover how they creatively manage their casual communicative interactions with hearing peers across multimodal communicative channels, visual and auditory. We argue that unshared sociolinguistic practices and hearing-oriented participation frameworks are crucial aspects of communicative failure in these settings. We also show that what look like "successful" conversational interactions between deaf and hearing children actually contain little real language and few of the complex communication skills vital to cognitive and social development. This study contributes to understanding the social production of communicative isolation of deaf students and implications of mainstream education for this minority group.
‘The rights of deaf children to grow bilingual’, Il diritto del bambino sordo a crescere bilingue, 29 (2003), 65-68,
‘Institutional learning of a third language by deaf learners. Discussion on a bilingual approach to the teaching of a foreign language’, Apprentissage institutionnel d'une troisième langue par les apprenants sourds. Discussion autour d'une approche bilingue dans l'enseignement d'une langue vivante, 137 (2003), 86-104,
‘Language standardization and signed language dictionaries’, Sign Language Studies, 3 (2003), 431-468+502,
The issue of the use of signed language dictionaries in the standardization of signed languages is discussed with reference to the Australian Sign Language (Auslan) dictionaries. First I describe language standardization as broadly understood in the context of written and unwritten languages, on the one hand, and signed and spoken languages on the other. I then describe the distinctive situation of deaf community signed languages and the types of dictionaries that have recently been produced of these languages and the limitations. I detail the structure of the Auslan dictionaries and argue that bilingual, bidirectional dictionaries of this type must be produced first if communities are to encourage language standardization in a meaningful and informed way. I conclude that the Internet provides a means of recording and displaying signed language lexicons in widely dispersed signing communities in a way that may facilitate language standardization in a grassroots manner, rather than being imposed on the community in the form of a prescriptive publication.
‘Understanding child bilingual acquisition using parent and teacher reports’, Applied Psycholinguistics, 24 (2003), 267-288,
There is limited research regarding what levels of proficiency in each language should characterize the language behavior of bilingual children and the impact of language exposure or language use variables on bilingual performance. This study was designed to examine the extent to which years of exposure to a language(s), amount of language input at home and at school, and amount of exposure to reading and other literacy activities in a language(s) relate to observed bilingual performance in young children, as obtained from parent and teacher reports. A secondary goal was to determine the extent to which parents or teachers could assist in determining language status by examining relationships between their ratings of the child's use and proficiency in the two languages and the child's grammatical performance. Fifty-seven children and their families were sampled from second grade classes of a large school district serving primarily low-income families in southern California. Multiple regression analyses for each language indicated that amount of Spanish input at home was a significant predictor of grammatical performance in that language. These input effects did not hold for English. Although there were some crosslinguistic differences, parent and teacher ratings of use and proficiency correlated with the child's grammatical performance in the target language. The findings suggest that parent and teacher estimates may be useful to determine bilingual status.
‘Looking for a simple school communication policy and procedure’, Deafness and Education International, 4 (2002), 41-58,
Central to school policy in a special school for deaf children is the communication policy. This paper outlines an action research project revising a 'Total Communication Policy' in a special school over a period of three years aimed at improving the separation of British Sign Language (BSL) and sign-supported English (SSE). The mind map image was presented as a pictorial representation of the basic elements of the development. In the mind map, shown in Figure 1, the branch labelled 'School' refers to the information in sections 1.1 to 1.3 of this paper, which explains where we were when we started the project. The 'Multidisciplinary Team Assessment' represents sections 1.4, 1.5, 2.1 and 2.2 in the paper. The 'Guidelines', which are central to the research project, are found in section 3. The branch labelled 'Principles' represents the underlying beliefs held to be important in the development of our school, namely that we recognize, respect and accommodate the different strengths of staff and pupils, that we have realistic targets and that we fully understand the complexity of the area under development so that we can devise systems that are simple and therefore have clarity.
‘Design and development of a bilingual multimedia educational tool for teaching chemistry concepts to deaf students in greek sign language’, Education and Information Technologies, 7 (2002), 225-235,
In this paper the design and development of a multimedia system which serves as a bilingual chemistry educational tool for deaf students is presented. © 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
‘Phonological awareness: One key to the reading proficiency of deaf children’, American Annals of the Deaf, 147 (2002), 11-19,
A case is made for the importance of children's development of phonological A awareness - whether they are hearing or deaf - if they are to reach their potential as readers. Relevant terms are defined (i.e., phonological awareness, phonological processes, and phonics) to assist the reader with the research review, which covers (a) the typical stages in the acquisition of phonological awareness and (b) phonological awareness and deafness. Suggestions for phonological awareness assessment are offered, along with the recommendation that the use of recently developed formal and informal measures of phonological awareness might facilitate the setting of goals and objectives when deaf educators or speech-language pathologists are evaluating the skills of deaf students and planning instruction for these students. Such tools yield information about skills that have been shown to correlate with literacy attainment and that are not commonly addressed by deaf educators or speech-language pathologists serving deaf students. Finally, research concerning the facilitation of phonological awareness and its application is explained.
‘Expressing negation in Chinese Sign Language’, Sign Language and Linguistics (Online), 5 (2002), 167-202,
This paper presents observations and analyses of the expression of negation in Chinese Sign Language (CSL), based on interviews with 15 Chinese Deaf adults in Beijing, China. Findings show that while some aspects of negation in CSL (e.g. nonmanual signals, negative signs, and structures of negative sentences) are similar to those found in other sign languages, CSL displays some unique features. One is a negative handshape, phonetically equivalent to the fingerspelled letter 1 in ASL. It also seems that a horizontal handwave and a side-to-side headshake have equivalent negative force, but the two cannot be used simultaneously. The structures of negative words and sentences show that CSL has a unique grammatical system that forces us to rethink some of our assumptions about sign language negation. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
‘Sign bilingual deaf children's approaches to writing: Individual strategies for bridging the gap between BSL and written English’, Deafness and Education International, 4 (2002), 65-83,
This paper explores ways in which individual bilingual deaf children approach the task of writing in English in response to a British Sign Language (BSL) source. Individual case studies are presented of deaf children's approach to a translation task. An analysis is made of the ways in which they prepare for writing and of their final written version of specific BSL phrases which present particular translation problems. The diverse ways in which the children approach the task and move between the two languages is reported, and it is found that the children mediate between the two languages using either spoken English or a written gloss of the BSL depending on their individual spoken and sign language abilities. The findings point to a need to develop literacy teaching approaches which respond to individual sign bilingual language profiles. In particular, the roles of BSL and of manually coded English need to be clarified so that their combined or separate use maximizes deaf children's literacy learning opportunities.
