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A deaf preschooler's acquirement of sequential bilingualism, Swedish sign language and spoken Swedish
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
2011 (English)In: Rights and Education: NERA 2011 Conference Proceedings: Early Childhood Research, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Description of bilingual acquisition in different modalities

The aim of this case study is to describe and analyse the process of a deaf girl's bilingual bimodal acquisitions from the age of 10 to 81 months of age. The first language acquired from birth was Swedish Sign Language in visual-gestural modality and from the age of three years with a cochlear implant (ci) also spoken Swedish in aural-vocal modality. This is viewed from the socio-(bi-)cultural constructive theory.


Methodology/research design

The main participant, here called Diana, grew up in a signing family, as both parents were deaf as well as an older sibling, though her twin was hearing. She attended pre-school and school for deaf children where she got education mainly through Swedish Sign Language. Diana was video-observed in her home during five years in sessions of one hour. Usually the sessions consisted of three activities: story-, play- and mealtime. Focus in this study is based on data of story time from 18 sessions of Diana interacting in joint attention with members in her family. Prior to ci Diana communicated through Swedish Sign Language.


     Data was collected through transcribedvideo-observations, brief field notes, record assessments from the speech therapist in the ci-team and an interview with the child's deaf parents. In the first analysis step the single case study methodology was used. Where data of joint attention is exploratory analyzed in-depth and details are described (Creswell, 2007). In the second step data and results of the first step analysis were compared to studies within the field. The records and interviews validate the trustworthiness of the analysis. The specific research question to be addressed at this occasion is: within a frame of joint attention what characterises the interaction process of acquiring sequential bimodal bilingualism in a young deaf child with ci?


Expected findings

Through this unique single case study findings can illuminate as to how sequential language acquisition is developed and elucidate the parental mediation. The content of the processes should have implications for pedagogical professions especially in habilitation and preschool contexts. The preliminary results show a rapid progression in the second language despite limited exposure to it and being in a different modality. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Sign Language, Bimodal Bilingualism, Cochlear Implant
Keyword [sv]
teckenspråk, tvåspråkighet, fallstudie, döv, cochleaimplantat
National Category
Research subject
Special Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69380OAI: diva2:476531
Nordic Educational Research Association and Conference, March 9 - 12 2011, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Available from: 2012-01-12 Created: 2012-01-12 Last updated: 2012-11-20Bibliographically approved

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Cramér-Wolrath, Emelie
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