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Research Article

Deaf Children: Language Development and Education


Jean A. Rondal

220c Institute of Child Development University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, US
About Jean A.
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Several issues in language development and language teaching of deaf children are considered. First, the methodological controversy between oralism and oral-manualism is discussed. Empirical data favoring oral-manual methods arc reported. The question is raised whether this superiority is due to the use of the visual modality or to the larger amount of stimulations reaching the deaf individual at the same time in oral-manual programs. A proposal is made to extend the teaching of standardized forms of sign language to hearing children concomitantly with their learning of oral language This would help specific subgroups of hearing children who experience difficulties in developing and structuring their oral language Second, the fact that early in their life deaf children communicate by signs, together with the recognition of sign language as a language in the fullest sense is discussed in a retrospective examination of the conclusions drawn from recent developmental studies in cognition using deaf children as subjects Finally, the structural similarities and differences between American Sign Language and natural oral languages are considered. Preliminary data on the acquisition of sign language by deaf children arc also mentioned.
How to Cite: Rondal, J.A., 1975. Deaf Children: Language Development and Education. Psychologica Belgica, 15(1), pp.63–74. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 1975.
Peer Reviewed


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