Toward understanding ‘communication’ in deaf education research

Autor/a: O'NEILL, Rachel; DUNCAN, Jill
Año: 2021
Editorial: Deafness & Education International, Vol. 23, nº 4 (2021)
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital




The final issue of 2021 focuses on communication as a construct in deaf educational research. In all included studies, we see how language policies, often unstated, shape how services are provided to deaf students and how research is produced. Deaf children often experience disrupted journeys and different amounts and quality of language input over their earliest years. Yet studies using ‘communication’ as a variable often collapse the particular input type or ignore factors such as moving school or varying language environments. Many of the articles in this issue explore these ideas. Dills and Hall issue a powerful call to reconsider the over-simple term ‘communication’ and suggest solutions for researchers and practitioners. Snoddon illustrates how some choices are supported more than others as parents navigate early intervention services, with inclusive practices often being cut or reduced when parents make choices that are not supported by the state. Beal examines receptive and productive skills in American Sign Language in schools for deaf children, noticing that the churn of pupils in and out of the schools may affect progress with language learning.

Researchers in our field must be explicit about the language backgrounds, choices, and variability in deaf children’s language experiences. This may make data analysis more difficult, but it is essential to try. The approaches used in this issue, from systematic reviews, using datasets collected by schools, to narrative case studies and interviews, illustrate many ways to view the too-simple term ‘communication’. We need a wide range of approaches from positivist to constructivist to explore the concepts more deeply. Jill Duncan and I draw your attention to the expanded editorial Board of Deafness & Education International on the journal’s inside cover and website. We welcome new members to the Board for the Asia and Oceania regions. We are issuing a further call for a book review editor and additional associate review editors from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. For further details, please see the journal’s home page.