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Introducing the study: Deaf learners’ acquisition of DGS and German

Throughout the preceding sections we have elaborated on the theoretical framework required for an investigation of bilingual language acquisition in deaf learners with a focus on the nature of the development of learner systems. We have expanded on the question of what is acquired to determine the nature of the language knowledge attained and on the question of how this knowledge is attained to determine how learners tackle the challenge they are confronted with. We also presented current hypotheses in the domain of bilingual language acquisition research about the commonalities and the differences of language development in different acquisition situations. We then narrowed the focus on the bilingual language acquisition situation of deaf learners. We discussed the challenges these learners face and the issues that arise in the investigation of their bilingual language acquisition. Against this backdrop, we turn now to the empirical chapters of this work, dedicated to the bilingual acquisition of DGS and German in bilingually educated deaf learners. In the next section, we briefly recapitulate the main issues raised and present the main questions that guided the research undertaken.

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