ERIC Number: ED390208
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jul
Visual Gestural Communication: Enhancing Early Communication and Literacy in Young Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.
Carver, Roger J.; Kemp, Mike
This paper examines the cognitive-linguistic development of young deaf children and some associated theories. The premise that linguistic processing begins initially and most effectively through visual linguistic processing within the context of the social environment is stressed. Social learning theories which emphasize the importance of the meaningfulness of the child's environment and the role of active involvement and problem solving in learning are noted. Evidence that the language acquisition process is independent of either vision or hearing is offered. Visual gestural communication (VGC) is presented as a proto-language which is a strong facilitator of language acquisition. Examples are offered of the use of VGC to communicate across linguistic barriers, along with documentation that early use of gestural communication enhances language acquisition in hearing and deaf infants. The effectiveness of VGC is seen to be its basis in pragmatics. Hearing parents are reported to learn American Sign Language much easier after exposure to VGC. It is suggested that literacy development can also be fostered by VGC since literacy also draws on visual and manipulative experiences. (Contains 34 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Congress on Education of the Deaf (18th, Tel Aviv, Israel, July 16-20, 1995).