A historical perspective and descriptive approach for American Sign Language and English bilingual studies in the community college setting.
AuthorHayes, Jon Laurence
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this dissertation was three-fold. The first intent was to investigate the historical role of English and American Sign Language (ASL) in the communication, education and culture of deaf/Deaf people in America. The second purpose was to investigate sociolinguistical and physiological properties of American Sign Language in light of language learning among the deaf. And the third objective was to research bilingual education methodologies in order to interface knowledge and practices from bilingual education, communication and ASL research to the field of post-secondary education of the deaf within the framework of bilingual education. Evidence demonstrates that the history of language policies and educational practices for the deaf are strongly influenced by the majority language of English. A primary goal of education of the deaf has been the assimilation of deaf people into the hearing society. An avenue for this integration has traditionally involved the exclusion of ASL from the classroom and the mandate of Signed English systems and/or aural/oral communication. The incorporation of a cross-disciplinary blend of communication, bilingual education and ASL sociolinguistic aspects form the foundation for further investigation. This dissertation should serve as an impetus and reference point for others wishing to advance the education of the deaf, utilizing a bilingual approach.