Gallaudet University Press

14:2 Thursday, March 29, 2012

Imbuing Deaf Children with ASL Literacy

A New Volume Describes an Ethnographic, Action Study of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose Program

Author Kristin Snoddon shares the findings of an American Sign Language (ASL) literacy program for Deaf and hearing parents and young children in Ontario, Canada, in her new book American Sign Language and Early Literacy: A Model Parent-Child Program. “First, this book describes the present-day context of infant hearing screening and early intervention services for Deaf children and their parents,” explains Snoddon, “and the impact these public services have for participants in the program. Second, the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose Program tells the story of parents and children participating in an early ASL literacy initiative in the fall of 2007.”

“The participant group consisted of two families with Deaf parents and Deaf children, one Deaf parent with a hearing child, and three hearing parents with Deaf or hard of hearing children who were registered with a Deaf service agency in the province of Ontario. The program leader, a Deaf adult and ASL instructor, was also a participant, along with me as a researcher. This book describes an action research methodology seeking to forward an emancipative literacy for Deaf children, their families, and their community. American Sign Language and Early Literacy shows how ASL literacy can function as such an emancipative literacy.”

Read more about this fascinating study in chapter four, “Research as Praxis”. By using your exclusive subscriber discount, you will receive 20% off the regular price. When ordering online, type “MAR2012” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button. You may also order by mail.

In its January 2012 issue, Choice magazine recognized Primary Movement in Sign Languages: A Study of Six Languages, stating: “This cross-linguistic study of sign language phonetics examines prosody in sign language expression. The authors, all linguists, studied the movement parameter across six different sign languages of six different Deaf communities: American Sign Language (ASL), British Sign Language (BSL), Italian Sign Language (LIS), French Sign Language (LSF), Australian Sign Language (Auslan), and Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL). The authors compared four older sign languages (BSL, LIS, LSF, and Auslan) with the new sign language, NSL. Utilizing innovative research tools from mathematics and statistics, they were able to explore historical changes in established and new sign languages. The authors found that BSL and LSF shared similar features of the movement parameter. Auslan, LIS, and ASL had contrasting features to BSL and LSF. The data support a dissemination hypothesis. The authors claim that ‘sign languages that are direct descendants of a mother sign language and that have remained in the geographic home of the mother language (origin-bound languages) are different from sign languages that have evolved in a different geographic home from that of the mother language and are in contact with the indigenous sign languages of the new home (disaspora languages).’” Read more about Primary Movement in Sign Languages in the introduction, and place your order by mail or online.

Cochlear Implants: Evolving Perspectives, edited by Raylene Paludneviciene and Irene W. Leigh, was recently reviewed by Reference & Research Book News: “The fervor of the debate within the Deaf community on cochlear implants seems to have abated over the decades, and social scientists here report on recent insights and trends. In sections on the Deaf community and cochlear implants, language and auditory processing, educational approaches, and final thoughts, they consider such aspects as reflection of Deaf mothers on cochlear implants for their children, listening strategies to facilitate spoken language learning among signing children with cochlear implants, applying auditory rehabilitation teaching behaviors to a signed communication education context, and sensory politics and the cochlear implant debates.” Read chapter five, “My Child Can Have More Choices: Reflections of Deaf Mothers on Cochlear Implants for Their Children,” and order Cochlear Implants online or by mail.

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