Theory and Practice in Teacher Education Publications and Other Works

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Bilingual Research Journal

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This study explores the intertwined phenomena of language deprivation, emergent writing, and translanguaging in deaf students without additional disabilities in grades 3–6. A case study was conducted using deductive and inductive approaches to analyze 42 writing samples. There were four areas of focus: (1) stages of emergent writing development, (2) writing change over time, (3) emerging writing and translanguaging features, and (4) writing features unique to the context of language deprivation. First, pre-writing samples add to evidence that older deaf students undergo similar developmental processes with their emergent writing patterns. Second, an analysis of pre- and post-writing samples indicated that movement between stages occurred for most students. Third, students incorporated emergent writing and translanguaging features that reflected the application of their linguistic resources in writing. Finally, existing theories were extended by uncovering writing characteristics unique to the context of language deprivation. Incomplete ideation and restricted translanguaging practices were identified as attributions of language deprivation impacting cognitive and linguistic resources. This study provides evidence that deaf students as old as thirteen years old are developing emergent writing skills not because of their deafness but likely because they were in environments that produced chronic inadequate language access.


The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R324A170086 to the University of Tennessee. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

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