‘Reading enhancement for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children through multicultural empowerment’, Reading Teacher, 56 (2002), 76-84,
‘An analysis of teacher preparation in deaf education: Programs approved by the council on education of the deaf’, American Annals of the Deaf, 147 (2002), 71-78,
An analysis of the most recent self-study reports of the 46 teacher preparation programs approved by the Council on Education of the Deaf yielded data on program demographics, curriculum and content, faculty, practicum, students, and graduates. Only 4 of the 46 teacher preparation programs had been established since 1980. Thirty-nine offered comprehensive teacher preparation, five offered auditory/oral, and two offered preparation in bilingual-bicultural education. Thirty-three offered two or more specializations, of which elementary (96%) and secondary (52%) were the most common. Students' practicum experiences often did not coincide with employment after graduation. The study reported a median of 2 full-time faculty per program, who taught 75% of the courses. Although adjuncts taught 25% of the courses in the deaf education program, they made up 75% of the faculty. The study's results indicate extreme diversity among the programs and great breadth and complexity within them. Compared with a 1986 survey, the number and level of the programs appears to be declining while the number of specializations and program length are increasing.
‘The value systems of deaf and hearing adolescents’, Deafness and Education International, 4 (2002), 148-165,
This article uses data concerning the popularity of value items among deaf and hearing adolescents to consider the extent of marginalization of d/Deaf people. The popularity of values in a sample of deaf adolescents and in a large sample of hearing adolescents is investigated using logistic regression and multilevel modelling. In this way it is possible to show where the value systems of deaf adolescents differ from each other, where they resemble hearing adolescents closely, where they resemble a minority of hearing adolescents and where they are significantly different from the value systems of the hearing adolescents. Marginalization is not so extensive as to cut off the deaf youngsters from widespread tendencies in adolescence and prevent them showing gender differences found among hearing adolescents. At the same time the deaf participants cannot be regarded as absorbed into the adolescent population with any deaf identity diffused. The evidence from this study supports the need to recognize a unique difference in deaf people. However, deaf adolescents cannot avoid dealings with the dominant language. Medical services in liaison with social services offer strategies and resources for dealing with the dominant language. In this way services can represent acknowledgement of the difference between d/Deaf people and hearing people instead of attempts at denial and assimilation.
‘Explorations in bilingual instructional interaction: A sociocultural perspective on literacy’, Learning and Instruction, 12 (2002), 557-587,
The research reported here attempts to understand issues of Swedish Deaf bilingual students' secondary language learning and literacy practices. In Swedish schools for the Deaf Swedish Sign Language is considered to be the students' primary language and written Swedish is considered to be their secondary language. By using ethnographically inspired methodology the project has been analyzing bilingual instructional interaction and everyday language use in these settings. Notions of Global Lesson Patterns, Local-Chaining and Linguistic Complexity are explicated in an effort to show how instructional interactions can afford (or limit) learning possibilities in bilingual settings. Students appear to unwittingly receive opportunities to participate in literacy activities in lessons where Swedish is not explicitly focused. A sociocultural approach to the understanding of learning, development and language has important implications for the teaching and learning of secondary languages, both in Deaf bilingual classrooms and in bilingual classrooms in general. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
‘Location variation in American Sign Language’, Sign Language Studies, 2 (2002), 407-440,
‘The study of natural sign language in eighteenth-century France’, Sign Language Studies, 2 (2002), 391-406,
‘Which kind of kindergarten or school do children with cochlea implant attend?’, Welche kindergärten und schulen besuchen kinder mit cochlear implant?, 26 (2002), 57-64,
The CI changes the perspectives for development of deaf children. The primary criterion for success is the development of hearing and speech. Success can be measured by diverse criteria. The school site is one such criterion for a successful rehabilitation. The development within the last seven years was analysed through the example of the CIC Rhein Main. 213 prelingually hearing-impaired children at the age of 8 months to 12 years were included in the study. Anamnesis files, study protocols, hearing and speech tests as well as further test data were evaluated. These were supplement by interrogations of therapists and parents, analysis of therapy and behaviour were added as well. The evaluation of quality or success of a CI-implantation in children with additional handicaps, as concerns the attendance of a regular school, is not justified. For this group other criteria are of importance. The problems of raising a child bilingually by speech in combination with a bicultural upbringing cannot be solved satisfyingly by the CI as of yet. The ability to hear with the CI obviously does not suffice to solve the problem bilingual-bicultural on the basis of two different spoken languages. As a starting point for the support of such children the attendance of regular kindergartens is possible, thus making the criterion "attendance of a regular institution" an indication for success even for children whose mother-tongue is not German. Half of the Children with identical mother-tongue and therapy language attend a regular institution, the other half attend special institutions, though a shift towards regular institutions is clearly noticeable. The study clearly shows that the age of the child at the time of implant has significant influence on the development of a CI-child. The dada do not show without doubt that a special code strategy or a special CI-system improve the chances of learning to hear or of being able to attend a regular school. There was a definite connection between an extensive hearing oriented communication and the attendance of a regular institution. Quite obviously the communication and child-raising methods of the parents towards their children is of great importance. The "how" of rehabilitation with the inclusion of the parent's treatment of their children has great influence on the further development of the children.
‘Role of the left hemisphere in sign language comprehension’, Brain and Language, 82 (2002), 167-178,
We investigated the relative role of the left versus right hemisphere in the comprehension of American Sign Language (ASL). Nineteen lifelong signers with unilateral brain lesions [11 left hemisphere damaged (LHD) and 8 right hemisphere damaged (RHD)] performed three tasks, an isolated single-sign comprehension task, a sentence-level comprehension task involving simple one-step commands, and a sentence-level comprehension task involving more complex multiclause/multistep commands. Eighteen of the participants were deaf, one RHD subject was hearing and bilingual (ASL and English). Performance was examined in relation to two factors: whether the lesion was in the right or left hemisphere and whether the temporal lobe was involved. The LHD group performed significantly worse than the RHD group on all three tasks, confirming left hemisphere dominance for sign language comprehension. The group with left temporal lobe involvement was significantly impaired on all tasks, whereas each of the other three groups performed at better than 95% correct on the single sign and simple sentence comprehension tasks, with performance falling off only on the complex sentence comprehension items. A comparison with previously published data suggests that the degree of difficulty exhibited by the deaf RHD group on the complex sentences is comparable to that observed in hearing RHD subjects. Based on these findings we hypothesize (i) that deaf and hearing individuals have a similar degree of lateralization of language comprehension processes and (ii) that language comprehension depends primarily on the integrity of the left temporal lobe. © 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
‘Design and development of a bilingual multimedia educational tool for teaching chemistry concepts to deaf students in greek sign language’, Education and Information Technologies, 7 (2002), 225-235,
In this paper the design and development of a multimedia system which serves as a bilingual chemistry educational tool for deaf students is presented. © 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
‘Effects of parental style of interaction on language development in very young severe and profound deaf children’, International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 64 (2002), 193-205,
Aims: (1) To study the influence of different styles of parent-child interaction in the language development of very young deaf children. (2) To find out if there are differences in parent-child interaction between two groups of very young deaf children following an Aural/Oral or a Bilingual approach to education. Methods: Subjects were selected from all deaf children in the County of Avon who were under 3 years of age at the time of first assessment, had severe or profound, bilateral, sensorineural hearing loss and no associated medical problems. There were 16 children and families at the start of the project but only 13 completed all the assessments. The Bristol Language Developmental Scales (BLADES) was used to assess both sign and spoken language development. Interaction was studied through analysis of contingency and book-reading applied to selected periods of 3 min from four videorecorded sessions, taken at 3 months intervals for a period of 1 year. Results: From the 13 children studied, only seven presented with some degree of expressive language measurable by the BLADES. Analysis of contingency showed that parents present with higher percentage of both Direct Related Acts and ON then their children Acts (On Acts: where both individuals are involved in the same task). Regarding bookreading, it was observed that parents often attend to child initiatives and acknowledge most of them but they make little effort to expand or use the child's message as topic for further conversation. In the reduced sample of seven children with expressive language, those with better language development had parents with: (a) higher percentage of DR acts; (b) higher percentage of ON acts; (c) higher percentage of appropriate responses to child communicative initiatives. Conclusions: In this small group language development seems to be facilitated by encouraging child participation and using a more contingent and child centred interaction. No significant differences were found between oral and bilingual families in terms of quality of interaction. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
‘Sign facilitation in word recognition’, Journal of Special Education, 35 (2001), 31-40,
The purpose of this article was a dual one: first, to provide a comprehensive literature review, and second, to report one study to extend that literature. That study investigated whether signs from the Sign Language of the Netherlands would facilitate word recognition by deaf children. Participants were 6-to 10-year-old deaf children who attended a school for the deaf at which they received bilingual education. The mean hearing loss was 104 dB. Participants attended a training in which they were taught to match written words with pictures. Before and after training, they were tested in word recognition by means of a computer-based test. Results indicated a significant increase in accuracy of word recognition after training. If words were learned through speech, accompanied by the relevant sign, accuracy of word recognition increased to a greater extent than if words were learned solely through speech.
