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7:11 Monday, November 21, 2005

And A Child Shall Lead Them

The Study of Deaf Children in a Thailand Residential School

In her introduction of the 11th volume of the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series, Ceil Lucas states plainly its significant contribution: “The Rising of Lotus Flowers: Self-Education by Deaf Children in Thai Boarding Schools gets at the heart of sociolinguistics in deaf communities in its account of the essential role of language in education. It describes the crucial intersection of linguistics and social interaction in the context of the education of deaf children in Thailand. And it accomplishes three things along the way: it provides a solid theoretical foundation for the study of the role of language in deaf education that will be a very useful reference for researchers, practitioners, and interested lay people; it places the story of these Thai children in the context of generations of deaf children educated in residential settings all over the world, demonstrating the role and power of the residential school in forming Deaf identities; and it provides a simply enthralling account of how the children in this setting assume the responsibility for and accomplish the education of their younger peers.”

Authors Charles and Nipapon Reilly explain the rationale behind their work by stating, “We observed, interviewed, and videotaped the children using indigenous sign language freely during play and daily routines. We described how they helped one another learn their first language, the norms of the school and society, and worldly knowledge. By documenting the students’ interactions, we hope to show educators the importance of placing deaf children together in schools that provide them opportunities for engaging in real-life activity together.”

You can read more in chapter 2 “Education and Deaf People in Thailand” now. And, by using your exclusive subscriber discount, save 20% off the regular price when you order The Rising of Lotus Flowers online. In the “Comments or Special Instructions” box below your credit card information, type in “NOV0520%.” Or, order by mail.

The Study of Signed Languages: Essays in Honor of William C. Stokoe was highlighted in the current issue of the Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal: “During the 1950s, William Stokoe convinced skeptical language scholars that signed language could have all of the complexity, structure, precision and expressiveness of any spoken language, established sign language as a subject worthy of scholarship, and helped legitimize the teaching of sign language to deaf children. Appropriately, this volume offers eclectic examples of the ways with which signed languages might be studied, and a variety of reasons why signed languages should be studied. It should appeal to anyone with general interests in language studies, sociology and/or cultural studies, as well as to researchers of signed languages or Deaf culture.” Read the complete review and the book’s preface, and order The Study of Signed Languages.

Wisconsin Bookwatch, the library newsletter from The Midwest Book Review, extols Robert Osgood’s The History of Inclusion in the United States: “Before the 1960s, students considered disabled were as a matter of course segregated from their nondisabled peers; only in recent decades have such practices been challenged and transformed into more integrative approaches that encourage more interaction between children of all ability levels. Chapters delineate the evolution of more inclusive and integrative approaches, pioneer individuals and legislation, and educational policy questions debated in the present day. An excellent resource for gauging the effects of history and recommendations for the future of special education.” Learn more about how integrating children with disabilities originated in chapter 3 “1960-1968: Challenging Tradition in Special Education,” and order The History of Inclusion in the United States.

December 15, 2005, the early bird registration deadline for the international conference Revolutions in Sign Language Studies: Linguistics, Literature, Literacy on March 22-24, 2006, is steadily approaching. Keynote speakers Dan Slobin, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Ben Bahan, Professor, Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC; and Marlon Kuntze, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, CA, along with a host of other noteworthy presenters and participants will discuss the latest research on linguistics, sociolinguistics, literature, literacy and Deaf people, and all other aspects of the study of sign languages. Save 10% off the full price of admission by registering now! For more information, go online to http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/gupiconference/index.html.


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