ERIC Number: ED349715
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
The Language and Literacy Worlds of Profoundly Deaf Preschool Children: Informing Developmental Theory.
Williams, Cheri L.; And Others
This study focuses on the language and literacy worlds of three profoundly deaf preschool children, whose lack of a strong spoken English base provided an opportunity to explore the relationship between spoken language development and written language development and to investigate young children's written language development in light of the diversity of their earliest experiences with language. The three children (ages 3-5) exhibited a great deal of multiplicity, diversity, and variability in their verbal language worlds. Each child's written language world, however, was characterized by patterns of consistency and was similar to that of hearing children. The three children used oral/aural English or total communication. Results are discussed in terms of family literacy and preschool literacy. Findings challenge the belief that proficiency with spoken language is prerequisite to written language development. Spoken language and written language were seen as not only parallel forms of the same meaning-based language but also alternative forms. Findings suggest that there is no one pathway to becoming literate. For these children, knowledge of written language became a pathway to spoken and/or signed language acquisition. (Contains approximately 50 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).