‘Sensitive periods differentiate processing of open- and closed-class words: An ERP study of bilinguals’, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 44 (2001), 1338-1353,
The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that neural processes for language are heterogeneous in their adaptations to maturation and experience. This study examined whether the neural processes for open- and closed-class words are differentially affected by delays in second-language immersion. In English, open-class words primarily convey referential meaning, whereas closed-class words are primarily related to grammatical information in sentence processing. Previous studies indicate that event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by these word classes display nonidentical distributions and latencies, show different developmental time courses, and are differentially affected by early language experience in Deaf individuals. In this study, ERPs were recorded from 10 monolingual English speakers and 53 Chinese-English bilingual speakers who were grouped according to their age of immersion in English: 1-3, 4-6, 7-10, 11-13, and >15 years of age. Closed-class words elicited an N280 that was largest over left anterior electrode sites for all groups. However, the peak latency was later (>35 ms) in bilingual speakers immersed in English after 7 years of age. In contrast, the latencies and distributions of the N350 elicited by open-class words were similar in all groups. In addition, the N400, elicited by semantic anomalies (open-class words that violated semantic expectation), displayed increased peak latencies for only the later-learning bilingual speakers (>11 years). These results are consistent with the hypothesis that language subprocesses are differentially sensitive to the timing of second-language experience.
‘Reflections on validity and epistemology in a study of working relations between deaf and hearing professionals’, Qualitative Health Research, 11 (2001), 179-189,
In this article, a research study that examined the working relationships between Deaf and hearing professionals in health and educational services in the United Kingdom is addressed. These service providers worked in bilingual organizations where both British Sign Language and English were used and in which Deaf people's identity as a cultural-linguistic minority was accepted. The focus of this article is on issues of validity and epistemology that arose for the Deaf and hearing research team in the course of this study. In particular, it examines the influence of identity attributions on the research process for researchers operating within a context of historical oppression, minority language use and legitimization of research knowledge, and challenges to the interpretative analysis used in the study that arose from the dynamics of majority-minority power relations in the wider social world.
‘The demands of a sign bilingual context for teachers and learners: An observation of language use and learning experiences’, Deafness and Education International, 3 (2001), 62-79,
This paper explores deaf children's experience of becoming bilingual and learning in a bilingual environment. Within sign bilingual educational settings deaf children are responding to complex linguistic demands, and much can therefore be learnt about sign bilingual experience and language development through observation within this context. The pilot study reported here explores ways in which sign language and English are used in sign bilingual contexts by both the children and the adults concerned. The children's language use and repertoire of language skills are described and the demands of typical teaching activities discussed with reference to the wider bilingual field. Conclusions are drawn about the children's linguistic flexibility, the incidence of language switching and mixing, and implications for learning, teaching and research in sign bilingual settings.
‘Sign language and successful bilingual development of deaf children’, Drustvena Istrazivanja, 10 (2001), X-1078,
This paper reviews research on language development of deaf children, comparing those who have early access to natural sign language with those who do not. Early learning of sign language does not create concerns for the child's development of other languages, speech, reading, or other cognitive skills. In fact, it can contribute directly to establishment of more of the high-level skills needed for successful bilingual development. The global benefit of learning a sign language as a first language is that in the resulting bilingual communicative setting, teachers and learners can take advantage of one language to assist in acquiring the other and in the transfer of general knowledge. As part of this discussion, English and ASL are compared as representatives of spoken and signed natural languages to provide explicit examples of their similarities and differences.
‘How Do Profoundly Deaf Children Learn to Read?’, Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16 (2001), 222-229,
‘Bilingual signed and spoken language acquisition from birth: Implications for the mechanisms underlying early bilingual language acquisition’, Journal of Child Language, 28 (2001), 453-496,
‘Integrative ASL-English language arts: Bridging paths to literacy’, Sign Language Studies, 1 (2001), 147-174,
‘How Do Profoundly Deaf Children Learn to Read?’, Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16 (2001), 222-229,
Reading requires two related, but separable, capabilities: (1) familiarity with a language, and (2) understanding the mapping between that language and the printed word (Chamberlain & Mayberry, 2000; Hoover & Gough, 1990). Children who are profoundly deaf are disadvantaged on both counts. Not surprisingly, then, reading is difficult for profoundly deaf children. But some deaf children do manage to read fluently. How? Are they simply the smartest of the crop, or do they have some strategy, or circumstance, that facilitates linking the written code with language? A priori one might guess that knowing American Sign Language (ASL) would interfere with learning to read English simply because ASL does not map in any systematic way onto English. However, recent research has suggested that individuals with good signing skills are not worse, and may even be better, readers than individuals with poor signing skills (Chamberlain & Mayberry, 2000). Thus, knowing a language (even if it is not the language captured in print) appears to facilitate learning to read. Nonetheless, skill in signing does not guarantee skill in reading—reading must be taught. The next frontier for reading research in deaf education is to understand how deaf readers map their knowledge of sign language onto print, and how instruction can best be used to turn signers into readers.
