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A CASE STUDY OF EXTENDED DISCOURSE IN AN ASL/ENGLISH BILINGUAL PRESCHOOL CLASSROOM

RAYCHELLE L. HARRIS

A DISSERTATION Submitted to the Department of Education and the Graduate School of Gallaudet University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy December, 2010

This is to certify that the dissertation entitled: A CASE STUDY OF EXTENDED DISCOURSE IN AN ASL/ENGLISH BILINGUAL PRESCHOOL CLASSROOM prepared by Raychelle L. Harris is approved in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education. Approved by: Chair:

_____________________________________________________________________ Cynthia Neese Bailes, Ph.D. date

_____________________________________________________________________ Paul Dudis, Ph.D. date

_____________________________________________________________________ Donna M. Mertens, Ph.D. date

_____________________________________________________________________ Laurene Simms, Ph.D. date

_____________________________________________________________________ Jenny Singleton, Ph.D. date

Department of Education Gallaudet University December, 2010

Copyright Raychelle L. Harris All rights reserved

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This work, like the emergence of language and literacy, is the product of the coconstruction of meaning through dialogue with many individuals from various walks of life over a long period of time. First and foremost, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all of members of my dissertation committee from the very beginning and to the completion of this dissertation for their time and thoughtful participation in the final stages of my program at Gallaudet University. Second, I wish to thank the Deaf students and the Deaf teachers in this study with whom I have had the honor to work. They have taught me tremendously. Thanks also go to the many people at Gallaudet University who have supported me and made it possible for me to complete my work, including my classmates, colleagues, faculty, the Signs of Literacy research team, and technical and support staff. Gratitude also goes to Visual Language and Visual Learning Science of Learning Center for their support of this study. Finally, to my family and friends, who probably do not remember the last time I was not a student, I extend my appreciation for your patience, support and love. My mothers dissertation was published in 1997 and she ended her acknowledgements section with one word from American Sign Language that best describes the feeling of completing a dissertation:

PAH!

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ABSTRACT

Title of Dissertation:

A CASE STUDY OF EXTENDED DISCOURSE IN AN ASL/ENGLISH BILINGUAL PRESCHOOL CLASSROOM Raychelle L. Harris, Doctor of Philosophy, 2010

This study is based on the premise that deaf children, like hearing children, need rich and quality language at an early age that replicates some of the demands of literacy such as the ability to understand and use language beyond the here and now (Snow, Tabors & Dickinson, 2001, p. 2). The kind of language use wherein adults and children are engaged in cognitively challenging discourse is called extended discourse by the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development team (Snow, et al., 2001). Currently, there is high interest within the Sign Language communities in the United States and Canada in the fields of Deaf education and ASL linguistics about extended discourse, that is discourse in ASL that replicates some of the demands of literacy, and in the application of this knowledge to enhance quality of teaching (Cummins, 2006; Grate, 2007; Kuntze, 2004). Since there have been no studies of extended discourse in American Sign Language (ASL), we know little about the nature of extended discourse for ASL-speaking preschool deaf children and their teachers in classroom settings. This mixed methods case study of two Deaf preschool teachers and twelve deaf students presents a detailed analysis of extended discourse and pedagogical practice within the context of an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom. Preliminary data analysis

revealed that the teachers recognized a variety of communicative acts as opportunities to extend the childrens knowledge, involved them actively in extended discourse, and engaged them in literate thought. Further data analysis of over one thousand extended discourses between teachers and students revealed the frequency of extended discourse during certain classroom activities, certain types of extended discourse used by teachers and students, sentence types commonly used in extended discourse, and various ASL/English mediation techniques used by the teachers. The characteristics that facilitate extended discourse revealed that ASL competence is significantly associated with frequency of extended discourse. Implications of these findings contribute support to the need of a new pedagogical framework for teaching bilingual preschool deaf children.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................iv Abstract ....................................................................................................................... v

List of Tables............................................................................................................... xiii List of Figures ............................................................................................................... xv Chapter I: The Problem.................................................................................................... 1 Statement of the Problem ..................................................................................... 1 Sociocultural Theory ............................................................................................ 2 Interdependence Hypothesis ................................................................................. 5 Early Language and Cognitive Development ........................................................ 8 Research Questions .............................................................................................. 9 Significance of the Study ................................................................................... 11 Definition of Terms ............................................................................................ 12 Overview and Organization ................................................................................ 14 Chapter II: Review of the Literature............................................................................... 16 The Context of the Study.................................................................................... 16 Academic Achievement ..................................................................................... 17 Sociocultural Theory .......................................................................................... 19 Classroom Discourse and Interaction ................................................................. 20 Preschool Structure and Discourse ..................................................................... 26 Bilingualism....................................................................................................... 34 Interdependence Hypothesis Revisited ............................................................... 43 Cognitive Development...................................................................................... 50

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The Inspiration for this Dissertation Study ......................................................... 52 Summary ........................................................................................................... 58 Chapter III: Methodology .............................................................................................. 61 Philosophical Paradigm ...................................................................................... 61 Transformative Paradigm, Data Collection and Analysis .................................... 69 Background of the Researcher ............................................................................ 72 Research Questions ............................................................................................ 74 Research Design ................................................................................................ 75 Case Study ................................................................................................... 76 Interactional Sociolinguistic Theory ............................................................. 76 Meditated Discourse Theory......................................................................... 76 The Signs of Literacy Project ............................................................................. 77 Signs of Literacy Team Meetings ................................................................. 78 Purposive Sampling...................................................................................... 80 Participants ........................................................................................................ 81 Students ....................................................................................................... 81 Teachers ....................................................................................................... 83 Data Collection Procedures ................................................................................ 86 Videotapes of Classroom Interaction ............................................................ 86 Document Review ........................................................................................ 88 Teacher Interviews and Journals ................................................................... 89 Follow-up Teacher Interviews ...................................................................... 91 Data Analysis ..................................................................................................... 92

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Grand Tour................................................................................................... 94 Mini Tour ..................................................................................................... 95 Focused Coding............................................................................................ 96 Attendance Tiers .................................................................................... 98 Camera and Activity Tiers ...................................................................... 98 Interaction Tiers ................................................................................... 100 ELAN Software .................................................................................... 102 Transcription .................................................................................................... 105 Research Rigor................................................................................................. 107 Credibility .................................................................................................. 107 Prolonged and Substantial Engagement ................................................ 108 Persistent Observation .......................................................................... 108 Peer Debriefer ...................................................................................... 108 Negative Case Analysis ........................................................................ 109 Progressive Subjectivity ....................................................................... 109 Member Checks.................................................................................... 110 Triangulation ........................................................................................ 110 Transferability ............................................................................................ 111 Thick Descriptions ............................................................................... 111 Multiple Cases ...................................................................................... 112 Dependability ............................................................................................. 112 Confirmability ............................................................................................ 113 Authenticity ............................................................................................... 113

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Fairness ................................................................................................ 114 Summary ......................................................................................................... 115 Chapter IV: Findings ................................................................................................... 116 Introduction ..................................................................................................... 116 The Context of Extended Discourse ................................................................. 124 Large Group Activities ............................................................................... 136 Small Group Activities ............................................................................... 143 Roaming Activities ..................................................................................... 147 Types of Extended Discourse ........................................................................... 152 Characteristics that Facilitate Extended Discourse ............................................ 164 Extended Discourse Initiations ................................................................... 172 Extent of Extended Discourse Interaction ................................................... 176 Extended Discourse and Parental Hearing Status ........................................ 182 Extended Discourse and ASL Competence ................................................. 185 Linguistic Features of Extended Discourse ....................................................... 187 Teacher Extended Discourse Sentences ...................................................... 194 Student Extended Discourse ASL-English Links ........................................ 197 Extended Discourse ASL-English Links ..................................................... 200 Fingerspelling ....................................................................................... 207 Literacy-related Indexing ...................................................................... 214 Mouthing .............................................................................................. 216 Initialized Signs .................................................................................... 221 English-Influenced Signing .................................................................. 222

Tracing English Letters......................................................................... 227 Summary ......................................................................................................... 229 Chapter V: Implications ............................................................................................... 234 Overview ......................................................................................................... 234 Study Review and Summary ............................................................................ 235 Preschool Activities that Foster Extended Discourse ........................................ 236 Types of Extended Discourse ........................................................................... 244 Extended Discourse and Turns ......................................................................... 246 Extent of Extended Discourse Interactions ....................................................... 247 Sentence Types that Foster Extended Discourse ............................................... 249 ASL-English Links .......................................................................................... 250 ASL Competence and Extended Discourse....................................................... 254 Future Research Considerations ....................................................................... 257 Immediate vs Non-immediate Talk ............................................................. 257 Peer Extended Discourse ............................................................................ 257 Circulatory vs Stationary Teachers ............................................................. 257 Large Group Activities ............................................................................... 258 Cognitive Complexity ................................................................................ 258 Gender ....................................................................................................... 258 Conversational Pace ................................................................................... 259 Withitness ............................................................................................... 259 Linguistics-related Questions ..................................................................... 259 Rare Words ................................................................................................ 260

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ASL-English Links ..................................................................................... 261 Sentence Types .......................................................................................... 261 Follow up Study ......................................................................................... 261 Important Differences ...................................................................................... 261 Post-script: The HSSLLD Study ...................................................................... 264 Concluding Remarks ........................................................................................ 265 Appendices Appendix A: Interview Questions for Teachers ................................................ 270 Appendix B: Codebook: Categories, Codes and Operational Definitions .......... 275 Appendix C: Transcription Conventions........................................................... 280 References ..... ............................................................................................................. 285

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LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1 Signs of Literacy Research Team ................................................................... 79 Table 3.2 Student Demographics ................................................................................... 84 Table 3.3 Dissertation Study Classroom Video Data Set ................................................ 88 Table 3.4 Dissertation Study Teacher Video Data Set .................................................... 90 Table 3.5 Frequency of Activity Terminology Used by Teachers ................................... 99 Table 4.1 Total Extended Discourse Interactions during Class Activities ..................... 128 Table 4.2 Total Extended Discourse Interactions during Large Group Activities .......... 137 Table 4.3 Total Extended Discourse Interactions during Small Group Activities .......... 143 Table 4.4 Total Extended Discourse Interactions during Roaming Activities ............... 148 Table 4.5 Total Extended Discourse Interactions during Large, Small, and Roaming Class Activities ......................................................................................................... 151 Table 4.6 Frequency and Percentages of Each Type of Extended Discourse Interactions ...................................................................................................... 159 Table 4.7 Frequency and Percentages of Extended Discourse Types Used by Students ...................................................................................................... 161 Table 4.8 Frequency of Turns in Extended Discourse Interactions ............................... 166 Table 4.9 Teachers Extended Discourse Initiations ..................................................... 172 Table 4.10 Students Extended Discourse Initiations .................................................... 174 Table 4.11 Extent of Extended Discourse Interactions ................................................. 178 Table 4.12 Proportion of Students Ext ended Discourse Interactions ........................... 183 Table 4.13 Frequency of Sentence Types in 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ....... 192 Table 4.14 Commands Used by Teachers in 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ....... 196

