Bilingualism in a Deaf Family: Fingerspelling in Early Childhood
Carol J. Erting
Beth Sonnenstrahl Benedict
Teachers and children in an increasing number of educational programs in the United States and Canada are using ASL in the classroom (ASL in Schools, 1993; Ramsey, 1997; Strong, 1995). Although most of these programs aim to provide bilingual and bicultural or bilingual and multicultural education for deaf and hard of hearing students, some also serve hearing children ( Evans, Zimmer, & Murray, 1994; Supalla, Wix, & McKee, in press). Many of these classrooms adopted a model of bilingual education that considers ASL the first language of the students and English the second language, accessible primarily through its written form ( Johnson, Liddell, & Erting, 1989). It is not self-evident, however, how a first language in a visual, gestural modality might facilitate the acquisition of the written form of a spoken language. In fact, the argument has been made that competence in a sign language can be of no direct benefit to the acquisition of literacy based on a spoken language ( Mayer & Wells, 1996). Nevertheless, Padden ( 1996) and her colleagues, studying Deaf children acquiring ASL and educated at a residential school, reported that parents introduce Eng
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Deaf Child in the Family and at School:Essays in Honor of Kathryn P. Meadow-Orlans. Contributors: Patricia Elizabeth Spencer - Editor, Carol J. Erting - Editor, Marc Marschark - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 41.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.