‘The cognitive neuroscience of signed language’, Acta Psychologica, 105 (2000), 237-254,
The present article is an assessment of the current state of knowledge in the field of cognitive neuroscience of signed language. Reviewed lesion data show that the left hemisphere is dominant for perception and production of signed language in aphasies, in a fashion similar to spoken language aphasia. Several neuropsychological dissociations support this claim: Nonlinguistic visuospatial functions can be dissociated from spatial functions and general motor deficits can be dissociated from execution of signs. Reviewed imaging data corroborate the lesion data in that the importance of the left hemisphere is re-confirmed. The data also establish the role of the right hemisphere in signed language processing. Alternative hypotheses regarding what aspects of signed language processing are handled by the right hemisphere are currently tested. The second section of the paper starts by addressing the role that early acquisition of signed and spoken language play for the neurofunctional activation patterns in the brain. Compensatory cognitive and communicative enhancements have also been documented as a function of early sign language use, suggesting an interesting interaction between language and cognition. Recent behavioural data on sign processing in working memory - a cognitive system important for language perception and production suggest e.g. phonological loop effects analogous to those obtained for speech processing. Neuroimaging studies will have to address this potential communality. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
‘Theories of literacy development in limited english proficiency deaf people: A review’, Deafness and Education International, 2 (2000), 101-113,
This paper examines two 'models' of literacy development relating to deaf individuals with limited English proficiency. In the socio-cultural model, it is considered that deaf people have a culture and language different from hearing people and are linguistic minorities for whom the learning of English skills must be considered a second language learning. In contrast, the medical deficit model emphasizes the important role of normal hearing for the development of literacy skills, because English is auditory-based. It is argued that deaf individuals do not meet most of the assumptions of the medical deficit model. This paper considers sign language to be the 'mother tongue' of deaf individuals and argues that sign language systems should therefore be used in bilingual programmes to foster the development of English literacy skills in individuals who are deaf.
‘Deaf children creating written texts: Contributions of American sign language and signed forms of English’, American Annals of the Deaf, 145 (2000), 394-401,
The objectives of this descriptive study were to investigate the ways in which American Sign Language (ASL) and English-bases sign allow for comprehension of text content, and to determine how these two avenues of communication might mediate the process of reconstructing "signed meaning" in a written text. The authors argue that comprehensible input in a visual mode is possible in either ASL or English-based sign. They further claim that English-based signing may be an effective means of bridging the gap between inner speech and written text.
‘Philosophy's real-world consequences for deaf people: Thoughts on iconicity, sign language and being deaf’, Human Studies, 23 (2000), 261-279,
The body of philosophical knowledge concerning the relations among language, the senses, and deafness, interpreted as a canon of key ideas which have found their way into folk metaphysics, constitutes one of the historically sustained conditions of the oppression of deaf people. Jonathan Rée, with his book I See a Voice, makes the point that a philosophical history, grounded in a phenomenological and causal concern with philosophical thought and social life, can offer an archaeology of philosophy's contribution to the social oppression of deaf people. This article offers support for such a project while being critical of Rée's philosophical phenomenology, since it presumes, à priori, two ideas about deafness and sign language: firstly, that deaf experience is like hearing experience but without hearing; and secondly, that the iconic qualities of sign languages are strictly superficial phenomena. Both presumptions, it is argued here, derive from the same philosophical knowledge which has linked deafness to the sense of hearing and the voice, and in doing so secured an intellectual basis for the oppression of deaf people in social life. Instead it is proposed, using examples of sign language use, that deafness as sensory experience is best understood by reference to the sense of sight; that iconicity is a central creative resource in sign language formation, maintenance and productivity; that Rée's philosophical phenomenology, as a metatheoretical critique of philosophical knowledge, proves unable to self-reflexively uncover (let alone overcome) existing presumptions in philosophy and social life; and that as a consequence that project itself risks perpetuating, within philosophy, key conditions of the oppression of deaf people. © 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
‘The Use of ASL to Support the Development of English and Literacy’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 5 (2000), 81-104,
The purpose of this article is to review research dealing with the use of ASL in teaching English and literacy. I review some of the literature (and direct readers to additional sources) that indicates that early learning of ASL need not create concerns for future development of English structure, speech, or other cognitive skills. I also suggest ways in which ASL can contribute directly to developing more of the highlevel skills needed for fluent reading and writing. The global benefit of learning ASL as a first language is that it creates a standard bilingual situation in which teachers and learners can take advantage of one language to assist in acquiring the other and in the transfer of general knowledge. As part of this discussion, I compare English and ASL as natural languages for similarities and differences.
‘A good future for deaf children": A five-year sign language intervention project’, American Annals of the Deaf, 145 (2000), 366-373,
Deaf preschoolers and hearing family members learned sign language in a 5-year intervention project. Once weekly, each child met with a teacher who was deaf. Parents, siblings, and other relatives met about once monthly to study sign language, and all families in the project signed together about twice yearly. The present study addressed four questions asked of parents about the project: (a) How did the children learn to sign? (b) Did both the parents and the children benefit from the project? (c) What was the position of sign language in the family? (d) Did the project have some impact on the family's social network? The families indicated satisfaction with the project; they learned to sign and their social networks expanded. Parents favored bilingual education: Sign language was the main language but learning Finnish was also important. Learning sign language was not easy, especially for the fathers. The families that were most actively involved in the lessons learned the most.
‘Deaf parents and their hearing children’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 5 (2000), 221-236,
‘Visual Language Environments. Exploring everyday life and literacies in Swedish Deaf bilingual schools’, Visual Anthropology Review, 15 (2000), 95-120,
‘Documenting English Syntactic Development in Face-to-Face Signed Communication’, American Annals of the Deaf, 145 (2000), 452-463,
‘A Web adaptive educational system for people with hearing difficulties’, Education and Information Technologies, 5 (2000), 189-200,
In this paper we present a web adaptive educational tool for the Greek Sign Language. The design and the implementation of the tool were partially funded by national bodies. The paper presents the architecture of the tool, in an abstract way and briefly describes its functionality. The interaction process followed is also presented. © 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
‘Phonology Acquired through the Eyes and Spelling in Deaf Children’, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 75 (2000), 291-318,
Hearing and deaf children, ranging in age from 6 years 8 months to 14 years 4 months, and matched for general spelling level, were required to spell high-frequency and low-frequency words. Of interest was performance in relation to degree of exposure to Cued Speech (CS), which is a system delivering phonetically augmented speechreading through the visual modality. Groups were (a) hearing children, (b) deaf children exposed early and intensively to CS at home (CS-Home), and (c) deaf children exposed to CS later and at school only (CS-School). Most of the spelling productions of hearing children as well as of CS-Home children were phonologically accurate for high-frequency as well as for low-frequency words. CS-School children, who had less specified phonological representations, made a lower proportion of phonologically accurate spellings. These findings indicate that the accuracy of phonological representations, independent of the modality (acoustic versus visual) through which spoken language is perceived, determines the acquisition of phonology-to-orthography mappings. Analyses of the spelling productions indicate that the acquisition of orthographic representations of high precision depends on fully specified phonological representations. © 2000 Academic Press.