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Table 4.15 Frequency of ASL-English Links in 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ...................................................................................................... 203 Table 4.16 Teachers Fingerspelled Words during 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ...................................................................................................... 208 Table 4.17 Students Fingerspelled Words during 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ...................................................................................................... 210 Table 4.18 Participants Use of Mouthing during 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ...................................................................................................... 217 Table 4.19 Participants Use of Initialized Signs during 260 Ext ended Discourse Interactions ...................................................................................................... 222 Table 4.20 Participants Use of English Influenced Signing during 260 Extend ed Discourse Interactions ...................................................................................... 224

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure 2.1 The Dual Iceberg Representation of Bilingual Proficiency ............................ 44 Figure 2.2 The Revised Hierarchical Model ................................................................... 45 Figure 3.1 Image Sample of a Grand Tour Memo .......................................................... 95 Figure 3.2 Image Sample of a Secondary Tour Memo.................................................... 97 Figure 3.3 Ms. Jane and Ms. Karens Preschool Classroom Diagram ........................... 101 Figure 4.1 Extended Discourse Checklist .................................................................... 119 Figure 4.2 Percentages of Extended Discourse during Class Activities ........................ 129 Figure 4.3 Snapshot of Free Reading Activity ............................................................. 135 Figure 4.4 Percentages of Extended Discourse Interactions during Large Group Activities ......................................................................................................... 138 Figure 4.5 Snapshot of Ms. Jane and the Calendar ....................................................... 139 Figure 4.6 Percentages of Extended Discourse during Small Group Activities ............. 144 Figure 4.7 Percentages of Extended Discourse during Roaming Activities .................. 148 Figure 4.8 Percentages of Extended Discourse during Large, Small, and Roaming Activities ......................................................................................................... 151 Figure 4.9 Percentages of the Types of Extended Discourse used by Both Teachers .... 159 Figure 4.10 Percentages of Teachers Types of Extended Discourse ........................... 160 Figure 4.11 Percentages of the Types of Extended Discourse used by Students ............ 162 Figure 4.12 Percentages of Turns for Each Extended Discourse Interaction ................. 167 Figure 4.13 Teachers Average Percent of Turns for Each Extended Discou rse............ 168 Figure 4.14 Percentages of Students Number of Tur ns during Extended Discourse ..... 169 Figure 4.15 Percentage of Initiations for Each Teacher ................................................ 173

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Figure 4.16 Frequency of Students Extended Discourse Initiations in Percentages ...... 175 Figure 4.17 Extent of Teachers Extended Discourse Interactions With Students ......... 179 Figure 4.18 Extent of Students Extended Discourse Interactions in Percentages ......... 181 Figure 4.19 Frequency of Extended Discourse as Categorized by Parental Hearing Status ............................................................................................................... 184 Figure 4.20 Frequency of Students Extended Discourse by Students Categorized by ASL Competence ..................................................................................................... 187 Figure 4.21 Sentence Coding Types ............................................................................. 188 Figure 4.22 Frequency of Sentence Types by Teachers and Students in 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ..................................................................................... 193 Figure 4.23 Frequency of Sentences used by Teachers during 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ...................................................................................................... 194 Figure 4.24 Frequency of Sentences used by Students during 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ...................................................................................................... 197 Figure 4.25 ASL-English Links ................................................................................... 201 Figure 4.26 Percentages of ASL-English Links used in 260 Extended Discourse Interactions in a Pie Chart ................................................................................ 205 Figure 4.27 Percentages of Teacher and Students use of ASL-English Links during 260 Extended Discourse Interactions ...................................................................... 206 Figure 4.28 Ms. Jane Depicting the Length of an English Word to Jean ....................... 213 Figure 4.29 Ms. Karen Underlines English Print While Extending Discourse with Dex .......................................................................................................... 216

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Figure 4.30 Ms. Jane Fingerspelling and Mouthing Boo Simultaneously with Both Hands............................................................................................................... 218 Figure 4.31 Ms. Jane Mouthing and Fingerspelling BACK to Ann ............................... 219 Figure 4.32 Ms. Karen Mouthing FAST Non-Manually ............................................... 220 Figure 4.33 Ms. Karen Indexing to English Print and Jean Signing is ....................... 227 Figure 4.34 Ms. Jane Demonst rating the Dot Above the i ......................................... 228 Figure 4.35 Charlie Depicts the Letter S on His Shirt to Ms. Karen .......................... 229

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1 CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM Statement of the Problem The education of deaf students in the United States is grossly inadequate and has been the source of major discontent for stakeholders in deaf education for decades (Babbidge, 1965; Commission on the Education of the Deaf, 1988; Johnson, Liddell & Erting, 1989; Livingston, 1997; Thumann-Prezioso, 2000). The median reading level of deaf students graduating from high school has hovered around the third or fourth grade equivalent, with math skills at the fifth or sixth grade equivalent (Allen, 1986, 1992; Jensema, 1975; Traxler, 2000). More than 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents (Mitchell, 2004). These parents tend not to know sign language and their deaf children often arrive at preschool with little or no language competency. This early language deprivation may have an impact on deaf childrens language development and their later academic achievement. Research shows early language access for very young children is critical for subsequent language competence (Curtiss, 1977; Johnson & Newport, 1989; Lane, 1976; Lenneberg, 1967; Newport, 1990) and academic achievement (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995). Similarly, it has been argued that early access to a natural and fully accessible language at home during the first few years of life is crucial for language development for the deaf child (Israelite, Ewoldt & Hoffmeister, 1992; Johnson, et al., 1989; Mayberry, 2007; Morford & Mayberry, 2000; Newport, 1990). It has been discussed that this low academic achievement by deaf children is due to their lack of access to the school curriculum through a natural and fully accessible language (Bailes, 2001; Commission on the Education of the Deaf, 1988;

2 Erting, 2003a; Johnson, et al., 1989; Shantie & Hoffmeister, 2000). One could contend that the language environment of a deaf child with non-signing parents is more impoverished than that of any hearing child. This is based on the assumption that the hearing child, regardless of socio-economic status, has access to the language spoken in their household and the community. Studies show the correlation between limited language socialization at an early age and subsequent low academic achievement (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995). Deaf children with non-signing parents are unintentionally deprived of language development prior to preschool (Kuntze, 1998). This deprivation may manifest itself in the low academic achievement seen in reading and math scores over the last few decades. Sociocultural Theory For this study, I draw on the following theoretical frameworks to make sense of young childrens language and cognitive development: Vygotskys sociocultural theory (1986) and Cummins linguistic interdependence hypothesis (1981). The sociocultural theory was developed by Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky (Vygotsky, 1986). Vygotsky argued that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of a childs cognitive skills. Specifically, social interaction helps the child develop high erorder cognitive functions. Vygotsky believed that in order to study the cognitive development of a child, the external world of that child must be examined as well. The external world includes people who are more fluent users of language and thought, who in turn influence and guide new learners. The more fluent users enter into a dialogue with children, subconsciously providing linguistic, cultural, and cognitive tools (Vygotsky, 1986). This theory developed by Vygotsky is pivotal in understanding why

3 this study was designed to look at the linguistic interaction between linguistically and culturally competent teachers and preschool-age children. This sociocultural theory helps us understand how teachers use language to advance the childs cognition a nd their understanding of the world and the way the world works. The sociocultural theory is justified by a review of research literature on the relationship between language acquisition and cognitive development, which shows agreement that language acquisition supports cognitive development (Cummins, 2000; deVillers, 2005; Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Schneider, Schumann-Hengsteler & Sodian, 2005). Likewise, there is a general consensus that language is the most important tool for higher-order cognitive development (Bruner, 1983; Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Farran, Aydogan, Kang & Lipsey, 2006; Piaget, 1965; Vygotsky, 1986). If the majority of deaf children are language deprived during the first few years of their lives, this may lead to the conclusion that their cognitive development is impeded as well. The development of higher cognitive functions as opposed to lower or natural mental functions is the major development of early childhood and is uniquely human (Bodrova & Leong, 2006, p. 245). Lower or natural mental functions are primarily focused on the present, and concrete, rather than abstract concepts. Higher-order language functions such as hypothesizing, evaluating, and inferring are significant tools for higher-order cognitive development (Cummins, 2008; OMalley & Pierce, 1996). The relationship between linguistic and cognitive development for higher-order cognitive skills may help us understand why deaf students consistently struggle with academic skills such as reading and math. In addition, human higher cognitive functions is developed primarily by participating in social interaction using language with more fluent users (Cummins, 2000;

4 Vygotsky, 1986). Participating in discourse with more fluent users of language about cognitively challenging topics, in other words, extended discourse, apparently needs to happen very early in life. Studies have found that very young childrens participation in cognitively demanding conversations with adults correlates positively with later literacy and academic achievement (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995, 1999). With that in mind, the sociocultural theoretical framework may help explain why deaf children with language deprivation early in life struggle academically. As previously mentioned, approximately 90% of deaf children have hearing parents (Mitchell, 2004) who may not know sign language, and most of these deaf children are not provided with opportunities to access language at a very early age with other fluent users of language. With the emphasis here on access to language, one may wonder what access exactly means. Since deaf children are not able to process linguistic information auditorily, they are unable to have complete, unimpeded access to spoken language in order to develop linguistically and cognitively. Assuming the deaf child has unimpeded vision, acquiring language through the visual modality provides full, unimpeded access for optimal language and cognitive development (Bailes, Erting, Erting, & Thumann-Prezioso, 2009; Cummins, 2006; Grosjean, 2008; Johnson, 2006; Vygotsky, 1986). Some people may argue that assistive technology such as digital hearing aids and cochlear implants provide deaf people access to spoken language (Geers, 2003; Nicholas & Geers, 2006). Technology assistance, while possibly beneficial for certain deaf children, provides only a partial and sometimes inconsistent access to spoken language (Johnson, 2006). Deaf children with partial and/or inconsistent access to spoken language may not develop linguistic and cognitive tools at age-appropriate

5 milestones. Grosjean (2008) claims that pursuing solely an oral approach puts the [deaf] child at risk cognitively, linguistically, and personally (p. 221). With that in mind, deaf children need to have unimpeded access to language through the visual modality to interact with and learn from more competent users of the language in order to develop higher-order cognitive skills. It is the intention of this dissertation to study preschool deaf children in an environment where the primary languages of instruction are visual: American Sign Language (ASL) and print English. This statement may lead you to question how ASL may support print English, considering that both languages are strikingly different. This question is better answered by examining the linguistic interdependence hypothesis within the larger sociocultural theoretical framework established in this section. Interdependence Hypothesis Earlier, an argument was framed for early linguistic access for deaf children with fluent users of language leading to optimal cognitive development. For deaf children to gain full access to language, the modality of the language would need to capitalize on their visual capacity. American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language naturally developed by the Deaf1 community in the United States that incorporates use of hands, vision, and space, unlike any other language modality such as voice or print. ASL also follows a specific set of grammatical and lexical rules that are different from English (Stokoe, Casterline, & Croneberg, 1965; Valli, Lucas, & Mulrooney, 2005). The
1

To quote Ramsey and Padden (1998), It is conventional to capitalize the word deaf when it refers to the community or culture of Deaf people, or to people who are culturally deaf. The alternative, deaf, is used where the cultural status of the person is ambiguous, as in deaf children or deaf students. Most deaf children have hearing parents, who do not have access to Deaf culture or to a natural sign language. Accordingly, most deaf children are deaf but not yet Deaf (p. 22). That approach is adopted in writing this dissertation. Any confusion regarding D/d choices is the responsibility of the author.

