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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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Deaf Students and the Qualitative Similarity Hypothesis: Understanding Language and Literacy Development
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Our main goal in this introductory chapter was to outline the basic tenets of the QSH with respect to the development of English language and literacy. The QSH has both micro and macro components, which should encourage a wide range of further research, including research into the acquisition of English as a second language and research on non-d/Dhh children with either language/literacy disabilities or language/literacy difficulties or both.

In this book, we synthesize extant theories and research on the development of through-the-air English and English literacy for both first- and second-language learners. We also explore these constructs for students with language/learning disabilities. In every chapter, we relate the information to what we know about students who are d/Dhh. Based on our synthesis, we proffer instructional strategies for improving the English language and literacy skills of d/Dhh children and adolescents (Chapter 6).

We provide a critique of research that has been conducted on the construct of developmental similarity to suggest needed areas and approaches for further investigations (Chapter 7). Other perspectives on the QSH (and related constructs) are presented by invited authors who comment on first- and second-language development of English (Chapter 8). Finally, in our concluding chapter (Chapter 9) we present our reflections and directions for further theorizing and research as well as our response to the reactants in Chapter 8. It is hoped that the debate on constructs such as the developmental similarity stimulate further study on the manner in which to improve the English language and literacy development of students who are d/Dhh.

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