The authors present a perspective on emerging bilingual deaf students who are exposed to, learning, and developing two languages—American Sign Language (ASL) and English (spoken English, manually coded English, and English reading and writing). The authors suggest that though deaf children may lack proficiency or fluency in either language during early language-learning development, they still engage in codeswitching activities, in which they go back and forth between signing and English to communicate. The authors then provide a second meaning of codeswitching—as a purpose-driven instructional technique in which the teacher strategically changes from ASL to English print for purposes of vocabulary and reading comprehension. The results of four studies are examined that suggest that certain codeswitching strategies support English vocabulary learning and reading comprehension. These instructional strategies are couched in a five-pronged approach to furthering the development of bilingual education for deaf students.


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pp. 407-424
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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