6 majority language of the U.S. and Canada is spoken and written English. The U.S. and Canadian Deaf communities are composed of bilinguals fluent in the minority language, ASL, and the majority language, English, in varying degrees (Grosjean, 1982, 2008; Lane, Hoffmeister, & Bahan, 1996). With bilingualism for deaf children, ASL and written English - one may ask how a signed language can promote linguistic and cognitive development in a different language in print form? Cummins (1981) attempted to explain linguistic interdependency by hypothesizing that cognitive knowledge and literacy skills are transferred from the first language (L1) to the second language (L2) such that competence in a second language is facilitated by the cognitive and literacy development in the first language. Cummins wrote: To the extent that instruction in Lx is effective in promoting proficiency in Lx, transfer of this proficiency to Ly will occur provided there is adequate exposure in Ly (either in schools or environment) and adequate motivation to learn Ly. (Cummins, 1981, p. 29) In other words, if the child develops proficiency in L1, transfer of L1 skills to L2 occurs if the child is exposed to and motivated to learn L2. For instance, hypothesizing is an example of extended discourse, and if the child is able to form hypotheses in L1, she is likely to seek in L2 how to communicate hypotheses. The transfer involves the mapping of the cognitive skill and specific language form to the L2. Other research findings in spoken language bilingual contexts have shown that first language acquisition is critical for second language literacy (Cummins, 2000; Grosjean, 2001; Jiminz, Garca, & Pearson, 1996; Kroll & Tokowicz, 2001). However, some researchers have argued against the possibility of an interdependent relationship between ASL and English

7 primarily because ASL does not have a written form (Mayer, 2007; Mayer & Akamatsu, 1999; Mayer & Wells, 1996). Cummins addresses questions regarding the relationship between ASL and English stating, ASL clearly constitutes an appropriate language for early conceptual development for those children who have, or are provided with access to a signing community (2006, p. 4). He concludes, based on review of the research literature on ASL and English bilingualism, that (t)he degree of proficiency that children develop in ASL during the elementary school years is positively related to the development of English reading and writing skills (Cummins, 2006, p. 12). Mounting evidence shows bilingualism does not negatively affect the linguistic and cognitive development of deaf and non-deaf children, but instead enhances their linguistic and cognitive development. Studies demonstrate a significant relationship between bilingualism and general cognitive abilities and also suggest that bilinguals perform better than monolinguals on cognitive tests (Diaz, 1985; Hakuta & Diaz, 1985; Hakuta, 1986, Jiminz, et al., 1996). These findings supply theoretical and empirical support for the development of cognitive and linguistic knowledge and skills in ASL and its transfer to the second language, English. In fact, in the last two decades, an increase in research studies on ASL/English bilingualism for deaf children found a significant correlation between ASL proficiency and English proficiency ( Hoffmeister, 2000; Kuntze, 2004; Mayberry, Lock, & Kazmi, 2002; Padden & Ramsey, 1998; 2000; Prinz & Strong, 1998; Singleton, Supalla, Litchfield, & Schley, 1998; Singleton, Morgan, DiGello, Wiles, & Rivers, 2004; Strong & Prinz, 1997, 2000). The findings of linguistic and cognitive transferability between languages in general and specifically sign language and print language support the larger theoretical framework that young children acquire cognitive

8 and linguistic tools from other competent users of language as argued by Vygotsky. This section about linguistic interdependence hypothesis within the context of the sociocultural theoretical framework justifies support for higher-order linguistic and cognitive development with fluent users for deaf children early in life. Early Language and Cognitive Development The relationship between cognitive abilities and language skills in young hearing children is well documented in research studies. Results of two longitudinal studies suggest that cognitive engagement and quality features of language and interaction (Hart & Risley, 1995, 1999) in particular, cognitively demanding conversations (also called extended discourse, decontextualized language and academic language) (Snow, Porche, Tabors, & Harris, 2007) are important features of adult-child conversations during the early years of life. These studies have found that childrens participation in early cognitively demanding conversations with adults correlates positively with later literacy and academic achievement (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995, 1999). Hart and Risley (1995) claim that childrens language development trajectories are set very early in life - before school begins for most children - and are dependent on the quantity and quality of discourse with adults. In Hart and Risleys study, they found the number of words the children were exposed to by age four predicted their vocabulary and reading comprehension when the children were nine to ten years old (Hart & Risley, 1995). Based on their findings about the importance of language and vocabulary development with fluent adults early in life, one may make the connection between deaf children born into non-signing homes and deaf children graduating from high school with academic skills at the 3rd to 6th grade level. They do not have access to language on a

9 daily basis, and they do not have access to fluent users of language who may challenge their linguistic and cognitive skills. In another study of preschool childrens language and literacy skills, the HomeSchool Study of Language and Literacy Development (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001) examines the use of extended discourse, which they define as discourse with children beyond the here and now, was significantly correlated with the childrens language and literacy skills in kindergarten (Tabors, Roach, & Snow, 2001). In a study by Tabors, Snow, and Dickinson (2001): results demonstrate that children do begin literacy learning with language and that enhancing their language development by providing them with rich and engaging language environments during the first 5 years of life is the best way to ensure their success as readers (p. 334). Rich and engaging language environments during the first five years of life is commensurate with the theoretical framework of this dissertation study. The sociocultural theory developed by Vygotsky emphasizes that language and cognition development are facilitated by their cognitively demanding conversations with more fluent others. For visual bilingual children like the ones in this study, the interdependence hypothesis helps explain how linguistic and cognitive tools are transferred from their first language to their second language. Longitudinal studies show the importance of extended discourse at an early age, bringing us full circle to the sociocultural theoretical framework and the interdependence hypothesis for optimal language and cognitive development for bilingual deaf preschool students. Research Questions

10 Recognition of the importance of early and cognitively engaging discourse for children for later language and literacy development is growing. Likewise, educational outcomes for the majority of deaf children are undeniably unacceptable. Since more than 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents (Mitchell, 2004) deaf children, who rely on vision for language and learning, often arrive at preschool with little or no language competency. This means the childrens ability to engage in extended discourse with their teachers and peers when starting preschool is likely severely impoverished. Since research has suggested the importance of extended discourse in the early years for academic achievement (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001), the fact that deaf children do not have opportunities to participate in extended discourse may help to explain why many deaf children struggle with later academic skills, such as reading. An analysis of which contextual and linguistic features critical for later literacy and academic achievement are absent from deaf childrens early language and literacy environments may help r esolve the perceived academic achievement gap. Currently, there is high interest within the U.S. and Canadian deaf communities and in the fields of deaf education and ASL linguistics to research ASL extended discourse. Applying this knowledge to enhance teacher-preparation programs would ultimately enhance the teaching and learning environment for deaf children (Cummins, 2006; Grate, 2007; Kuntze, 2004). Studying the nature of rich and engaging discourse that constructs childrens knowledge of the world within sign language contexts will enhance our understanding of the role of language development and specifically extended discourse during the preschool years for deaf children from diverse linguistic

11 backgrounds. The increased understanding of the role of extended discourse during preschool years may help us close the academic achievement gap for deaf children. This study, which is the first of its kind, explored the nature of extended discourse in an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom. Within this exploration, I addressed the following research questions: 1) What is the context in which extended discourse is used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf students in an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom? a. During which classroom activities do teachers tend to extend discourse? b. c. What types of extended discourse do teachers use with students? What characteristics facilitate teachers and students extended discourse interactions? 2) What are the linguistic features of extended discourse used by Deaf, ASL native2 teachers with deaf students in an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom? a. b. Which sentence types are used during extended discourse? What kinds of ASL-English links are present in extended discourse? Extrapolation for each of the above research questions are outlined in Chapter 3. Significance of the Study
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In the past, a native ASL speaker would be defined as a Deaf person with Deaf parents whose first language was ASL, or a Deaf person with hearing parents who attended a Deaf residential school from the age of six or earlier (Ramsey, 1997; Woodward, 1973). Due to the rapidly changing deaf education landscape, I am proposing the definition of a native ASL speaker, is consistent exposure to and daily interaction with adults and children speaking ASL from very early in life (prior to three years of age).

12 This case study provides an opportunity for a detailed analysis of extended discourse within the context of an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom. The results of this study may contribute to our knowledge base in language and literacy development of deaf children in ASL and English, ASL/English bilingual pedagogy, and ASL linguistics particularly in preschool contexts. This study may shed light on the relationship between ASL and English literacy within ASL and English bilingual preschool classrooms. This knowledge may assist in improving the quality of preschools for deaf children by contributing to the development of both in-service and pre-service teacher education curricula. In addition, description of ASL extended discourse in preschool may contribute to the development of assessment tools to evaluate extended ASL discourse to the development of ASL curricula, and may provide resources for teacher and educational interpreter preparation programs. The true significance of this study may lie in its contribution to what many regard as an urgent agenda: establishing nation-wide ASL/English bilingual education for deaf childrens early years, for the ages of 0 through 5 years old (C. Erting, 2003a; L. Erting, 2001; L. Erting & Pfau, 1997; Johnson, et al., 1989; Shantie & Hoffmeister, 2000). Knowledge about the importance of early, extended discourse for optimal language and literacy development may need to be shared with parents and future teachers of deaf infants and children. Programs for in-service and pre-service teachers may be developed to improve teacher quality and student outcomes. With that in place, more deaf childrens academic trajectories may be set on the road to academic competence, eventually closing the gap. Definition of Terms

13 American Sign Language (ASL): A language naturally developed by the North American deaf community that incorporates use of hands, vision and space. ASL follows a specific set of grammar and lexical rules that are different from English (Stokoe, et al., 1965; Valli, et al., 2005). ASL/English bilingual education: Schooling where ASL and English are used as the languages of instruction for deaf children. Acquisition of ASL occurs naturally, at the same time and in similar developmental stages, as with other languages. Acquisition of second language literacy in English is built on a foundation of ASL literacy. The goal of these classes and programs is linguistic competency in both ASL and written English (Knight & Swanwick, 1999; Nover, Andrews, Baker, Everhart, & Bradford, 2002). D/deaf: Woodward first distinguished between capitalized Deaf and lowercase deaf (1982). The American Heritage Dictionary (2000) defines capitalized Deaf as The community of deaf people who use American Sign Language as a primary means of communication and lowercase deaf as partially or completely lacking in the sense of hearing (p. 466). Ladd (2003) elaborates on the lowercase deaf terminology, which refers to people who wish to retain their membership and primary experience with the cultural majority. Explanatory talk: Talk that involves describing objects, words, actions and motives. A father describing a seahorse to his son is an example of explanatory talk in the HomeSchool study (Beals, 2001). Extended discourse: Extended discourse is defined as talk that requires participants to develop understandings beyond the here and now and that requires the use of several

14 utterances or turns to build a linguistic structure, such as in explanations, narratives, or pretend (Snow, Tabors, & Dickinson, 2001, p. 2). Literacy: Paul and Wang define literacy as the ability to reflect upon information, solve problems, or develop other higher-level critical thinking skills. They continue, It is necessary to reconceptualize our current notion of literacy. Students need opportunities to think about complex information through a captured mode other than print- that is, in a speaking and/or signing literacy mode (Paul & Wang, 2006, p. 304). Narrative talk: Talk about events in the past or in the future, and is in the form of a story shared over several conversational turns. DeTemple (2001) shares an example where a child tells his parents about the visit made by firefighters at his school earlier that day. Nonimmediate talk: Talk that involves topics that are not visible in illustrations, text or in the surrounding area and typically involves longer utterances and more explicit, complex language than does the labeling or the yes-no questioning that constitutes much of immediate talk (DeTemple, 2001, p. 39). Nonimmediate talk is a type of extended discourse. Pre-academic: Content, preparation or skill taught in preschool that is needed for kindergarten. Pre-academic skills include counting, memorizing the alphabet, tracing letters, practicing writing their names, and playing academic games (Smith, 2001). Overview and Organization This dissertation consists of five chapters. Chapter one introduces the problem, the research questions, the significance of this study, and definition of terms. Chapter two reviews what is known in the literature about sociocultural theory, academic achievement, transferability between languages, and classroom and preschool discourse,

15 extended discourse, and demonstrates a need for my study to add to this given knowledge. Chapter three discusses the methods that were used to collect and analyze data. Chapter four presents the findings. Chapter five interprets the findings and discusses future implications.

