Gallaudet University Press

14:7 Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making History with Bilingual Families

A New Study Illustrates the Benefits of Early ASL–English Language Exposure in a Young Child’s Growth

“We humans can contribute to ‘history’ in many ways,” acknowledges Laura-Ann Petitto (Co-Principal Investigator and Science Director, National Science Foundation and Gallaudet University’s Science of Learning Center, Visual Language and Visual Learning, VL2) in her foreword to this revolutionary study by authors Barbara Bodner-Johnson and Beth Sonnenstrahl Benedict. “The way we live our lives—our dilemmas, decisions, and choices—contributes to our personal history. Our interactions with our families, neighbors, community, and colleagues at work contribute to a larger social and cultural history. And every now and then, we contribute to the making of history. Bodner-Johnson and Benedict indeed contribute to the making of history, and this pioneering book, Bilingual Deaf and Hearing Families: Narrative Interviews, couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.”

“The key pieces of evidence they present are twofold,” continues Petitto. “First, from their theoretical understanding of the interdependence of the individual and the individual’s society, the authors lay bare a crucial factor that contributes to a young child’s healthy linguistic, cognitive, and social-emotional growth. Yet there is a second history-making vantage point offered in this book. It involves the authors’ important focus on bilingualism, and the remarkable advantages that bilingual education affords to all developing children. With astute knowledge, and through impressive scholarship, the book reveals the stunning cognitive, linguistic, and social-emotional advantages when deaf children grow up with both a signed language and a spoken language. Powerfully, the families’ accounts comprise a vivid ‘technicolor’ of unique evidence—evidence that is rendered especially poignant through the use of these living examples that show the benefits of early bilingual American Sign Language–English language exposure.”

Read more about this groundbreaking study in an interview with The Stevenson/Gavins Family. Order by mail or online for a 20% savings off the regular price. For online orders, type “JUL2012” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button.

Claire L. Ramsey’s The People Who Spell: The Last Students from the Mexican National School for the Deaf captured the attention of Reference & Research Book News in its April 2012 edition: “Over three decades, Ramsey has worked and researched extensively on deaf education and the sociocultural contexts where American Sign Language is used, transmitted, and commented upon. Here she turns her focus to deaf education in Mexico, specifically Mexico’s National School for the Deaf (ENS), which opened in the 1860s and closed in 1972. Based on interviews of 22 former ENS signing students, and common themes emerging from their life stories, Ramsey explores deaf lives and research in Mexico, the history of deaf education in Mexico and the ENS signers, their childhoods and school years, differing lives of deaf women and men, their social and married lives, and the collective remembering of the ENS signers, including the overall positive view of their educational and life experiences compared to challenges faced by today’s Deaf Mexican young people.” Read more about this intriguing study in chapter one, Somos Sordos Mexicanos: We Are Deaf Mexicans,” and order The People Who Spell online or by mail.

In its Spring 2012 issue, the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education features a glowing review of Show of Hands: A Natural History of Sign Language, by David F. Armstrong, stating, “Armstrong skillfully illustrates international history and diverse cultures throughout the book, using artifacts such as artwork, pictures, and illustrations related to the evolution of sign language to bring alive the past with fascinating visual detail. This book would be a valuable supplement to the library of Deaf Studies faculty and students and for sign language interpreters. However, Armstrong’s unique and insightful book would also be a worthy addition to any individual’s bookshelf because it is not simply another book describing the history of sign language.” The Midwest Book Review also chimes in: “With a focus on deafness and its effects on history, Show of Hands is a strong addition to any language and deaf studies collection on the bigger picture of it all.” You can read more about this volume in chapter one, “Seeing is Believing.” Order your copy of Show of Hands online or by mail.

Just visiting? Subscribe now to the Gallaudet University Press E-newsletter and receive exclusive updates, book excerpts, and discounts...absolutely free.

Read previous Gallaudet University Press E-newsletters:

October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005

January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009

April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012

Spring 2012 Catalog


Contact the webmaster at gupress@gallaudet.edu

Copyright 1999-2012 Gallaudet University. All rights reserved.