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A look at the other 90 per cent: Investigating British Sign Language vocabulary knowledge in deaf children from different language learning backgrounds

Mann, W., Roy, P. and Marshall, C. R. (2013). A look at the other 90 per cent: Investigating British Sign Language vocabulary knowledge in deaf children from different language learning backgrounds. Deafness and Education International, 15(2), pp. 91-116. doi: 10.1179/1557069X12Y.0000000017

Abstract

In this study we present new data on deaf children's receptive and expressive vocabulary knowledge in British Sign Language (BSL) from a sample consisting of children with deaf parents, children with hearing parents, and children with additional needs. Their performance on three BSL vocabulary tasks was compared with (previously reported findings from) a sample of deaf fluent signers. We use these data to assess the effects of some key demographic/ child variables on deaf signing children's vocabulary and discuss findings in the relation to the meaning of 'normative' data and samples for this heterogeneous population. Findings show no effect of the presence of additional disabilities on participants' scores for any of the three tasks. As expected, chronological age is the most significant factor in performance on all vocabulary tasks while the number of deaf relatives only becomes statistically significant for the form recall task. This study contributes to the field of sign language assessment by seeking to identify key variables in heterogeneity and how these variables affect signed vocabulary acquisition with the long-term objective of informing intervention.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Maney Publishing 2013
Publisher Keywords: Additional needs, Assessment, BSL, Deaf children, Sign language test, Vocabulary
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Language & Communication Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/5645
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