16 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The Context of the Study For several decades, the education of deaf students has been deemed unsatisfactory by a variety of stakeholders, including parents (Thumann-Prezioso, 2000), the federal government (Babbidge, 1965; Commission on the Education of the Deaf, 1988) and professors at the only university for deaf people in the world, Gallaudet University (Johnson, et al., 1989). Understandably so, since D/deaf students are graduating from high school with a median 3rd or 4th grade equivalent in reading (Allen, 1986, 1992; Jensema, 1975; Traxler, 2000). It is generally accepted that for non-deaf children, reading skills are cultivated through a combination of acquiring a language early in life and formal schooling. However, for most deaf children, spoken language is not accessible and their parents tend not to know sign language. Thus, these children often arrive at preschool with little or no language competency. Since research has shown early and varied exposure to acquisition of cognitively challenging language has an effect on academic achievement (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995), this may explain why deaf children struggle with later academic achievement. This dissertation study explored the linguistic features of cognitively challenging discourse and the context in which they occur in a preschool classroom with Deaf teachers interacting with students, to help shed light on what quality preschool talk in American Sign Language looks like. The research literature collected for this chapter helps place this study in context. The opening section of Chapter II brings us to the original statement of the problem

17 discussed briefly in Chapter I: academic achievement in education for non-deaf and deaf children. Then, to understand the current state of deaf education, Vygotskys (1986) sociocultural theoretical framework is used to frame the importance of developing language and cognitive skills with more competent users at an early age. This, too, is extrapolated further by delving into Vygotskys description of his zone of proximal development theory for optimal learning, language, and cognitive development. These conditions that seem to facilitate linguistic and cognitive development are further analyzed in research literature regarding classroom discourse and interaction. Next, the focus on general classroom discourse is narrowed down to preschool discourse, where a review of research on discourse and interaction within non-deaf and deaf preschool classrooms are synthesized. Since the participants in this study are bilingual, a review of bilingualism, the interdependence hypothesis (briefly mentioned in Chapter I), and transferability between languages will be delineated. These theories are further explored regarding their application to deaf education, in particular, the deaf bilingual preschool classroom selected for this study. Lastly, included is an in-depth coverage of Dickinson and Tabors Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development, which inspired this dissertation study. Academic Achievement Some of the research focus on the classroom comes from general dissatisfaction with the current state of education. Generally, research is implemented to find out what works in the education of students, and what does not, and to apply that knowledge to education reform. As mentioned in chapter one, it may seem that the education of deaf students is problematic. It is important to also acknowledge that the lag in academic

18 achievement is not limited to deaf students. Researchers in the field of education for nondeaf students are confronted by the same dilemma where some hearing students stumble at 4th grade when confronted with academic vocabulary and texts (Chall & Jacobs, 2003; Chall & Snow, 1988; Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Lee, 2006; Snow & Biancarosa, 2003). The National Educational Assessment Progress (NEAP) reported 73% of high school students in America graduated with a 12th grade reading level (Grigg, Donahue, & Dion, 2007). Even though there is a lag in academic achievement for both hearing and deaf students, it is important to emphasize that the education of American deaf students is catastrophic when compared with the education of non-deaf American students. The median reading level of deaf students graduating from high school has remained at around the 3rd or 4th grade equivalent for decades (Allen, 1986; Allen, 1992; Traxler, 2000) and has been the source of major discontent for stakeholders in deaf education (Babbidge, 1965; Commission on the Education of the Deaf, 1988; Johnson et al., 1989; Livingston, 1997; Thumann-Prezioso, 2000). Ultimately, statistics from the Gallaudet Research Institute (GRI) paint an even bleaker picture: deaf children from diverse language and ethnic backgrounds have the largest gap in academic achievement (Karchmer & Mitchell, 2003; Lee, 2006; Traxler, 2000). Since academic achievement lag is not limited to deaf students, there may be a common underlying cause for the lag. It has been argued that quality, cognitively challenging discourse at an early age is lacking for those who struggle academically later in life. This is why the pivotal sociocultural theory developed by Vygotsky is discussed in more detail in the next section. A review of research literature about optimal educational contexts for non-deaf students is also discussed in subsequent sections of this chapter.

19 Sociocultural Theory The underlying ideology of this dissertation study is based on the sociocultural theory as detailed by Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky (1986). He argues that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of the childs cognitive skills, and specifically, higher cognitive functions. Vygotsky believed that to study cognitive development, the external world of the child must be examined as well. The external world includes people who are more fluent users of language and thought, which influence and guide new learners. Vygotsky discusses two ways children form understanding of concepts: (a) through highly structured and specialized activities during classroom instruction, called scientific concepts; and (b) through spontaneous concepts such as the childrens own reflections about their experiences (Vygotsky, 1986). These theories led Vygotsky to describe the learning process children go through with adults as dialogical. Adults who enter into a dialogue with children provide linguistic, cultural, and cognitive tools to those children. The quality of this dialogue is dependent on the zone of proximal development- a theory developed by Vygotsky that describes the importance of being aware of where the child is in understanding a specific concept. In other words, this is being aware of the childs level of reasoning (1986). The zone is the place a childs empirically rich but disorganized spontaneous concepts meet the systematicity and logic of adult reasoning (Vygotsky, 1986, p. xxxv). So when the adult interacting with the child identifies the childs level of reasoning, and the adult introduces advanced reasoning, it helps the child further develop his/her own line of reasoning. The adult who

20 introduces too many lines or a too complex line of reasoning is exceeding the childs zone, and therefore fails to develop the childs reasoning. Conversely, a teacher who asks questions that s/he knows the student will easily answer, is in fact orienting to the students weakness, not his/her strength. This encourages the student to remain at the same stage of development, identified as failure to utilize the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1986, p. 189). Bruner (1989) elaborates on the concept of zone of proximal development, arguing that the teacher mediates learning through social interaction and scaffolding, where the instructional level changes continuously as the learners competence increases (p. 61). The teacher also needs to keep in mind that the scaffolding with the child must not be too easy, nor must it be too difficult (p. 61). Extended discourse can be argued to be similar to teacher-student dialogue that is within the students zone of proximal development, that is, extending the students cognitive and linguistic tools through discourse. The sociocultural theory developed by Vygotsky is pivotal in understanding why this dissertation study was shaped to look at the linguistic interaction between linguistically and culturally competent teachers and young children. The sociocultural theory also helps us understand how teachers use language to advance childrens cognition and their understanding of the world and the way the world works. These arguments form the motivation for this study, which is related to the premise that at an early age deaf children, like hearing children, need rich and quality language that replicates some of the demands of literacy such as the ability to understand and use language beyond the here and now (Snow, et al., 2001, p. 2). Classroom Discourse and Interaction

21 Much of what we know about cognitively engaging discourse comes from research literature about discourse within the classroom. One may ask how cognitively engaging discourse within the classroom is different from discourse outside of the school setting. Children are first exposed to classroom discourse the moment they arrive at school. The students learn that they need to sit down and pay attention as a group, listen to the teacher, answer the teachers questions, and to raise their hand if they want to ask a question or participate. Those are classroom behaviors expected of students, and those behaviors are a critical part of what is called discourse of schooling (Cazden, 2001; Kretschmer, 1997). Eventually the students learn the typical pattern of classroom dialogue. Aptly labeled as IRE (Mehan, 1979), it is the concept of teacher initiation, student response, and teacher evaluation. In other words, the teacher asks questions (initiates), the student gives an answer (responds), and the teacher evaluates the answer. In IRE, teacher questions are considered simply display questions where the main intent is to test student knowledge and understanding of the teachers lecture. Those questions are inauthentic because the teacher already knows the answer (p. 46, Cazden, 2001). Basically, the teachers monologue is transformed into a controlled dialogue by using a structured format such as IRE. Wells (1993) pointed out a variation of the IRE sequence, using the acronym, IRF, with the F representing feedback. Teachers give feedback (instead of simply evaluating), which is a more broad discourse function and applies to different responses made by the teacher to the student. Yet, teachers today still incorporate IRE/F discourse in the classroom. Mehan (1979) claims the teacher initiates a question with an intention of testing students knowledge. Wells (1993) argues the teacher asks questions to help establish common

22 knowledge among the participants. Wells claims this establishment of common knowledge is also an opportunity for the students to learn IRE, the specialized language register used by the teacher (1993), also called recitation script (Tharp & Gallimore, 1991). Researchers have demonstrated that IRE does not foster cognitively challenging language development as does natural and interactive dialogue (Cazden, 1988; Goldenberg, 1991; Mehan, 1979; Tharp & Gallimore, 1991; Wells, 1993). In Mehans 1979 study of 193 teacher initiations, only 4% of these initiations required the students to explain their reasoning, which Cazden and Beck (2003) identified as metacognitive questions that promote higher-order thinking. Similarly, Kretschmer (1997) found that the use of IRE was higher with deaf students, mainly because of the prevalent teacher view that deaf students struggle with acquisition of English. This approach was to break down English through controlled question and answer sessions, which negatively resonated with the deaf students. Providing another insight as to why teachers of deaf students utilize IRE more than teachers of hearing students, Wood and Wood (1997) suggest that teachers of deaf children tended to focus more on form, rather than meaning in the IRE sequences. With this approach, the number of turns were limited, and the discourse was highly didactic, literal and concrete (p. 348). Kluwin (1983) found hearing teachers of deaf students were more likely than deaf teachers to give the students the correct response after several failed IRE attempts. The deaf teachers in his study would instead alter the form of the question (without rank-shifting the question downwards) and successfully complete the IRE sequence with their deaf students. While IRE/F reflects a traditional classroom lesson (Cazden, 2001; Cazden & Beck, 2003), in the late 1980s more nontraditional forms of classroom discourse were

23 introduced to fit with changing educational goals. One example of this is Rousing Minds to Life, an education textbook drawing heavily on Vygotskian theory of language development and discourse where the term instructional conversations (ICs) was first introduced (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988). In ICs, the teacher and students engage in interesting and extended discussions about an idea or concept with a high level of student participation. With the goal of a successful IC, the teacher tailors the dialogue according to the students zone of proximal development for an optimal learning opportunity (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988, 1991). The zone is where a childs rich yet disorganized spontaneous concepts encounter the organized intellectuality of adult reasoning (Vygotsky, 1986). Teachers who ask simple questions, are in fact orienting to the students weakness not his/her strength. This encourages the student to remain at the same stage of development, identified as failure to utilize the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1986, p. 189). Instead, teachers who employ the IC strategy in their classrooms also need to be aware of the students zone of proximal development, and during the discourse, scaffold with students to promote cognitive and linguistic growth. The irony is, Wood and Wood (1997) point out that with deaf students who already struggle with language development due to impoverished linguistic conditions at home, teachers tend to be more likely to use IRE, failing to challenge or enter the students zone of proximal development. This often happens when the teacher is unable to engage in dialogic interaction with deaf students, instead adopting a knowledge-telling practice in the classroom (Mayer, Aka matsu, & Stewart, 2002, p. 499), effectively putting the students cognitive and language development at a standstill (Cazden, 1988; Goldenberg, 1991; Mehan, 1979; Tharp & Gallimore, 1991; Wells, 1993).

