Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

Click here for Site Map
Jump to Main Content


The researchers below have agreed to actively monitor the "Discussion" pages associated with their research efforts for a three week period starting Monday, February 16, and ending Friday, March 6, 2009. In order to facilitate a discussion of this work, information has been posted below. To discuss your questions, comments and suggestions with the researchers please:
  1. “click” on the “discussion” tab that is at the top of this page. (You must "Sign In" to see the "discussion" tab. If you do not have a username/password, please click on "Join" to establish them.)
  2. type your message (i.e., question, comment, suggestion, etc.), then “click” on the “post” button that is at the bottom of the page. One or more of the researchers will then respond to your message in a post to the discussion board.

If you would like to receive a notification of new posts to this discussion board, please “click” on the “notify me” tab that is at the top of this page. (You must "Sign In" to see the "notify me" tab. If you do not have a username/password, please click on "Join" to establish them.) If you need assistance in using this wiki space, please “click” on the “Directions & Help” link that you will find at the bottom of the left-hand menu bar.

Topic: Psycholinguistic/Emergent Literacy Development of SixYoung Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants (Deaf/CI) During a Summer Reading Camp
Title: Bilingual Translanguaging (codeswitching) behaviors of Six Young Deaf/CI Children During a Summer Reading Camp
Contact Information: Jean F. Andrews, Ph.D., Professor Deaf Studies/Deaf Education, Lamar University,
and Vickie Dionne, Au.D., Professor of Audiology, Lamar University,
Type of research: Qualitative (case studies) and Quantitative (Language samplings)
Subject Pool: 6 Deaf/CI children ages 5 to 10 who attended a 3-week university summer enrichment reading camp in 2007 and 2008.
Setting: University clinic
Number: N = 6 deaf/ci children

During the summer of 2007 and 2007, a group of deaf educators, audiologists and speech language pathologists constructed an interdisciplinary reading camp based on psycholinguistic milestones of spoken language and of sign language development, and emergent reading, balanced reading and schema theory and principles.

The overall research question was to ask how these deaf/ci children used their sign language to support their learning of speech (oracy), language (ASL signacy) and English (fingerspelling, reading and writing skills).
Since Lamar is a preprofessional training institution, a secondary goal was to provide a learning environment where SLPs, Au.Ds, and Deaf educators could observe, document, and assess the language behaviors of deaf/ci children across their respective disciplines as well as to develop Deaf/Hearing Bilingual/Bicultural collaborative teams.

In summer 1 (2007) our pilot program showed that deaf/ci children were bimodal and bilingual, using codemixing, codeswitching and translanguaging strategies (Garcia, 2009) depending on their conversational partners and their setting. For example, with native Deaf ASL story signers, they turned off their voice and signed ASL or combined signs and speech. With the hearing audiologist and SLPs they used speech alone or mixed signs with speech.
In summer 2 (2008) we continued to document the 6 deaf/ci children’s use of translanguaging strategies for communication and social functions during speech, auditory, reading, and language activities (Garcia, 2009). Translanguaging (a kind of codeswitching but includes more language abilities) refers to a strategy where the deaf bilingual child uses oracy (spoken language), literacy (reading and writing) or signacy (sign language) (or a mixture of these) depending on his or her conversational partners and depending on the setting. Translanguaging as a strategy demonstrates emerging and developing bilingual abilities.

Data Collection
We have collected data including: daily field notes, a battery of audiological, speech, emergent literacy assessments. twice weekly oral and sign language samples collected when reading wordless picture books. The data is now being interpreted by team of professionals (SLPs, Aud., Deaf Educators, including native Deaf signers) (ongoing).

Background variables of the 5 children
We collected data on IQ, gender, birthday, age of onset of hearing loss, grade level, hearing loss, etiology, date when implanted, type of implant, record of consistent use of implant, date of last mapping, emergent reading and reading scores.

Assessments Used
Carolina Picture Vocabulary Test
French’s communication and ASL checklist
Clerc Center’s continuum (Betty Watty-Smith) (visual language learning and auditory language learner)
Informal Reading Inventory (when appropriate)
Parent questionnaire
Nover’s (1999) Deaf bilingual language abilities chart (oracy, signacy, literacy)

Reading Camp Curriculum
We aimed to build schema with ASL storysigning/storytelling activities with a Deaf native signer. Each day the Deaf native ASL signers provided daily ASL storytelling and storyreading composed of cognitively, linguistically rich discourse through visual language. Each week a theme with 2 storybooks were presented. We repeated one or two stories each day. After this we had a rich discussion of concepts using visual language with the ASL storyteller and the deaf/ci children. Upon this rich visual language base, we built spoken and auditory language skills.

Our curriculum was based on based on early childhood, multisensory learning, emergent literacy principles, providing an environment where children can use the two languages with deaf/hearing adults, with Deaf/hearing peers and with hearing family members. We also incorporated balanced reading theory and practices (Cowen, 2003). These included activities: whole to part and part to whole activities, weekly thematic units, presentation of quality children’s literature, drawing, print labeling, print writing activities, art, play, skills to reinforce learning around the theme (ducks, penguins, butterflies), Speech, phonemic awareness, phonics activities, sign, vocabulary building activities. In our summer school we also incorporated emergent literacy perspective activities (Teale & Sulzby, 1986). How reading and writing concepts develop into conventional literacy (traditional term was reading readiness), how to develop print awareness from child’s point of view, documenting change over time as child develops more concepts about print, presentations of concepts about books, print (letters, words, stories), book handling, print directionality, reading environmental print, early attempts at writing. We followed up with part to whole skill activities: teach vocabulary, print, sign, fingerspelling, vocabulary teaching using “chaining” (Padden, 1998) or codeswitching: (sign to English), Sign+fingerspelling+print.

Our collaborative SLPs worked on vocabulary, speech, articulation, and phonological awareness, spoken language that was previously exposed through ASL or spoken whole story. Our collaborative Au.Ds provided auditory listening and training activities, Kerioke singing, and daily ci maintenance checks.

Wordless Picture Books Experiment
Within our camp curriculum during summer 2, 2008, we conducted an experiment. We assessed the expressive speech and sign retelling abilities of the children using Mercer Meyer wordless picture books in order two document speech during wordless picture book reading (with SLP, no signing). We also documented sign during wordless picture book reading (with Deaf native signer).

We counterbalanced the wordless storybooks to ensure equivalence of difficulty and collected data over three weeks looking at 1) Number of words , 2) Distribution analysis of number and types of words and 3) the occurrence of sign supporting speech (in oral retelling and sign retelling), 4) the occurrence of translanguaging during the reading of the wordless picture book sessions.

We will document our findings from a developmental psycholinguistic view (Halliday, 2004) as the children were performing more at labeling pictures than retelling events of the picture books. We will describe the advantages of using spoken language only during the “reading” of wordless picture books as well as describe the advantages of using ASL only during “reading” of wordless picture books.

We also will describe the translanguaging behaviors of the six deaf/ci children as they interact with different conversational partners (SLPs, audiologists, Deaf educators, parents) and in different settings (therapy clinic, playground, classroom, storyreading, art activities).
Our analyses are ongoing (projected completion: July, 2009).

Technological issues and language issues related to the cochlear implant were also addressed in light of the findings.
Portions of this research have already been presented at the Texas Statewide conference for teachers of the deaf, summer 2008 and at the Texas Academy of Audiology, Fall 2008.