The chapter affords theoretical and methodological issues to be considered in the study of early bilingualism. In the first part, what it means to be bimodal bilingual (sign language and spoken language) is explained, and similarities as well as differences with unimodal bilinguals (two spoken languages) are discussed. Recent research on the study on early bilingualism in young hearing children exposed to a minority and a majority language is presented. The second part examines methodological cautions to be considered: Differences in the children's background, the age of first exposure to each language, the amount of input received and how to assess the development in both languages adopting similar tasks and similar procedures for data collection. The third part reviews recent studies on early vocabulary acquisition by deaf bilingual children, conducted with indirect and direct observational methods. The chapter ends with a discussion on the future of research in this topic.
Language Acquisition by Bilingual Deaf Preschoolers: Theoretical and Methodological Issues and Empirical Data
Contributo in volume
Oxford University Press Inc., Cary, USA
Bilingualism and Bilingual Deaf Education, edited by Marc Marschark, Gladys Tang, Harry Knoors, pp. 54–73. Cary: Oxford University Press Inc., 2014