24 Other types of nontraditional classroom discourse were introduced early in 1990s, particularly to develop the cognitive and language skills of students, and are called a variety of names such as inquiry and discourse intensive (Cazden, 2001). Similarly, those discourse structures emphasize a teachers abil ity to engage students in extended dialogue to draw out their reasoning. Teachers may ask questions, however the dialogue structure departs from the IRE/F pattern by asking more metacognitive questions (Cazden & Beck, 2003). This emphasis on metacognitive and discourse intensive dialogue among participants within a classroom is argued to develop higher-order thinking skills (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988, 1991), very much like extended discourse (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001), academic language (Snow, et al., 2007) and dialogue with linguistically competent users (Vygotsky, 1986). Kretschmer (1997) argued that the nontraditional type of classroom dialogue is more beneficial for children who are deaf, particularly because they arrive at school already impoverished in conversational skills that hearing students have acquired at home. Based on the descriptions of the discourse between Deaf teachers and their students, it appears Deaf teachers in bilingual ASL/English classrooms tend to use a combination of IRE/F structures with extended discourse in narrative and explanatory formats and a challenging but non-threatening atmosphere to develop the language skills of deaf children (Bailes, 1999, 2001; Mather 1987, 1989; Morgan, 2004; Ramsey, 1997; Smith & Ramsey, 2004; Whitesell, 1991). The researchers descriptions also indicate that IRE/F structures as well as some types of cognitively challenging discourse are being used in Deaf ASL/English bilingual classrooms. However, their descriptions do not reveal the exact nature of these discourses, who engages whom in extended discourse,

25 and during which classroom activities quality discourse occurs. The researchers also do not reveal what features of cognitive engagement occur between Deaf teachers and students in a bilingual ASL/English preschool classroom (Bailes, 1999, 2001; Mather 1987, 1989; Morgan, 2004; Ramsey, 1997; Smith & Ramsey, 2004; Whitesell, 1991). In the 1990s classroom discourse began to emerge as an important area for research, with the results contributing to school reform (Cazden, 2001; Cazden & Beck, 2003). One reason for the emphasis on research in classroom discourse was Americas need for workers who could communicate effectively in both oral and written language (Cazden, 2001; Michaels & Collins, 1984). Another reason for this push towards classroom discourse research was due to school reform efforts where a shift from teachercentered, passive learning to student-centered, active learning including dynamic classroom discussions was emerging (Cazden & Beck, 2003). Researchers discovered that teacher talk and discourse were effective for classroom learning and student academic achievement. These kinds of findings were invaluable for teacher preparation programs, teacher training and curriculum design (Heath, 1983, Mehan, 1979; Rymes, 2009). Analysis of classroom discourse may include speaking rights, listening responsibilities, teacher questions, teacher feedback, pace and sequence, and classroom routines (Cazden, 1988; Green, Weade, & Graham, 1988). Cazden and Beck warn, however, that research in the social construction of classroom communication is a complex and dynamic event, perhaps too complex to be captured analytically (2003) because teaching arrangements are continually changing in both explicit and implicit ways (Evertson & Weade, 1991; Green et al., 1988). Not only that, investigations in ASL discourse in school settings have additional unique considerations, including the visual-

26 spatial nature of ASL and the cultural traditions associated with Deaf people and community (Bagga-Gupta, 1999; Bailes, 1999, 2001; Mather, 1990; Smith & Ramsey, 2004). Clearly, interest in classroom discourse has multiplied exponentially over the past decade, indicating the impact of researching classroom discourse. This review of literature regarding classroom discourse helps establish the larger framework for this study. The following section addresses the context of a typical preschool classroom and its discourse. Preschool Structure and Discourse Since the focus of this study is about discourse at preschool age and in a preschool classroom, I will now describe the context of a typical preschool class, and the differences in discourse of the home and of upper school classes in the United States. The structure of preschool classes differs from typical home routines and from upper academic classes. Preschools provide a transition from home to school, where parents bring 3 or 4 year-old children to a somewhat structured program for full or partial days. In contrast to many young deaf children who do not have early access to language at home, most non-deaf students arrive at preschool with beginning competence in the discourse of the home, and are then ready to learn preschool discourse (Smith, 2001). For example, preschool discourse involves the child using complete sentences in order to get what s/he wantstheir apple juice or a book. Pre-academic activities begin to occur, where teachers start introducing content and skills that prepare students for kindergarten such as reading books, tracing letters, writing their names, counting, reciting the alphabet, and playing academic games (Kretchmer, 1997; Smith, 2001).

27 Children are usually first exposed to expected classroom behavior in preschool. They learn that they need to sit down and pay attention as a group, follow classroom and school rules, listen to the teacher, answer the teachers questions, and raise their hand if they want to ask a question or participate (Cazden, 1988). Preschool teachers emphasize skills intended to develop the childrens independence and social skills such as how to get along with others and how to share (Smith, 2001). Preschool classrooms are usually designed with a variety of centers that promote social and fine motor skill development, unlike kindergarten and upper grades, which have more of an academic focus (Dickinson, 2001a). Most preschools utilize Piagets theory that young children learn best in an environment where teachers allow them to independently manipulate and explore objects and ideas (Smith, 2001). Preschool classrooms tend to be less structured, allowing more time for free-play through the use of multiple learning centers such as a book area, a sandbox area, and a play dough area. Thus, the dynamic changes within a preschool classroom make analyzing preschool discourse complex (Smith, 2001). With this amount of flexibility, preschool discourse is usually more spontaneous and less standard (Erting, 1980) than class discourse in upper grades, complicating the discourse analysis process. Examples of preschool language use that replicate some of the demands of literacy include encouraging the child to make predictions, following the childs lead in conversations, and responding with comments that engage and scaffold the children cognitive development (Hamre, LoCasale-Crouch, & Pianta, 2008). Casbergue, McGee, and Bedford (2008) found elements of high-quality language and literacy-rich preschool classrooms include teachers providing opportunities for extended talk, teachers intentionally planning for conversations with students using a variety of words

28 throughout the day, and teachers engaging children in analytical and predictive talk. Empirical findings have shown a positive relationship between high-quality discourse among teachers and students and language, cognition and literacy development (Casbergue et al., 2008; Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Dickinson, Watson, & Farran, 2008; Mashburn, 2008). Recent research in home and preschool contexts has advanced an argument that the quantity and quality of adult-child discourse prior to and during the preschool years significantly affects later academic achievement and literacy development (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995, 1999). Longitudinal studies of discourse between children and parents at home and with teachers has shown that quality features of language and interaction (Hart & Risley, 1995, p. 95), in particular, cognitively demanding conversations, also termed extended discourse, have a positive correlation with later literacy and academic achievement (Cummins, 2000; Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995, 1999). One effect of the research on general classroom discourse and preschool discourse research was the increase of research focusing on ASL classroom discourse and preschool discourse. One of the earliest research studies on preschool discourse among deaf students was done by C. Erting (1978, 1980). Erting did an analysis of ethnicity and socialization within a Deaf preschool classroom on the interaction of a hearing teacher and a deaf teachers aide, with eight deaf preschoolers. Her analysis of socialization in the cafeteria, playground, and classroom settings showed that the adults and children in this study transitioned between different uses of language (e.g., classroom, playground), language contact and artificial sign systems. They were videotaped for three weeks in a

29 variety of situations: structured classroom activities, informal classroom activities and during lunchtime. She found the deaf teacher aide had three or more conversational turns with students 55% of the time, while the hearing teacher had three or more conversational turns with students 31% of the time. The average number of turns for the deaf aide was three, while the hearing teacher averaged only 1.6 turns. Though possible in brief conversations averaging less than three turns, one criterion for cognitively challenging discourse seems to be that they are more likely to happen in conversations with more than three turns (Mehan, 1978). The deaf teachers aide in the Erting study was a native ASL signer, while the hearing teacher was less fluent in ASL and used an artificial sign system to communicate with the students. One of the findings was that the deaf aide was a language teacher, interpreter and a positive adult model (Erting, 1980, p. 166). One can assume from this finding that the ability to extend childrens discourse may rely on teachers language proficiency, among other possible criteria such as ethnicity (Heath, 1983; Johnson & Erting, 1989; Kluwin, 1983; Lee, 2006) and the ability to engage students in cognitively challenging discourse (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Kretschmer, 1997). Mayer et al., (2002) concede that there is a threshold level o f a teachers language proficiency which must be met if meaningful dialogue is to occur (p. 488). One landmark study on mother-child interaction compared four groups of dyads: deaf mothers using ASL with deaf preschool children between 3 and 5 years old; hearing mothers using spoken English with their deaf children; hearing mothers using simultaneous communication with their deaf children; and with hearing mothers using spoken English with their hearing children (Meadow, Greenberg, Erting, & Carmichael,

30 1981). This study found that deaf mothers using ASL with their deaf children mirrored the interaction between the hearing mothers and their hearing children. Deaf mothers were able to sustain interactions longer than the other dyads, had an equal number of high child-initiated interactions, and shared the same high degree of complexity in their linguistic interactions (Meadow et al., 1981). The results of this study support the natural language facility of ASL and the pivotal role of a deaf adult in facilitating longer and complex language interactions in a preschool childs life. Additionally, this study showed that deaf adult-deaf child interaction using ASL follows similar language development milestones as a hearing adult-hearing child (Meadow et al., 1981). Erting (1994) found that when Deaf children are provided with early language access and cognitively challenging discourse, their attitude and language use reflect that the socialization process of being a member of an ethnic group has already begun. The Deaf children in her study were able to skillfully manage their social identity by adjusting their language use with different D/deaf and hearing adults. Her study showed deaf children are capable of complex language interactions as early as 3 years old if provided with accessible language at home from birth. In another early landmark study of deaf preschool students, Johnson and Erting (1989) tracked the number of conversation initiations and turns between the ASL-fluent and less ASL-fluent preschool students with their hearing teacher and Deaf aide. The ASL-fluent children accounted for almost 70% of the conversational turns. Based on their findings, they concluded that preschool classroom discourse among the children with Deaf parents and the fluent Deaf aide was pivotal for the linguistic socialization of the less ASL-fluent group. This study further advances the argument that language

