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Early Literacy Development in Deaf Children$
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Connie Mayer and Beverly J. Trezek

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199965694

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199965694.001.0001

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Bilingualism and Early Literacy Development

Bilingualism and Early Literacy Development

(p.121) 5 Bilingualism and Early Literacy Development
Early Literacy Development in Deaf Children

Connie Mayer

Beverly J. Trezek

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, bilingualism and its impact on literacy development in both first and second language (L1 and L2) are addressed. This development is considered in terms of the theoretical frameworks that have been widely adopted in the contexts of both hearing and deaf learners (e.g. sequential versus simultaneous acquisition, linguistic interdependence model, threshold hypothesis). The available research evidence is reviewed to determine the ways in which bilingualism can advantage or constrain the process of learning to read and write and what this might mean for developing programs and informing practice. In acknowledging the complexity of this issue and the heterogeneity of the group of young deaf bilinguals, particular emphasis is placed on the issue of sign bilingualism (i.e. L1 is a natural sign language, L2 is a spoken language), as this arguably represents one of the most complex instances of bilingualism and early literacy development.

Keywords:   early literacy, deaf, bilingualism, second language, reading, writing

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