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ERIC Number: ED475323
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-0-88095-208-3
A First Language: Whose Choice Is It? Sharing Ideas.
Mahshie, Shawn Neal
This paper examines issues that affect decisions about providing language for a deaf or hard of hearing child. It considers what has been learned where parent-infant support and early educational placements are characterized by efforts to expose deaf children, of both deaf and hearing parents, to whole language/s that children find accessible for face-to-face interaction. Also discussed is what has been learned from interviewing and observing parents, teachers, researchers, and deaf students in settings in Sweden and Denmark where efforts in this direction have resulted in graduates whose achievement and literacy levels are on par with their hearing peers. In these countries, it is the child's predisposition toward a more oral or more visual language that determines the choice of a first language. Topics discussed include different paths to bilingualism; emphasis on the whole child; observing the child's behavior in natural communicative settings; cognitive academic language proficiency; the importance of high expectations; speech skills; a cost-benefit perspective; residual hearing; critical periods and spoken language; critical periods and sign language; and the importance of natural language. (Contains approximately 60 references.) (DB)
Gallaudet University, Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, KDES PAS-6, 800 Florida Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20002-3695. Tel: 800-526-9105 (Toll Free); Tel: 202-651-5340; Fax: 202-651-5708; e-mail:; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Gallaudet Univ., Washington, DC. Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center.
Identifiers - Location: Denmark; Sweden