31 proficiency among teachers and preschool students provide opportunities to extend discourse. It suggests the importance of having linguistically fluent adults in the preschool classroom to facilitate language development among preschoolers. Other studies of preschool deaf classrooms seem to focus on similar language proficiency questions and garner similar results such as Schick and Gales 1995 study, which compared three storytelling conditions one using Signed Exact English, one using Signed Exact English and ASL features, and one using ASL. The deaf preschool children between the ages of 4 years and 7 months and 5 years and 1 month participated more and initiated more interactions during the ASL version. The authors suggest storybook sharing through ASL promotes turn taking as well as natural interaction and discourse among deaf preschool students (Schick & Gale, 1995). In a study of storybook sharing by deaf teachers with deaf preschool students, Erting (2001) found that deaf children who arrived at school with ASL skills participated in appropriate intervals during storybook sharing as opposed to deaf children with minimal or emerging ASL skills. Deaf students who were not new signers upon arrival at preschool, whether from Deaf or hearing families, were the only ones connecting the story being read to their own lives and prior experiences. When the teacher provided opportunities for role-playing where students would imitate the teachers signing, the younger and new signers would be more spontaneous in their participation. Erting explains, the children who had access to consistent signing at home participated more often and in more cognitively sophisticated ways than the children who did not have consistent signing in their homes the children from Deaf families displayed more advanced development than the children from hearing families who signed consistently

32 (2001, p. 534). This finding highlights the importance of arriving at preschool with background knowledge and linguistic competence that allows the children to participate in book sharing episodes with the ability to connect their own experiences to the story being told. This is a highly cognitively challenging skill and a crucial reading comprehension strategy. However, as earlier stated, most parents of deaf children do not know sign language, although some may start learning some signs shortly after they find out their child is deaf. The parents linguistic repertoire may consist of basic, concrete talk as they continue to learn and practice using ASL with their deaf child from birth to the age of five. Some parents learn some bas ic sign vocabulary to support only a functional level of communication (Singleton & Morgan, 2006, p. 344). Often, when the deaf child lacks conventional linguistic input from the parents, the child develops a language-like gestural communication system. This language-like gestural communication system is possibly a mechanism developed in response to the lack of access to language at home, and spurred by the childs need to communicate and receive information among family members. However, this does not compensate for natural and typical language acquisition for non-deaf and deaf children with access to language at home (GoldinMeadow & Mylander, 1984). Regardless, deaf children with impoverished input early can also go beyond the input given; but ultimately they still do not create a full blown language. According to Gallaudet Universitys 1999-2000 survey of deaf schools and programs nationwide, only 5% of schools and programs serving deaf children use sign as the primary mode of instruction (Mitchell, 2004, p. 344). In 2000-2001, sign was

33 used only 1.3% of the time in regular school settings; 1.7% in resource rooms (a classroom attended part of the day by deaf students within a regular school); 5% of the time in self-contained classrooms (an all-day classroom specifically for deaf students within a regular school), and 15.4% of the time at special schools, (Karchmer & Mitchell, 2003, p. 26) known by the Deaf community as Deaf schools. The same survey in the following year, 2001-2002 presented similar results: signing was used in only 7% of classroom instruction (Mitchell & Karchmer, 2006). These percentages are further limited by the number of teachers fluent in ASL at the preschool level, in which positions are usually filled by less fluent signers (Shantie & Hoffmeister, 2000). Allen and Karchmer (1990) in a paper from the Gallaudet Research Institute (GRI) reported that 67% of teachers reported that they learned to sign from their students, 45% claim to sign as well as their students, and only 33% say they can understand their students signing as well as they understand English. While subsequent papers from GRI (e.g., Mitchell, 2004; Mitchell & Karchmer, 2006) do not discuss teacher signing skills, there is no reason to believe these trends are significantly different at this time. This raises a couple of questions: What does this mean for the language development of a deaf child with non-signing parents prior to enrolling in preschool? What effect does increased exposure to basic and immediate talk have on a deaf child at a young age? The emphasis on immediate talk during deaf childrens early formative years may explain their later struggles with literacy and academic achievement in school. Wood and Wood (1997) observed that in classrooms with deaf children, the language is linguistically simple, concrete in its concerns, and literal in its intent (p. 348). They argue that teachers of deaf children often turn the dialogue in the classroom into highly

34 didactic, literal and concrete discourse, a pitfall for the language development of deaf children (Wood & Wood, 1997, p. 348). For these reasons, Shantie and Hoffmeister (2000) urge preschools for deaf children to hire Deaf teachers, specifically for optimal ASL acquisition and English literacy at an early age, which they claim will give them a fighting chance at success in their first and second languages (p. 45). More studies on discourse with Deaf preschool students and D/deaf classroom interaction have been conducted. In sum, research literature on how deaf preschool children develop language skills seems to point towards the same crucial ingredients: the more fluent the teacher is in ASL, the better the odds for variety and depth of discourse between teachers and students. This implies a relationship between the quality of social interaction between teachers and students and the students literacy and cognitive skills. (Bagga-Gupta, 1999; Bailes, 1999, 2001; Humphries & MacDougall, 1999; Labue, 1995; Mather, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2005; Mather & Thiebault, 2000; Maxwell & Doyle, 1996; Smith & Ramsey, 2004; Williams, 1999; Williams & McLean, 1997). This implication is discussed further in the next section, bilingual education, which will also take a look at the relationship between two different languages in two different modalities, and take a closer look at ASL/print English bilingual education. Bilingualism Beginning about 20 years ago, ASL/English bilingual education was a response to the academic achievement gap for deaf students (Israelite, Ewoldt, & Hoffmeister, 1992; LaSasso & Lollis, 2003; Strong, 1995). The goal of ASL/English bilingual education programs is linguistic competency in both ASL and written English (and spoken English when appropriate) and academic achievement at or above grade level (Knight &

35 Swanwick, 1999; Nover, et al., 2002). The philosophical basis of ASL/English bilingual education programs is that ASL is acquired naturally and in similar developmental stages as other languages. Compared to spoken languages, ASL is a visual-gestural language, allowing deaf children complete linguistic access to language easily and quickly (Baker, 2006; Johnson et al., 1989; Knight & Swanick, 1999). The acquisition of second language literacy in English is built on a foundation of ASL literacy (Knight & Swanwick, 1999; Nover et al., 2002). This ASL/English bilingual philosophy allows deaf children access to the curriculum through a natural and visual language and provides ample opportunities to explore the nature of extended discourse in ASL. Some may ask how American Sign Language can support learning a different language, in this case, the written form of English. Early studies in the 1960s and 1970s showed deaf children with deaf parents consistently achieved two or more grade levels above deaf children with hearing parents (Brasel & Quigley, 1977; Corson, 1973; Meadow, 1968). Different explanations were offered for why deaf children of deaf parents outperformed deaf children of hearing parents in academics. Brasel and Quigley (1977) found that signing deaf children with deaf parents performed significantly better on all tests of English syntax and reading abilities when compared with orally trained deaf children with hearing parents. Based on their results, they hypothesized that the reason deaf children of deaf parents had superior English reading and writing abilities was because during their first few years of life, they had early and quality language input. Corson (1973), in his dissertation study, found that deaf parents of deaf children had positive parental attitudes when compared to hearing parents of deaf children. Thus, he posited that deaf children of deaf parents were better adjusted emotionally, which in turn

36 positively affected their schooling. He also found that the higher academic ability of deaf children with deaf parents at one school over another group of deaf children with deaf parents at another school was explained by the higher per capita cost [of the city the schools were located in] and superior socio-economic status of the families (Corson, 1973, p. 131). In a study of 118 deaf children, Meadow (1968) found that deaf children of deaf parents were significantly more mature, responsible, and independent than deaf children of hearing parents. Although Meadow does not suggest that the social functioning difference between deaf children of deaf parents and deaf children of hearing parents may facilitate academic learning, some readers may be left with this impression. With the variety of reasons suggested or implied for the difference in academic ability between deaf children of deaf parents and deaf children of hearing parents, these studies do not provide a definitive explanation for the higher achievement levels of deaf children of deaf parents. In the late 1990s, new studies showed correlations between ASL skills and English reading skills (Padden & Ramsey, 1998; Prinz & Strong, 1998; Singleton, et al., 1998; Strong & Prinz, 1997). Strong and Prinz (1997) found that when ASL ability was held constant, the superiority of deaf children of deaf parents academic skills over deaf children of hearing parents nearly vanished. Deaf children with high or moderate ASL skills in this study were very likely to have high English skills regardless of parental hearing status. The authors claim, the longstanding question of why DP [deaf children with deaf parents] children tend to outperform HP [deaf children with hearing parents] children academically may be resolved (Strong & Prinz, 1997, p. 45). In fact, child

37 having deaf parents does not guarantee high academic skills, instead, high ASL ability does. Since then, additional research studies have shown a significant correlation between ASL proficiency and English proficiency (Hoffmeister, 2000; Mayberry, et al., 2002; Padden & Ramsey, 2000; Singleton, et al., 2004; Strong & Prinz, 2000). In a sample of 78 deaf students, Hoffmeister (2000) found deaf students with more ASL exposure scored higher on sophisticated ASL measures than deaf students with limited ASL exposure. The deaf students with intensive ASL exposure also had a positive correlation with Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) reading results. Unlike other ASL English correlational studies, Hoffmeister emphasized that the ASL tests in his study did not evaluate ASL conversational skills, but evaluated sophisticated knowledge of ASL lexical and morphological rules, thereby, tapping language skills that are more related to the language of schooling and reading (2000, p. 161). Hoffmeisters findings of this positive relationship between sophisticated knowledge of ASL and reading scores is commensurate with Vygotskys sociocultural theory of cognitive and language development and supports the conclusion that possession of sophisticated knowledge of ASL is associated with opportunities to engage in higher-order discourse with other more sophisticated users of ASL. This suggests cognitively challenging discourse may play a role in developing advanced ASL skills, which in turn, supports English skill development. There are also claims in research literature that ASL provides an opportunity for the Deaf bilingual to develop world knowledge, and metalinguistic and metacognitive skills that may facilitate second language learning in English, particularly the strategies

38 and skills necessary for reading in English (Kuntze, 1998; Musselman, 2000; Schick, de Villiers, de Villiers, & Hoffmeister, 2007; Wilbur, 2000). Simply put, the more fluent the deaf child is in ASL, the higher probability s/he will be skilled in reading and writing English. This strongly suggests that ASL facilitates cognitive and literacy development and expedites second language learning, in this case, written English. Kuntze (2004) goes further suggesting that the ability to engage cognitively through the use of decontextualized language, in other words, extended discourse in the first language (ASL) supports acquisition of print English as a first order symbol system. His argument is supported by the results of ASL and English language and literacy tests for 91 deaf students at an ASL/written English bilingual school. This study demonstrated that students ability to make inferences (itself a cognitive skill and important reading comprehension strategy) in ASL was correlated with students ability to make inferences in written English (Kuntze, 2004). Since the ability to infer in ASL is positively related to being able to make inferences in written English, his finding suggests that developing the cognitive abilities of students through rich and engaging discourse may support later English literacy. For instance, in one study, Schley (1996) found that elementary Deaf children fluent in ASL were capable of defining words using decontextualized English. Defining words using decontextualized language is associated with school achievement and literacy and is a complex task, one not often mastered until fairly late (p. 83). She further states, For Deaf children, a prerequisite step to success in school is of course obtaining proficiency in an accessible language, whereupon skills in that language across contexts of interaction can be transferred to English literacy (Schley, 1996, p. 98). In her study, she found bilingual Deaf students were capable of acquiring academic,

