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Title: A critical review on sign bilingualism
Authors: Borg, Romina
Keywords: Sign language
Bilingualism -- Malta
Language acquisition
Deaf -- Means of communication -- Malta
Languages in contact -- Malta
Deaf children -- Education -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Many people in today’s world are bilingual to greater or lesser degrees for different reasons. Prelingually severe and profoundly Deaf persons are often sign bilingual because they use their native sign language together with a spoken/written language even if their speech may be unclear and difficult to understand. The study reviews the literature related to sign bilingualism and to the Maltese Deaf community. It shows that years ago educators were convinced that if deaf children were taught to sign they would not learn to speak and to this day many are still convinced of this without any real evidence. Unfortunately, many deaf children who have normal or even higher intelligence often do not attain the literacy standards of their peers due to the very late development of a first language. This study focused on answering the question regarding the viability of sign bilingualism in Malta now that the Sign Language Law has been enacted. Furthermore, it explores works that show how deaf children process signs and speech from their early childhood years. It also looks at the ways these children communicate with their family and at school. The findings are tied into recommendations for a language policy to ensure that all Deaf children are given opportunities to develop their communication skills. Moreover, it is clearly stated that Deaf children need a lot of support. Families and educators need to understand the importance of Maltese Sign Language (LSM) to nurture a sense of belonging to a community for the Deaf and to provide resources to facilitate. There is lack of information about the Maltese situation regarding the Deaf community. For full inclusion Deaf children require Maltese Sign language (and hence interpreters) to access the full curriculum.
Description: B.ED.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 2017

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