‘Measuring the quality of education: The involvement of bilingually educated deaf children’, American Annals of the Deaf, 145 (2000), 268-274,
The levels of involvement of six young deaf children were observed during three educational tasks. These levels were used as indicators of quality of education. The children were bilingually educated. The possible connection between language of instruction, type of task, teaching style, and level of involvement was studied. The children's observed overall level of involvement was high. Involvement was influenced by the type of educational task, but also by the teacher and by the language of instruction: Involvement was greater during activities led by the deaf teacher, using Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN). Measurement of involvement of young deaf children turned out to be a good way to assess quality of education, not only for research purposes but in the context of general educational practice.
‘Chaining" and other links: Making connections between American sign language and English in two types of school settings’, Visual Anthropology Review, 15 (2000), 84-94,
‘Preschool deaf children's use of signed language during writing events’, Journal of Literacy Research, 31 (1999), 183-212,
This research examined young deaf children's social interaction during free-choice writing time in their pre-school classroom. The study examined the ways in which five deaf children used signed language as they wrote. Results of the study indicated that the children used both signed language and nonverbal expression to engage in representational, directive, interactional, personal, and heuristic use of language to support their writing endeavors. The study raises the question of whether non-verbal expression might also be salient among emergent writers who are not deaf.
‘Differentiating the use of gaze in bilingual-bimodal language acquisition: A comparison of two sets of twins with deaf parents’, Journal of Child Language, 26 (1999), 321-338,
Signed languages make unique demands on gaze during communication. Bilingual children acquiring both a spoken and a signed language must learn to differentiate gaze use for their two languages. Gaze during utterances was examined for a set of bilingual-bimodal twins acquiring spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL) and a set of monolingual twins acquiring ASL when the twins were aged 2;0, 3;0 and 4;0. The bilingual-bimodal twins differentiated their languages by age 3;0. Like the monolingual ASL twins, the bilingual-bimodal twins established mutual gaze at the beginning of their ASL utterances and either maintained gaze to the end or alternated gaze to include a terminal look. In contrast, like children acquiring spoken English monolingually, the bilingual-bimodal twins established mutual gaze infrequently for their spoken English utterances. When they did establish mutual gaze, it occurred later in their spoken utterances and they tended to look away before the end.
‘Hearing parents' adjustment to a deaf child - The impact of a cultural-linguistic model of deafness’, Journal of Social Work Practice, 13 (1999), 157-172,
This article investigates the way in which the experience (and conceptualisation) of adjustment to a deaf child is affected by the cultural-linguistic model of deafness. It explores how this model radically challenges many of the loss and disruption concepts that underpin traditional views of the adjustment process. Data are presented from an interview study of hearing parents, and Deaf and hearing professionals who are involved in an early intervention programme that supports the cultural linguistic model. How they understand the adjustment process in the light of a strongly anti-tragedy, culturally diverse, linguistically able approach to deafness is at the centre of this exploration. Finally, data are discussed with particular reference to parents' experiences of 'hearingness' and the different cultural/professional perspectives of the Deaf and hearing intervenors.
‘Bilingual-bicultural models of literacy education for deaf students: Considering the claims’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 4 (1999), 1-8,
‘Preliminary Results of the Annual Survey of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and Youth in Puerto Rico: The First Wave’, American Annals of the Deaf, 144 (1999), 386-94.,
‘Development of ASL and English Competence for Learners Who Are Deaf’, Topics in Language Disorders, 18 (1998), 61-72,
This article presents an effective framework for bilingual multicultural education of learners who are deaf with regard to the appropriate functions of pathology and pedagogy. The authors suggest that there may be a need for a new profession called sign pathology for those deaf children who experience difficulty in acquiring a signed language. This sign pathology field would be separate and distinct from general education of children who are deaf. This article describes a framework for the development of professional sign language pathologists, while differentiating between disorders related to signed language acquisition and bilingual language pedagogy for learners who are deaf.
‘ASL Proficiency and English Literacy within a Bilingual Deaf Education Model of Instruction’, Topics in Language Disorders, 18 (1998), 47-60,
Recently researchers and educators have begun to consider the merits of developing bilingual-bicultural programs for deaf children. One focus in this debate has been the connection between natural sign language proficiency and reading and writing. This article describes some of the theoretical models and arguments inherent in this dialogue, presents the findings of a study of the relationship between American Sign Language (ASL) skills and English literacy among 155 school-aged deaf children, and discusses issues associated with making the transition between ASL and English literacy.
‘The deaf mentor experimental project for young children who are deaf and their families’, American Annals of the Deaf, 143 (1998), 29-34,
The Deaf Mentor Experimental Project investigated the efficacy of deaf mentor services to young deaf children and their families. These services focused on deaf adults (mentors), who made regular home visits to the children and their families; shared their language (American Sign Language), culture, and personal knowledge of deafness with the families; and served as role models for the children. The children also received regular home visits from a hearing parent adviser who helped the family promote the child's early listening, English, and literacy skills. The result was a bilingual-bicultural home environment for these children. The children who received deaf mentor services were compared to matched children who did not receive these services but who received parent adviser services. Children receiving this early bilingual-bicultural programming made greater language gains during treatment time, had considerably larger vocabularies, and scored higher on measures of communication, language, and English syntax than the matched children.
‘Deaf culture, cochlear implants, and elective disability’, Hasting Center Report, 28 (1998), 6-14,
The use of cochlear implants, especially for prelingually deafened children, has aroused heated debate. Members and proponents of Deaf culture vigorously oppose implants both as a seriously invasive treatment of dubious efficacy and as a threat to Deaf culture. Some find these arguments persuasive; others do not. And in this context arise questions about the extent to which individuals with disabilities may decline treatments to ameliorate disabling conditions. When they do so, to what extent may they call upon society to provide supportive services and accommodations?
‘From Sign to Word: Considering Modality Constraints in ASL/English Bilingual Education’, Topics in Language Disorders, 18 (1998), 16-29,
As the bilingual education movement receives greater attention within deaf education settings, a theoretical framework for organizing and implementing the American Sign Language (ASL) and English learning experiences among deaf students has not been fully articulated in the literature to date. In this article, the traditional notion of ASL/English bilingualism is critically examined. This model is then contrasted with the "ASL/English as a spoken language" bilingual model in which the modality constraints facing the deaf child are presented as the fundamental issue for ASL/English bilingualism. Empirical and applied research supporting this modality-constrained bilingual model is also discussed.
‘Toward a Differentiated Account of Facilitators of Literacy Development and ASL in Deaf Children’, Topics in Language Disorders, 18 (1998), 73-88,
Articles in this issue are reviewed. American Sign Language (ASL) bilingual approaches are shown to support substantial progress by deaf children in English text skills. At the same time, it is clear that there are many different ways to conduct bilingual programs. In addition, there are a number of theoretical explanations for how bilingual contexts may contribute to progress in English literacy and also to progress in spoken English. A theoretical framework from Rare Event Learning theory is presented, with an emphasis on the complex ways in which social, emotional, expectancy, strategy, and motivational conditions dynamically mix with the particular language chanllenges encountered by deaf learners.
