Literacy and linguistic development in bilingual deaf children

Implications of the “and” for phonological processing

Lynn McQuarrie*, Rauno Parrila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Cumulating evidence suggests that the establishment of high-quality phonological representations is the cognitive precursor that facilitates the acquisition of language (spoken, signed, and written). The authors present two studies that contrast the nature of bilingual profoundly deaf children’s phonological representations derived from a spoken language and from a signed language using the framework of “functional equivalence” as outlined in McQuarrie and Parilla (2009). The authors argue further that a signed-language phonological system is suited in establishing the “functional” representational base that will support reading acquisition for bilingual deaf learners. They highlight rapidly developing empirical research on dual-language interactions between signed language and written language is highlighted, and discuss the need to take such data into account in any discussion of fundamental skills necessary to support reading achievement in bilingual profoundly deaf learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-384
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Annals of the Deaf
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • dual-language (sign-text) interaction
  • reading
  • signed-language phonology

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