Description of bilingual acquisition in different modalities
The aim of this case study is to, within a socio-historical (Vygotsky, 1934) frame, describe and analyse the process of a parallel bimodal bilingual acquisition. A hearing Child Of Deaf Adults (CODA) interchanging with deaf family members were followed longitudinally. The languages acquired from birth were Swedish Sign Language in visual-gestural modality and spoken Swedish in aural-vocal modality.
The main participant, here called Hugo, grew up in a signing family, as an older sibling and his twin sister as well as both parents were deaf. He attended local pre-school where he communicated in spoken Swedish. Hugo was from the age of 10 to 40 months video-observed in his home in sessions of one hour. Usually the sessions consisted of three activities: story-, play- and mealtime. Focus in this study is based on data from story- and play-time from 12 sessions. Interaction consists of episodes in joint attention and of Hugo’s private speech (Bodrova & Leong, 2003).
Data was collected through video-observations, brief field notes and an interview with the child's deaf parents. In order to find patterns of critical changes in the data two types of analyses were conducted. The first inductively exploring started already at the transcriptional work in that possible moments of critical changes were noted and compared between participants. Interchanging episodes were in-depth analyzed (Creswell, 2007) and in-detail described (Yin, 2009). In the second step data and results of the first step analysis were abductively compared to studies within the field. The fieldnotes and interviews validate the trustworthiness of the analysis.
The specific research questions to be addressed at this occasion are what characterises the process of acquiring and mediating parallel bimodal bilingualism of a young CODA.
Through this single case study findings can illuminate how parallel language acquisition is developed and elucidate the parental bimodal and bilingual mediation. The content of the processes should have implications for pedagogical professions especially in information to educational contexts and bilingualism. The preliminary results show scaffolding bilingual acquisition, unlike previous studies, by single simultaneous bimodal insertions.
Nordisk Förening för Pedagogisk Forskning/Nordic Educational Research Association's 40th Congress 8-10 mars 2012, Köpenhamn