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Deaf Children as ‘English Learners’: The Psycholinguistic Turn in Deaf Education

1
Education Department, Iona College, New Rochelle, NY 10801, USA
2
St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf, Bronx, NY 10465, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9020133
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
The purpose of this literature review is to present the arguments in support of conceptualizing deaf children as ‘English Learners’, to explore the educational implications of such conceptualizations, and to suggest directions for future inquiry. Three ways of interpreting the label ‘English Learner’ in relationship to deaf children are explored: (1) as applied to deaf children whose native language is American Sign Language; (2) as applied to deaf children whose parents speak a language other than English; and (3) as applied to deaf children who have limited access to the spoken English used by their parents. Recent research from the fields of linguistics and neuroscience on the effects of language deprivation is presented and conceptualized within a framework that we refer to as the psycholinguistic turn in deaf education. The implications for developing the literacy skills of signing deaf children are explored, particularly around the theoretical construct of a ‘bridge’ between sign language proficiency and print-based literacy. Finally, promising directions for future inquiry are presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: deaf education; critical period for language; sign bilingualism; deaf multilingual learner (DML); english learner (EL); age of acquisition; literacy; cognition; ableism deaf education; critical period for language; sign bilingualism; deaf multilingual learner (DML); english learner (EL); age of acquisition; literacy; cognition; ableism
MDPI and ACS Style

Howerton-Fox, A.; Falk, J.L. Deaf Children as ‘English Learners’: The Psycholinguistic Turn in Deaf Education. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 133.

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