English literacy in deaf education
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AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to discuss the factors influencing the English literacy development of signing deaf children. The literacy rates of deaf high school graduates have been consistently reported as equivalent to that of an average 3rd or 4th grade hearing child (Mayer, 2009, p. 326). The factors contributing to this gap in literacy rates revolve around language acquisition and development. Issues in first language access, exposure and quality as well as differences in deaf and hearing language development are discussed. Theories of bimodal language and literacy development show unique qualities of ASL-English bilingual-bimodal that may begin to explain the cause of difficulty in English literacy skills among signing deaf children in the academic setting. Further research much be conducted in order to further develop educational programs for literacy development that are effective for deaf students.
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