‘Exploring the Technical Adequacy of Curriculum-Based Measurement in Reading for Children Who Use Manually Coded English’, Exceptional Children, 65 (1998), 271-283,
We explored the validity and reliability of curriculum-based measurement reading procedures for progress monitoring purposes with students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who use manually coded English. Results indicate that interjudge and alternative form reliability was very acceptable. However, Pearson product moment correlations between the curriculum-based measurement procedures (e.g., reading passages via signing, identifying idea units, and words retold) and a standardized reading test that was normed with students who were deaf or hard of hearing were lower than expected. Implications for using curriculum-based measurement with students who are deaf and hard of hearing and for assessment of these students are discussed.
‘Literacy and Deaf Children: The Language Question’, Topics in Language Disorders, 18 (1998), 1-15,
The pedagogical assumption that prior knowledge of English is necessary for reading instruction of deaf students may be problematic since spoken English or Manual English fail to provide quality and unambiguous input. Furthermore, the assumption may have the undesirable effect of marginalizing American Sign Language (ASL). This article argues that ASL may be valuable for quality communication interaction between the adult and the child. Thus an alternative route of English acquisition for deaf children may lie in the process of literacy development facilitated by ASL through which the meaning of English in print may be mediated.
‘American Sign Language as a Pathway to Linguistic Competence’, Exceptional Children, 64 (1998), 329-342,
Recently, it has been argued that American Sign Language (ASL) should be the first language of some deaf children and that English should be taught as a second language. This article supports that argument on both philosophical and empirical grounds. Philosophical support stems from viewing deafness as a cultural difference rather than as a medical disability. Empirical evidence demonstrates that (a) ASL is a natural language, (b) deaf children acquire ASL in a normal and predictable manner when exposure occurs at an early age, and (c) deaf children who acquire ASL at an early age may outperform other deaf children on all measures of academic achievement. Based on the empirical evidence presented, implications for educational practice are provided.
‘Lexidactylophobia: The (irrational) fear of fingerspelling’, American Annals of the Deaf, 143 (1998), 404-415,
Fingerspelling is a system of manually representing the graphemes of a spoken language used by members of Deaf communities worldwide. Yet, at least within the North American educational system, fingerspelling appears to be largely discounted in favor of sign usage, despite its high potential for linkage to the orthographical system of English and literacy development. The author describes fingerspelling in connection with how it is used within the American Deaf community, and also describes the development of fingerspelling skills in deaf (and hearing) children. He also describes how deaf adults use fingerspelling to promote literacy development in young deaf children. Strategies for increasing the use of fingerspelling by teachers and parents of the Deaf are outlined.
‘Why is Learning American Sign Language a Challenge?’, American Annals of the Deaf, 143 (1998), 255-259,
In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in American Sign Language (ASL), the language used by Deaf Americans. As a result, an unprecedented number of schools and agencies now offer ASL classes. This welcome development signals growing awareness of and respect for the American Deaf community and ASL. Unfortunately, misconceptions persist about ASL. One major misconception is that it is an easily learned, picture-like language. This understanding is due partly to the fact that some of the first basic signs learned may be thought of as iconic (e.g., signs for eat, sleep, and drink). This even leads some new ASL learners to believe they can become instructors after one or two classes. This mistake is not made among people learning a spoken language. ASL is a complete and complex language, with all the nuances and subtleties of a spoken language. Like all languages, it is not mastered easily beyond a basic level. Mastery requires extensive exposure and practice. Presently, there is no consensus on where ASL might fall on a learnability continuum for native English speakers. Nonetheless, this article posits that learning ASL should be approached with respect and with the knowledge that mastery only occurs over a substantial period of time.
‘Discourses on deafness: Social policy and the communicative habilitation of the deaf’, Canadian Journal of Sociology, 22 (1997), 437-456,
Three principal approaches and discursive frameworks concerned with the communicative habilitation and education of the deaf are surveyed. The currently dominant approach, "total communication," is found susceptible to the criticisms of proponents of "oral-only" methods and of "Deaf Culture" proponents of a "bilingual" deaf education based upon American Sign Language. The new oralism and the Deaf Culture, however, remain sharply polarized over the question of whether deaf children ought to be taught to speak now that many of them can be. The Deaf Culturalist demand to entrust the education of all prelingually deaf children to the Deaf community is shown to rely on a postmodernist politics of "identity," the thrust of which is toward the self-ghettoization of the deaf.
‘Cultural Identity and Diversity in Deaf Education’, American Annals of the Deaf, 142 (1997), 74-79,
The article begins with a discussion of the sociocultural model of a deaf child as a member of a bilingual minority and examines its implications for deaf education. A case is made for recognizing ethnic diversity within the deaf community in designing and implementing educational programs and policies that strengthen the self-identities of deaf children. Several issues related to the accommodation of the diversity of deaf learners are discussed illustrating how such accommodation would enhance their educational experiences. The use of technology, its potential to accommodate diverse deaf learners, and its influence on the deaf community are also discussed.
‘Language and identity in sign bilingual deaf children’, Deafness and Education., 21 (1997), 31-38,
‘Educating for bilingualism in different contexts: Teaching the deaf and teaching children with english as an additional language’, Educational Review, 49 (1997), 151-158,
Teachers of the deaf and teachers of children with English as an additional language have independently been debating the idea of supporting bilingualism as a possible goal of education. The situations of these two groups of children are quite different. This paper explores what parallels may exist between them in terms of perspectives on their education, their experiences of discrimination, their communication environment and the significance for them of integration at school. The paper concludes with an analysis of the special needs of deaf children from ethnic and linguistic minority communities.
‘The use of sign language and sign systems in facilitating the language acquisition and communication of deaf students’, Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 28 (1997), 384-394,
With a historical context as a foundation, the current trends, practices, and perspectives regarding the manual component of educating deaf children is examined, including Manually Coded English systems and American Sign Language. As decisions are considered regarding various approaches to sign communication, it is necessary to investigate issues that support and also question the appropriateness of any given language/ system. In addition to the sign language/systems, an equally important aspect is the instructional strategy that supports sign usage, such as Total Communication, Simultaneous Communication, and Bilingual Education. Issues affecting the selection and use of sign language/ systems conclude this article.
‘Teachers' perceptions and actions in carrying out communication policies in a public school for the deaf’, American Annals of the Deaf, 142 (1997), 34-39,
The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers' opinions on school communication policies in a public school for the Deaf in Taipei, Taiwan. Specifically, the authors examined how teachers carried out communication policies, and examined possible discrepancies between teachers' perceptions of their communication methods and the methods they actually used in the classroom. Questionnaires were distributed to all 120 teachers at Taipei Municipal School for the Deaf. Thirteen of the 85 respondents were selected as subjects for personal interviews followed by direct classroom observation and videotaping. Sixteen deaf high school seniors at the school were interviewed concerning their opinions about the teachers' communication modes and abilities, and about the communication modes the students experienced.
