The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

The role of sign language for deaf children with cochlear implants:good practice in sign bilingual settings

Authors Swanwick, R. Tsverik, I.
Journal Deafness and Education International

Year 2007


A central feature of a sign bilingual approach is the use of sign language, and the associated role of deaf adults in deaf children's education. This project explores whether this approach is compatible with the goals of cochlear implantation, which are to maximise a deaf child's potential to hear and improve speech perception. There is no specific research into the of role sign language to support deaf children's linguistic and social emotional development post implantation and the notion of good practice has not been explored. This project focused on six sign bilingual educational settings to examine this issue in two phases. Phase 1 identified the distinctive features of sign bilingual provision in the UK. This provided a framework for phase 2 which investigated ways in which this type of provision addresses the language, learning and social needs of pupils with cochlear implants. Central to this was a focus on the participants' own perceptions of good sign bilingual practice for pupils with cochlear implants. The study provides examples of identified good practice and an insight into the benefits of the linguistic and cultural features of sign bilingual settings for pupils with cochlear implants.