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Sign Bilingualism in Deaf Education

From Deaf Schools to Regular School Settings

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Part of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education book series (ELE)

Abstract

In recent decades, empirical evidence from sign linguistics research has confirmed the natural language properties of sign languages used by Deaf members of the society. One consequence is to reintroduce sign language into the classroom for the deaf, to rectify the ban on sign language and Deaf teachers during the Milan Congress in 1880. Such a move led to the establishment of sign bilingualism in educating deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students in deaf school settings. However, development of this approach constantly faces the challenge of oralism (i.e., the use of oral language with residual hearing only) supported by advanced assistive hearing devices until today, regardless of educational settings. This chapter addresses the combined effects of adopting sign bilingualism and co-enrollment in regular school settings where DHH and hearing students are supported by the collaborative teaching of a hearing teacher and a Deaf teacher in a bimodal bilingual fashion.

Keywords

  • Coenrollment
  • Deaf Education
  • Deaf Teacher
  • Sign Bilingualism
  • Sign Language

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In research on sign language, Deaf with a capital letter D refers to those individuals that use and accept sign language as part of their identity and culture, while deaf with a small letter often refers to those oral deaf people who are brought up in the auditory-oral mode and who may not avail themselves of sign language or interact with members of the Deaf community.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Lee Hysan Foundation, and Fu Tak Iam Foundation for their generous donations to support the development of sign bilingual education in Hong Kong. Thanks are due also to the parents of deaf and hearing children who entrust their child to our program, the schools that take up the mission of educating DHH children, as well as the deaf and hearing colleagues of the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies who participated in the research component of the program. The statistical support from David Lam is also deeply appreciated.

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Correspondence to Gladys Tang .

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© 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

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Tang, G. (2016). Sign Bilingualism in Deaf Education. In: Garcia, O., Lin, A., May, S. (eds) Bilingual and Multilingual Education. Encyclopedia of Language and Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02324-3_35-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02324-3_35-2

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  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-02324-3

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Chapter History

  1. Latest

    Sign Bilingualism in Deaf Education
    Published:
    25 August 2016

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02324-3_35-2

  2. Original

    Sign Bilingualism in Deaf Education
    Published:
    22 March 2016

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02324-3_35-1