‘Linguistic minorities and education in Japan’, Educational Review, 49 (1997), 115-127,
The increasing visibility and assertiveness of language minorities in Japan now pose a serious issue for government policy which has hitherto been committed to the historical ideology of a monoracial and monolingual state. Language education policy in Japan is currently predicated upon the need for 'internationalisation' but nowhere does internationalisation include support, or at least encouragement, for community and indigenous languages, or regional dialects. Nowhere is there official acknowledgment that in the public school system, there are languages and language varieties other than standard Japanese, nor that schools might benefit from recognition of 'Other' languages. It is well-known that the idea of a diverse Japan has been systematically avoided by the so-called Nihonjinron theories, an ethnocentrist body of writings which purports to value cultural difference whilst emphasising the uniqueness of 'being Japanese'. This ideology is becoming increasingly challenged as many local communities, urban and rural, re-evaluate their changing composition in the light of cultural diversity. Community languages may include Korean, Ainu, new immigrant languages, Japanese Sign Language and others. However, the notion of contemporary Japan as somehow 'multilingual' still remains radically controversial and contested in descriptions such as Government white papers and approved school textbooks. There is a need for a new paradigm regarding the languages of Japan and there are signs that a new and progressive one is emerging.
‘Improving english literacy and speech-acquisition learning conditions for children with severe to profound hearing impairments’, Volta Review, 98 (1996), 17-41,
Only a small minority of children with prelingually severe to profound hearing impairments in any country acquire either high spoken-language skills or high literacy skills. This article discusses English acquisition in relation to multiple language domains and multiple language modes for cultures in which English is the majority language. We argue that learning is complex and that at some developmental points there will be mutually facilitating progress in syntax, phonology, narrative, and other language domains, but that at other developmental points short-term negative trade-offs can be expected. To support progress by hearing-impaired children with quite varied profiles of language skills, "tricky mixes" of converging learning conditions must be identified and maintained more often than in past typical educational practices. Such dynamic tricky mixes repeatedly combine new language challenges with cognitive enhancers of effective processing. In addition, these complex contextual mixes include social-emotional factors that favorably affect children's self-esteem, mood, and expectancy of success.
‘Can the linguistic interdependence theory support a bilingual-bicultural model of literacy education for deaf students?’, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 1 (1996), 93-107,
‘Whole language and deaf bilingual-bicultural education - Naturally!’, American Annals of the Deaf, 141 (1996), 293-298,
This position paper discusses how the tenets of Whole Language and Deaf Bilingual-Bicultural Education complement each other. It stresses that Whole Language is based on natural processes through which children can translate their constructs of personal experiences, observations, and perspectives into modes of communication that include written language and, in the present case, American Sign Language. The paper is based on two emphases: (a) Whole Language emphasizes a two-way teaching/ learning process, teachers learning from children, and vice versa; and (b) Deaf Bilingual-Bicultural Education emphasizes American Sign Language as a language of instruction and builds on mutual respect for the similarities and differences in the sociocultural and socioeducational experiences and values of Deaf and hearing people. Both Whole Language and Deaf Bilingual-Bicultural Education attempt to authenticate curriculum by integrating Deaf persons' worldviews as part of educational experience.
‘A semantic analysis of signed communication in an activity-based classroom for preschool children who are deaf’, Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 27 (1996), 57-66,
The signed communication of five preschool children who are deaf (ages 4:5 to 5:6) was analyzed for its semantic content. Videotaped samples were collected while the children participated in activity-based classroom routines and familiar play themes with teachers and peers in a 21/2-hour preschool classroom. The children demonstrated expected limitations in their language skills (mean MLU = 2.01) but talked about many of the same topics at school as children of the same age who were not disabled (Marvin, Beukelman, Brockhous, & Kast, 1994). The five children who are deaf generally talked about the here-and-now and themselves and appeared to be heavily influenced by the materials, people, and activities in the immediate environment of the preschool classroom. Talk concerning teachers, peers, class projects, needed supplies and utensils, and food were common and frequent in the children's talk with teachers and peers. Talk concerning temporally displaced topics was less frequent and less common than talk concerning present time frames. Child-initiated utterances were longer in length and more semantically diverse than teacher-prompted utterances. Implications of these findings for preschool deaf educators and speech-language pathologists are discussed.
‘Advanced learning technology for a bilingual education of deaf children’, American annals of the deaf, 140 (1995), 402-409,
Italian deaf children in elementary and middle school have limited competence in written Italian, which is in part caused by difficulties with lexical and morphosyntactic aspects of the Italian language. This study describes a recently developed interactive multimedia application designed to facilitate deaf children's access to new information and reports the results of an initial experiment conducted with deaf elementary and middle school children. Subjects were twelve deaf children with varying backgrounds and linguistic competencies, ranging in age from 6;6 to 16;1 years. Experimentation was structured in three phases. In the initial phase, children explored the computer environment freely, and in the two subsequent phases, children were presented with activities requiring use of the application to obtain information. Results of a final evaluation indicated that all children were able to use and profit from the application. Findings are discussed in terms of bilingual methods of education for deaf children and their implications for increasing deaf children's competence in written language.
‘Adequacy of a translation of the MMPI into American Sign Language for use with deaf individuals: Linguistic equivalency issues’, Rehabilitation Psychology, 38 (1993), 247-260,
In order to determine the linguistic equivalency of a sign language translation of a psychological test for use with deaf individuals, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was translated into American Sign Language (ASL) via the back-translation procedure and recorded on videotape. The bilingual retest technique was conducted whereby both forms of the instrument were administered to 28 ASL-English bilingual deaf subjects. Due to the advent of the MMPI-2 during the conduct of this study, a new set of T scores was calculated from the present MMPI data in order to compare the effect of shifting to the MMPI-2 norms. The results of this study demonstrated adequate linguistic equivalencies of the ASL MMPI items and underscore the potential utility and practicality of future ASL translations of psychological tests for use with deaf individuals.
‘Interactive video for bilingual ASL/English instruction of deaf children’, American Annals of the Deaf, 134 (1989), 209-213,
‘Using bilingual instructional models in teaching hearing-impaired students’, American Annals of the Deaf, 128 (1983), 873-877,
‘Assessing language and/or system preferences of Spanish-deaf preschoolers’, American Annals of the Deaf, 127 (1982), 789-796,
Three Spanish deaf children were taught receptive vocabulary in oral English, English sign-mix, oral Spanish, Spanish sign-mix, and sign alone. Subject 1 learned best using sign alone. Subject 2 performed best using oral Spanish or sign alone. Subject 3 seemed to profit from sign, Spanish sign-mix, or oral English. These results were discussed relative to bilingual models of education. Conclusions drawn were that neither heritage nor etiological classification should dictate the language used to educate Spanish deaf children. Rather, a combination of factors should be considered. These include: the language and/or system of the caretaker, the amount of exposure to sign language and/or systems, the degree of usable aided hearing ability, and the language and/or system demonstrated to be the most effective for learning.
‘Hearing-impaired children: learning to read a second language’, American Annals of the Deaf, 126 (1981), 810-813,
The paper discusses the poor reading achievement of hearing-impaired children. It identifies the two-way communication involved in the reading process and examines the linguistic competence of hearing-impaired children by tracing the language development of those born to deaf and hearing parents. It builds a case for defining and accepting American Sign Language as a separate and complete language from English. Implications for reading instruction are made based on research in bilingual education.
