Theoretical underpinnings of acquiring English via print
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Citation (published version)Caldwell-Harris, C.L. (2021). Theoretical underpinnings of acquiring English via print. In C. Enns, J.Henner, and L. McQuarrie (Eds.), Discussing Bilingualism in Deaf Children: Essays in Honor of Robert Hoffmeister. Routledge. pp.72-95 https://doi.org/10.4324/9780367808686-6-7
This chapter describes a theoretical model of how deaf children could acquire the written version of a spoken language via reading and writing, without exposure to sound or to any representations of sound, including lip reading. The model describes stages of learning which represent successive, conceptual insights necessary for second/foreign language learning via print. The model explains why learning to read is often a protracted process for deaf children and why many fail to make progress after some initial success. Recent studies on deaf children's reading achievements are analyzed as illustrations of the heuristic value of the model. An important teaching implication is that English and sign language should not be viewed as equal languages to be taught together in a bilingual program. Instead, fluent sign language must be present first, and then used as the medium of instruction to teach the written language. Also important is that teaching English phonology is optional, and that curricula should explicitly teach aspects of the writing system that directly convey meaning, such as morphology. English in particular codes rich morphology, sacrificing spelling-to-sound consistency to do so. The model describes a new area of human achievement given that language learning is believed by theorists to require social interaction. Learning a language only from print is thus a human achievement that enlarges our understanding of reading flexibility
This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Discussing Bilingualism in Deaf Children .(2021), available online: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780367808686-6-7.
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