Zeitschrift für Kommunikationsstörungen, Gehörlosenstudien und Hörgeräte

Zeitschrift für Kommunikationsstörungen, Gehörlosenstudien und Hörgeräte
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ISSN: 2375-4427


The Contribution of American Sign Language to Sign-Print Bilingualism in Children

Suzanne Reading and Robert J. Padgett

Sign languages serve as successful communication, providing access to spontaneous, interactive language for some individuals with a hearing loss. However, for these individuals there is a concern for the development of reading skills in a second language, a bilingual task. Previous studies indicated that a correlation exists between sign language knowledge and written language comprehension for older children and adults. The current study examines the predictive relationship between American Sign Language (ASL) knowledge and the developing English reading skills for children in 1st and 2nd grade. The results of this study indicated that ASL knowledge was a leading indicator of later English reading ability, providing evidence that sign language is a strong predictive factor in enabling young deaf children to acquire reading ability in a second language.