Journal Article

The Relationship Between the Reading and Signing Skills of Deaf Children in Bilingual Education Programs

Daan Hermans, Harry Knoors, Ellen Ormel and Ludo Verhoeven

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 13, issue 4, pages 518-530
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enn009
The Relationship Between the Reading and Signing Skills of Deaf Children in Bilingual Education Programs

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This paper reports on one experiment in which we investigated the relationship between reading and signing skills. We administered a vocabulary task and a story comprehension task in Sign Language of the Netherlands and in written Dutch to a group of 87 deaf children from bilingual education programs. We found a strong and positive correlation between the scores obtained in the sign vocabulary task and the reading vocabulary task when age, short-term memory scores, and nonverbal intelligence scores were controlled for. In addition, a correlation was observed between the scores in the story comprehension tasks in Sign Language of the Netherlands and written Dutch but only when vocabulary scores for words and signs were not taken into account. The results are briefly discussed with reference to a model we recently proposed to describe lexical development for deaf children in bilingual education programs (Hermans, D., Knoors, H., Ormel, E., & Verhoeven, L., 2008). In addition, the implications of the results of the present study for previous studies on the relationship between reading and signing skills are discussed.

Journal Article.  6697 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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