Child visual discourse: The use of language, gestures, and vocalizations by deaf preschoolers1

Polish Psychological Bulletin 39 (1):9-18 (2008)

Abstract
Child visual discourse: The use of language, gestures, and vocalizations by deaf preschoolers1 This exploratory study examined the linguistic activity and conversational skills of deaf preschoolers by observing child-child dyads in free-play situations. Deaf child of deaf parents - deaf child of deaf parents pairs were compared with deaf child of hearing parents - deaf child of hearing parents pairs. Children from the two groups were videotaped during dyadic peer interactions in a naturalistic play situation. The findings indicated that deaf children were able to engage in successful communicative interaction. However, statistically significant differences were found between the two groups of deaf preschoolers with regard to some categories of communicative behaviors from the point of view of sign and spoken languages. For example, DCHP were found to be less actively than DCDP through using speech. The results of this study suggest that intervention efforts should be focused on improving the language learning environment by facilitating signing by the parents and increasing their skills in visual-gestural strategies.
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DOI 10.2478/v10059-008-0004-9
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