Desktop version

Home arrow Language & Literature

  • Increase font
  • Decrease font

<<   CONTENTS   >>

A fragmented picture of deaf learners’ written language competence

We mentioned previously, in the context of our discussion of deaf education (section 1.3), that literature dedicated to monolingual deaf students’ written productions, emerging toward the end of the 1960s, documented the lack of literacy achievement in deaf learners. For their greater part, the studies undertaken have been dedicated to the acquisition of written English (cf. Wilbur 2000; Musselman 2000, for detailed discussions). Schafke (2005) remarks on the research gap in Germany and argues that it reflects the persistent focus on spoken language in the domain of deaf education.

From a developmental perspective, the research undertaken to date remains rather descriptive with a focus on the deficits observed. The available accounts coincide in what is considered to represent typical characteristics of deaf students’ written productions. Berent’s summary, based on a review of articles published between the 1940s and 1960s is representative in this respect: “English language abilities are characterized by the production of short, simple sentences, by the overuse of nouns and articles, and by a considerable restriction in the use of most function words and adverbs” (Berent 1996: 473).

<<   CONTENTS   >>

Related topics