39 decontextualized concepts such as defining words through ASL and transferring that knowledge to English in a print form. Musselman (2000) in a review of the literature on reading and deaf people, focuses on three broad roles in acquisition of reading: the method of encoding print, language-specific knowledge and general language knowledge. As for general language knowledge, Musselman (2000) points out a relationship exists between sign language skills and reading, suggesting that sign language skills can compensate for deaf students deficiencies in spoken English (p. 25). She continues by saying that ASL would seem to have an advantage in promoting general language skills, enhancing world knowledge, developing metalinguistic and metacognitive skills, as well as providing a comprehensive and efficient communication system for explaining the meaning of text. (p. 25). In other words, competence in ASL seems to give the Deaf bilingual an advantage in transferring cognitive knowledge from ASL to English text. Similarly, Singleton et al., (2004) investigated whether ASL knowledge facilitates English literacy, by comparing ASL and written English language skills of 72 deaf students with ASL skills ranging from low to high as measured by the American Sign Language Proficiency Assessment (Maller, Singleton, Supalla, & Wix, 1999). They found that high-ASL proficient students used a wide repertoire of English vocabulary. ASL proficient students were able to draw from their advanced semantic knowledge as opposed to low-ASL proficient students who used fewer, basic, and repetitive words in their written samples. Singleton et al. (2004) propose that there might be particular ASL vocabularies that transfer well to English vocabularies. They point out that proficiency

40 in ASL may provide a new entry point into the learning and use of English vocabulary (p. 99). In a meta-analysis of 231 different studies of reading achievement and phonological coding and awareness in deaf readers, Mayberry, del Giudicie, and Lieberman (in progress) found divided results. About half claimed that deaf students ability to phonologically code predicted reading skills, and about half said it did not. A closer analysis of these studies that claimed phonological coding have been correlated to reading skill, revealed invalid methodology, for example, utilizing tasks that required deaf students to speak aloud words. Only 10% out of half of these studies were considered sound. The meta-analysis also revealed that the ability to phonologically code does not explain reading level, and instead, proficiency in sign language does (Mayberry, et al., in progress). Despite research evidence supporting bilingualism, criticism of bilingual education (Campanile, 2000; Porter, 1996, 1998) and ASL/English bilingual education for deaf children (Mayer, 2007; Mayer & Akamatsu, 1999; Mayer & Wells, 1996) persists. The prohibitive costs for state funding for bilingual education are cited as a popular criticism of this approach. Others believe that by providing native-language teaching, the students do not learn English as quickly as they would if they were immersed in English. Some believe that bilingual education may encourage an increase in immigration (Campanile, 2000; Porter, 1996, 1998). These arguments do not apply to bilingual programs for deaf students for one primary reason: spoken English is not completely accessible for most deaf students. Assuming the deaf child has unimpeded vision, acquiring language through the visual modality provides full, unimpeded access

41 for optimal language and cognitive development (Bailes, et al., 2009; Cummins, 2006; Grosjean, 2008; Johnson, 2006; Vygotsky, 1986). Some argue that assistive technology such as digital hearing aids and cochlear implants provide deaf people access to spoken languages (Geers, 2003; Nicholas & Geers, 2006). Others argue that technological assistance for young deaf children, while beneficial for certain deaf children, provides only a partial and sometimes inconsistent access to spoken languages (Johnson, 2006). One criticism of ASL/English bilingual education is that, unlike English, ASL is not spoken and does not have a written form. Therefore, the linguistic and cognitive transfer from ASL to English is not the same as it would be for bilinguals who transfer between two spoken and written languages such as Spanish and English. Mayer and Wells (1996) argue that the lack of a written system for ASL is one of the reasons numerous deaf children are unable to become literate in written English beyond the 4th grade level. Some claim that, since the interdependence hypothesis theory applies to transfer between two spoken languages and/or two written languages, Deaf bilinguals must be exposed to some form of English, through either speech or English-based sign for the linguistic and cognitive transfer to be successful (Mayer & Akatmatsu, 1999; Mayer & Wells, 1996). Since ASL does not have a written form, Mayer and Wells (1996) argue that the linguistic interdependence hypothesis (mentioned in Chapter I and elaborated on in the next section) does not apply to deaf ASL/English bilinguals. They contend that deaf ASL/English bilinguals must be exposed to some form of English, through either speech or English-based sign, for the linguistic and cognitive transfer from ASL to English print to be successful (Mayer & Akatmatsu, 1999; Mayer & Wells, 1996). Their argument is

42 that the bridge can only be in a form of English such as fingerspelling or English-based signing for the transfer from ASL to written English to be possible (Mayer, 2007; Mayer & Akamatsu, 1999; Mayer & Wells, 1996). Mayer and Akamatsu (1999) raise the following question: Is it reasonable to expect that deaf students can learn English solely through access to its print form? (p. 6). While their argument is against the applicability of the interdependence hypothesis to ASL/English, in other words, the transfer between ASL and written English, Cummins (2000) stated, If a theory is not consistent with the data, t hen it must be rejected, or refined to achieve that consistency (p. 3). The case Mayer and Wells (1996) present against ASL/English transferability is not consistent with the data. As reviewed earlier, there are numerous fluent Deaf bilinguals with ASL as a first language and English as a second language, who can discuss highly abstract and obscure concepts in settings such as courts of law, university lectures, and medical sessions in both ASL and English. Furthermore, mounting ASL fluency and English literacy correlational studies contradict Mayer and Wells claim that ASL cannot serve as a bridge to learning English as a second language (Hoffmeister, 2000; Kuntze, 1998; Mayberry et al., 2002; Musselman, 2000; Padden & Ramsey, 2000; Schick et al., 2007; Singleton, et al., 2004; Strong & Prinz, 2000; Wilbur, 2000). Mayer and Wells argument that Deaf people who use ASL are unable to transfer complex ideas to English is inconsistent with the actual evidence. The issue here is not that ASL does not support English literacy, but discerning exactly what facilitates the transfer of cognitive and language development between ASL and English (Singleton et al., 2004). Mayer and Wells are accused of promoting a specific and personal agenda, particularly to bring artificial English-based

43 signs into the classroom for deaf students (Mason, 1997). In response to Mayer and Wells claim that the interdependence hypothesis does not apply to transfers between sign and written languages, Cummins (2006) states, The cons istent positive relationship that the research reveals between ASL proficiency and English literacy are fully consistent with the interdependence hypothesis. These positive relationships are likely due to the transfer of conceptual knowledge from ASL to E nglish literacy (p. 4). The argument about transferability between signed and written languages brings focus on the fundamental element of the ASL/English bilingualism controversy: What exactly is transferred from first language to second language? Is it orthographical ability, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, phonological access, reasoning, problem solving, semantics, or something else? Interdependence Hypothesis Revisited To describe exactly what is transferred between languages, an elaboration of Cummins (1984) linguistic interdependence theory is provided. Cummins depicts an analogy of the linguistic interdependence hypothesis through an illustration of two icebergs protruding from a surface of water (see Figure 2.1). On the surface are two separate icebergs, a metaphor for two separate languages. Superficially, we are able to identify the visible forms that distinguish the languages from each other, such as pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar (Cummins, 1984). Beneath the surface of the water, however, what appear to be two separate icebergs are actually two peaks of a single, massive iceberg, a metaphor for the common underlying proficiency (CUP) of L1 (first language) and L2 (second language) where semantics and conceptual understanding reside. Once a Spanish speaker understands the semantics and concept behind the word

44 justicia, and in school, learns the English word justice the meaning and conceptual understanding is transferred from the Spanish to the English word. The Spanish speaker only needs to learn the forms representing the similar concept, which include pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar of the second language; the knowledge and reasoning skills already developed in L1 are transferable to additional languages (Cummins, 1984). Surface features are more likely to be transferred with the justicia example because the Roman alphabet is used in both languages and most of the letters are similar. However the grammar and pronunciation properties of justicia in Spanish and English differ.

Figure 2.1. The Dual Iceberg Representation of Bilingual Proficiency (Cummins, 1984, p. 143). As Cummins pointed out, the cognitive aspect of the common underlying proficiency (CUP) must be developed so transferability will occur to L2. Teaching in the L1 of the child allows development of cognitive and reasoning skills in their first language, which is transferable to L2 (Cummins, 2000). One could conclude the same principle for ASL and English. If a deaf student understands the concept behind the ASL sign for justice and is taught the written English translation (i.e., the form) for that same concept, the meaning and conceptual understanding of the English term justice is

45 transferred. Jiminz, et al. (1996) describe transferability between Spanish and English reading in their study as the unitary view of reading (p. 99). They argue that successful bilingual readers unify their reading skills in both languages and point out that learning a second language only required learning a new set of vocabulary and the phonological system. Further, Jiminz et al. (1996) asserted that successful bilingual readers achieve a certain level of metacognitive awareness including inferencing, monitoring, questioning, and invoking prior knowledge in transferring between Spanish and English. Those metacognitive skills can develop independently of a written system, so one may develop these skills in the first language, regardless of modality (written, spoken, signed) and yet transfer these metacognitive skills across languages. Kroll & Tokowicz (2001) claim that when monolinguals begin learning a second language, they process new words at the lexical level. However, with increasing proficiency, there is a developmental shift from lexical to conceptual processing, which includes meaning.