‘A comparison of sign language and spoken language’, Cognition, 1 (1972), 173-200.,
‘Language Development and Language Interaction in Sign Bilingual Language Acquisition’, in Bilingualism and Bilingual Deaf Education, ed. by Marschark M, Tang G and Knoors H (Oxford/NewYork: Oxford University Press, 2014), 23-54,
‘Language Acquisition by Bilingual Deaf Preschoolers:Theoretical and Methodological Issues and Empirical Data’, in Bilingualism and Bilingual Deaf Education, ed. by Marschark M, Tang G and Knoors H (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 54-73,
‘Co-enrollment in the United States: A critical analysis of benefits and challenges’, in Bilingualism and bilingual deaf education, ed. by Marschark M, Tang G and Knoors H (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 424-444,
‘Shifting contexts and practices in sign bilingual education in Northern Europe: Implications for professional development and training’, in Bilingualism and Bilingual Deaf Education, ed. by Marschark M, Tang G and Knoors H (New York, NJ.: Oxford University Press, 2014), 292-312,
‘Bilingualism and Bilingual Deaf Education: Time to Take Stock’, in Bilingualism and Bilingual Deaf Education, ed. by Marschark M, Tang G and Knoors H (New York, NJ.: Oxford University Press, 2014), 1-2,
‘Will cochlear implants close the gap in reading achievement for deaf students?’, in The Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language, and education, ed. by Marschark M and Spencer P, 2 (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010), 127-143,
‘Does the knowledge of a natural sign language facilitate deaf children's learning to read and write? Insights from French Sign Language and written French data’, in Sign Bilingualism: Language development, interaction, and maintenance in sign language contact situations, ed. by Plaza-Pust C, Morales-Lopez E and Ayoun D, Studies in Bilingualism (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008), 29-50,
‘Sign Bilingualism: Language development, interaction, and maintenance in sign language contact situations’, in Sign Bilingualism: Language development, interaction, and maintenance in sign language contact situations, ed. by Plaza-Pust C, Morales-Lopez E and Ayoun D, Studies in Bilingualism (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008), 333-380,
‘Sign bilingualism in Spain’, in Sign Bilingualism: Language development, interaction and maintenance in sign language contact situations, ed. by Plaza-Pust C, Morales-Lopez E and Ayoun D, Studies in Bilingualism (Amsterdam, The Netherlands,: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008), 223-276,
‘Code-mixing in signs and words in input to and putput from children’, in Sign Bilingualism: Language development, interaction, and maintenance in sign language contact situations, ed. by Plaza-Pust C, Morales-Lopez E and Ayoun D, Studies in Bilingualism (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008), 1-28,
‘Bilingualism and deafness: Correlations between deaf students' ability to use space in Quebec Sign Language and their reading comprehension in French’, in Sign Bilingualism: Language development, interaction, and maintenance in sign language contact situations, ed. by Plaza-Pust C, Morales-Lopez E and Ayoun D, Studies in Bilingualism (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008), 51-72,
‘Language use and awareness of deaf and hearing children in a bilingual setting’, in Sign Bilingualism: Language development, interaction and maintenance in sign language contact situations, ed. by Plaza-Pust C, Morales-Lopez E and Ayoun D, Studies in Bilingualism (Amsterdam, The Netherlands,: John Benjamins Publishing, 2008), 195-222,
‘Learning to fingerspell twice: Young signing children's acquistion of fingerspelling’, in Advances in the sign language development of deaf children, ed. by Schick B, Marschark M and Spencer PE (New York: Oxford University Pres, 2006), 189-201,
‘Sign language acquisition’, in Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, ed. by Brown K, 11 (Oxford, UK: Elsevier., 2006), 291-296,
‘Cued speech in language development’, in The Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language and education, ed. by Marschark M and Spencer P, 1 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 261-274,
‘Developmebt of spoken language by deaf children’, in The Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language and education, ed. by Spencer P and Marschark M, 1 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 85-102,
‘American sign language and reading ability in deaf children’, in Language acquisition by eye, ed. by Chamberlain C, Morford JP and Mayberry R (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000), 165-189,
‘A piece of the puzzle: ASL and reading comprehension in deaf children’, in Language acquisition by eye, ed. by Chamberlain C, Morford JP and Mayberry RI (Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000), 143-163,
‘Theorizing about the relation between American Sign Language and reading’, in Language acquisition by eye, ed. by Morford JP and Mayberry RI (Hillside, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000), 221-260,
‘Innovative project experiential education and the definition of quality in education’, in Defining and assessing quality in early childhood education, ed. by Laevers F (Leuven, Netherlands: Leuven University Press, 1994), 159-172,
ASL/English instruction for deaf students: Evaluation and impact study. Final report 1997 - 2002, ([n.pub.], 2002),
Shared reading project: Evaluating implementation processes and family outcomes, (Washington, DC: Gallaudet University, 2001),
Bilingual teaching of deaf children in Denmark (Description of a project 1982-1992), (Aalborg, Denmark: Døveskolernes Materialelaboratorium, 1995),
Unlocking the curriculum: Principles for achieving access in deaf education, (Washington, DC: Gallaudet University., 1989),
Bilingualism and minority language children, (Ontario, Canada: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 1981),
Sign language structure: An outline of the visual communication system of the American deaf. Studies in Linguistics, NY:, (NY: University of Buffalo:Department of Anthropology and Linguistics, 1960), 3-37,
Bilingualism and Bilingual Deaf Education, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014),
Goal fulfillment in schools for the deaf and hearing impaired, (Härnösand, Sweden: [n.pub.] 2009),
Sign Bilingualism: Language development, interaction and maintenance in sign language contact situations, (Amsterdam: John Bejamins Publishing Company, 2008),
Sign Bilingualism: Language development, interaction, and maintenance in sign language contact situations, (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins, 2008),
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press., 2007),
ASL English bilingual instruction for deaf students: Evaluation and impact study. Final report 1997–2002, http://www.gallaudet.edu/Documents/year5.pdf, ([n.pub.], 2002),
Directions in sign language acquisition, (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2002),
Signs of their times: Deaf Communities and the Culture of Language, ([n.pub.], 2002) 31: 69-97.,
Because of their deafness, deaf people have been marked as different and treated problematically by their hearing societies. Until 25 years ago, academic literature addressing deafness typically described deafness as pathology, focusing on cures or mitigation of the perceived handicap. In ethnographic accounts, interactions involving deaf people are sometimes presented as examples of how communities treat atypical members. Recently, studies of deafness have adopted more complex sociocultural perspectives, raising issues of community identity, formation and maintenance, and language ideology. Anthropological researchers have approached the study of d/Deaf communities from at least three useful angles. The first, focusing on the history of these communities, demonstrates that the current issues have roots in the past, including the central role of education in the creation and maintenance of communities. A second approach centers on emic perspectives, drawing on the voices of community members themselves and accounts of ethnographers. A third perspective studies linguistic issues and how particular linguistic issues involving deaf people articulate with those of their hearing societies.