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ERIC Number: ED548919
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 274
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-4875-1
Extended Discourse in ASL between a Deaf Child and Her Teachers in ASL/English Preschool Classrooms: Implications for Literacy Development
Ricasa, Rosalinda Macaraig
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Gallaudet University
Current studies on language and literacy in hearing children have pointed to face-to-face linguistic interaction as one crucial factor in the emergence of literacy. Studies that explored the language and literacy of preschool children, both in the their homes and in school, have found that the kind of talk and the quality of talk that transpires in the home and in preschool classrooms is significantly related to the children's later literacy development. Of the kinds of discourse investigated, extended discourse has been identified as having a positive relationship to children's literacy development. Extended discourse refers to conversational interactions that focus on any topic beyond the immediate context of the discussion. During extended discourse, conversational partners build understanding of a certain topic that is not immediately available to them based on their previous knowledge or experience of the topic under discussion. Studies that have investigated the language skills of deaf children in American Sign Language or ASL (a language used for face-to-face interaction among deaf people), and literacy in English (a language deaf children need to succeed in school) have found that deaf children who are skilled ASL users tend to have better English literacy skills than those who have weaker ASL skills. However, few studies have investigated the nature of linguistic interactions in ASL and their potential to support literacy development in English. This qualitative case study investigated the nature of extended discourse in ASL between a Deaf child of Deaf parents, Ann, and her teachers in preschool classrooms where ASL and printed English were the languages of instruction. It also investigated how Ann's participation in extended discourse developed during the two-and-a-half years that Ann attended preschool. Videotaped classroom interactions from the time the child entered ASL/English preschool classrooms at the age of three years and one month until the age of five years and four months were observed, described, and analyzed. The same types of extended discourse found in face-to-face interactions in English were also found in the extended discourse in ASL between Ann and her teachers. This extended discourse was cognitively complex and occurred in similar activity contexts, such as small group and large group activities. Ann, who had a well-developed first language foundation at the beginning of the school year, was gradually able to participate successfully in extended discourse in this ASL/English classroom, where her natural sign language was used as a face-to-face medium of instruction and communication. By documenting and describing these face-to-face linguistic interactions in ASL, specifically the instances of ASL extended discourse between this Deaf child and her teachers, we have begun to gain insight into the role of such discourse in promoting Deaf children's literacy development in ASL and English. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A