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How might deaf children acquire one of the primary goals of education-literacy in English? This article suggests that literacy in English as well as knowledge of the English language can be acquired concomitantly through developmental reading and writing activities that reflect principles of first language acquisition if students bring to these activities relatable experiences which they have already linguistically represented. Such activities engage students in reading and writing where content and context support them in their attempts to actively understand and convey meaning in English. The end product of, rather than the prerequisite for, this meaningful reading and writing is competence in English.