Figure 2.2. The Revised Hierarchical Model (Kroll & Tokowicz, 2001, p. 51). Kroll & Tokowicz (2001) claim that words in L1 and L2 are connected by lexical links and conceptual links (see Figure 2). They believe that conceptual links are stronger for L1 (bold line). This means the development of conceptual understanding is critical

46 for a strong L1, as well as to be able to transfer to L2 for successful bilingualism. One could say that in the case of ASL/English bilingualism, students are able to learn English equivalents or approximations for ASL signs then shift from lexical to conceptual and semantic processing. Despite arguments for transferability, OMalley & Pierce (1996) state that there is no empirical evidence that readers transfer reading skills automatically from first to second language. They warn that students literate in their first langu age may not know how to transfer their skills to the second language without specific strategy instruction (p. 94). Grabe (1988) argues that it is often assumed that reading skill will readily transfer from first to second language. However, he asserts that we do not know how students approach reading in their first language; do they approach reading as an academic, professional or entertainment activity? How they approach reading in their first language will affect which and how reading strategies are transferred to the second language. Grabe also argues that there is evidence that students with different orthographic traditions in their first language struggle with a new orthographic style in second language reading and writing (1988). However, both Grabe (1988) and OMalley and Pierce (1996) agree that skill in reading depends on an interaction between the first and second languages and employing cognitive skills such as making inferences and accumulating world knowledge. OMalley and Pierce emphas ize that the development of academic language functions such as comparing, synthesizing, and classifying are all critical for academic success and must be fully developed in both languages (1996). Cummins (2006) argues that research data support the existence of five types of transfer (p. 3), which include conceptual knowledge, metacognitive and metalinguistic

47 strategies, pragmatic aspects, specific linguistic elements, and phonological awareness. Using photosynthesis, he provides an example for each type of transfer. Beginning with conceptual knowledge, photo is from the Greek word phos meaning light. Photographs are produced by exposing light on a sensitive surface, e.g., photographic film. With that knowledge, photosynthesis is the process of synthesizing sunlight and carbon dioxide for energy. The concept of photosynthesis transferred to a second language and the knowledge of the meaning of photo is an example of transferring specific linguistic elements. Mnemonic devices and the use of graphic organizers are examples of metacognitive and metalinguistic strategies. Risk-taking in communicating through a second language and employing strategies for communicating meaning are examples of pragmatic transfer. Transfer of phonological awareness specifically means the knowledge that words are composed of distinct sounds (Cummins, 2006). Cummins addresses questions regarding the relationship between ASL and English reading and writing stating, ASL clearly constitutes an appropriate language for ear ly conceptual development for those children who have, or are provided with access to a signing community (2006, p. 4). He concludes, based on review of the research literature on ASL and English bilingualism, that (t)he degree of proficiency that child ren develop in ASL during the elementary school years is positively related to the development of English reading and writing skills (Cummins, 2006, p. 12). In the case of Deaf bilingualism, although we may not know exactly the effects of the lack of a written language on the development and transfer of orthographic skills and reading strategies to the second language, we know that a student whose conceptual knowledge in the first language is well-developed has more cognitive power to bring to

48 the reading of text in second language (Cummins, 2006, p. 4). However, there is some question how this relationship between ASL and English is possible since both ASL and English are expressed in completely different modalities: one in sign, and the other in written form. Research findings suggest that it is not simply that deaf children have access to English through print, but that their parents and teachers use ASL to support the acquisition of English through reading and writing (Bailes et al., 2009; Hoffmeister, 2000; Kuntze, 2004; Padden & Ramsey, 1998; Prinz & Strong, 1998). Padden and Ramsey (1998) claim that since English speakers vary in their reading skills, it is not the case that simply knowing ASL leads to reading development, just as simply knowing spoken English does not automatically lead to reading development. They argue that what is important is the ability to associate specific skills in ASL with English reading skillsan ability cultivated in home and classroom contexts, for instance, through fingerspelling (a signed form that derives from a representation of English orthography) and initialized signs (a fingerspelled handshape representing the first letter of the English word incorporated in the sign) (Padden & Ramsey, 1998). This argument is also made by Mayer (2007) who further states that not only fingerspelling may help, but contact between two languages (e.g., ASL words put in English word order) may help facilitate English literacy. Nelson (1998) reviewed the studies of Singleton et al., (1998), Padden and Ramsey (1998) and Prinz and Strong (1998) on the relationship between ASL fluency and English literacy, and synthesized from these studies a comprehensive list of ways in which ASL could facilitate English literacy progress (p. 77 ). He suggests high ASL skills supports the transfer to English skills by increasing: (a) the number of semantic

49 concepts and linguistic devices, (b) the comprehension of class lessons, (c) the strategies that facilitate reading and writing such as fingerspelling and initialized signs, (d) the richness of effective teacher feedback, (e) the positive climate of learning, (f) the effective encoding into memory, and finally, (g) the maintenance of the cycle of ASL and English learning where ASL progress leads to deeper understanding of English, and this, in turn stimulates further ASL progress (p. 78, Nelson). Despite the findings, Singleton et al., (2004) argue more empirical research is needed to improve our theorizing and interpretation of potential transfer effects from proficient ASL to English (p. 90). Evans (2004) states that in a French-English bilingual program, the following is transferred from French to English: conceptual knowledge, subject -matter knowledge, higher-order thinking skills, reading strategies, and writing composition skills (p. 18). In an ASL-English bilingual program, similar benefits are possiblethough one must take into account the differences between oral bilingualism and Deaf bilingualism (Evans, 2004, p. 18). Two of the differences she describes are language modality (signed vs. spoken/written) and the absence of a written system for ASL. As for the absence of a written system for ASL, Evans discusses the claim made by Mayer and Wells (1996) and points out that they define literacy as solely reading and writing. Evans counteracts Mayer and Wells (1996) by saying, When literacy is defined broadly, it is clear that it requires a range of abilities, from formal, decontextualized language to more conversational language and that range is evident in ASL (p. 18). To summarize, this section reintroduced the interdependence hypothesis and discussed the implications for Deaf bilingualism as Deaf students acquire ASL and learn written English. As Cummins (2000) described, the common underlying aspect of the

50 brain facilitates the transfer between cognitive concepts and certain linguistic features between ASL and written English. He further states that teaching in the L1 of the child allows development of cognitive and reasoning skills in their first language, which are transferable to L2. A review of ASL/English research literature shows a general consensus that there are numerous factors that contribute to deaf childrens literacy development, however, researchers have repeatedly pointed out the need for complete access to a natural language (ASL) at home and at school and at an early age as the crucial ingredient for successful linguistic development in both languages (Bailes et al., 2009; Goldin-Meadow & Mayberry, 2001; Hoffmeister, 2000; Johnson et al., 1989; Padden & Ramsey, 2000; Singleton & Morgan, 2006). Cognitive Development The conclusions made above by researchers studying the linguistic and cognitive skills of ASL/print English Deaf bilinguals are analogous to linguistic and cognitive studies done on non-deaf bilinguals. Studies done on non-deaf bilingual children show that they do better on cognitive tests than monolinguals. Similarly, a significant relationship was discovered between bilingualism and general cognitive abilities for bilingual children (Diaz, 1985; Hakuta, 1986; Hakuta & Diaz, 1985; Jiminz et al., 1996). When looking at late first-language acquisition studies, findings show a long-lasting cognitive disadvantage for those hearing children unintentionally deprived of language at birth (Lane, 1976; Rymer, 1994) and for deaf children of non-signing, hearing parents (Emmorey, 2002; Galvan, 1989; Mayberry, 2007; Newport, 1990). In de Villiers review of the literature and the results of his Theory of Mind study of deaf children, he states, Deaf children with deaf parents who acquire fluent ASL early from a natural input are

51 significantly better in their reasoning about cognitive states than language-delayed deaf children with hearing parents who are being educated in either intensive ASL or oral settings (2005, p. 280). The results of his study show deaf children of deaf parents are comparable with their hearing peers. The same results were found with deaf Italian preschool children where linguistic and cognitive tasks were given to deaf children of signing deaf parents, deaf children of non-signing hearing parents and hearing children of hearing parents - Deaf children of deaf parents had similar cognitive and linguistic development as hearing children of hearing parents (Pizzuto, Ardito, Caselli, & Volterra, 2001). Emmorey, in her review of research on deaf cognitive development, comments when Deaf children with Deaf families are specifically compared to Deaf children from hearing families, there is some evidence that delayed exposure to a signed language is associated with cognitive delays during development (2001, p. 219). Recent findings about deaf childrens cognitive and linguistic development also support the theory that access to language early in life facilitates cognitive development. For example, de Villiers (2005) reviewed numerous empirical studies of languagedelayed deaf children. A consistent finding among the studies was that these children were also delayed in their conceptual development, a crucial part of cognitive development. With a new, refined empirical study with a substantial sample, Schick et al., (2007) found that there were no differences between the non-deaf children and the age-matched native signing ASL children who had deaf parents. These groups performed significantly better than ASL deaf children of hearing parents and oral deaf children of hearing parents (Schick et al., 2007).

52 Based on this chapters review of the literature on language acquisition and learning, bilingualism, interdependence hypothesis and cognitive development, we can surmise that cognitive and linguistic development is reciprocal. Children with early access to languages appear to do better on linguistic and cognitive tests (Cummins, 2000; Diaz, 1985; Emmorey, 2001; Hakuta, 1986; Hakuta & Diaz, 1985; Pizzuto, et al., 2001; Schick, et al., 2007). Also, research findings suggest that ASL facilitates the acquisition of English through reading and writing with deaf children (Bailes et al., 2009; Evans, 2004; Hoffmeister, 2000; Kuntze, 2004; Padden & Ramsey, 1998; Prinz & Strong, 1998; Singleton et al., 1998). Although the relationship between ASL proficiency and English literacy is significant, not all deaf children of deaf parents are consistently literate in ASL and English. There are many possible contributing factors to explain this, such as type of education, language used at home and school and cognitive abilities of the child, to name a few. If we remove all of the confounding factors and provide a deaf child from birth access to ASL at home and at school, yet s/he does not become literate in print English, what accounts for this discrepancy? What is the crucial ingredient, other than acquisition of ASL at an early age and ASL access at home and at school? What do children need in order to become literate in English and succeed in academic settings? The Inspiration for this Dissertation Study The findings by the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development (HSSLLD) study about extended discourse and cognitively challenging discourse for spoken and written language development may help contribute to our understanding of the 4th grade reading median for deaf children. HSSLLD was a longitudinal research project that began when the participants were three or four years old and ended at high

53 school (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Snow, et al., 2007). Starting in the early 1980s, a considerable number of studies claim a correlation between social class and vocabulary/literacy achievement (Anderson & Freebody, 1981; Chall & Jacobs, 2003; Chall & Snow, 1988; Hart & Risley, 1995; Lee, 2006; Snow & Biancarosa, 2003). These researchers argue literacy success came from opportunities to access information about literacy at home such as the internet and an extensive home library. The HSSLLD study did not dispute that argument, but instead was interested in a different area, particularly the relationship between discourse that replicates some of the demands of literacy and literacy achievement (Snow et al., 2001, p. 2). The researchers involved in the HSSLLD study made annual home visits to 74 families with low socio-economic status. At specific age targets3 to 5 years old; 7 years old; 9 years old and 12 years old mothers were interviewed and language data was collected. Annual school visits were conducted from preschool through 10th grade, with the exception of 5th and 8th grades. During those visits, researchers collected language data, classroom curriculum data, interviewed the teachers and gave the students language tests (Snow et al., 2001). Insights gained from the HSSLD study led the researchers to describe extended discourse as talk that requires participants to develop understandings beyond the here and now and that requires the use of several utterances or turns to build a linguistic structure, such as in explanations, narratives, or pretend (Snow et al., 2001, p. 2). In other words, they described language use that reproduces some of the requirements of literacy. This description of extended discourse is similar to the Vygotskian concept of learning through dialogue with culturally and linguistically competent users (1986). The researchers in the HSSLLD study found different types of extended discourse in

54 childrens home contexts including nonimmediate talk during bookreading (DeTemple, 2001), pretend play at home (Katz, 2001), conversations with narrative and explanatory talk at mealtimes (Beals, 2001), and science process talk at home (Tabors, et al., 2001). All of the results were based on correlational analyses between different forms of extended discourse used at home and the battery of tests (e.g., Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Revised, Narrative Production task, Comprehensive Assessment Program) given to children in kindergarten. When control variables such as gender, race, family income, mothers education, and childs mean length of utterance at 3 years old were included in the correlational analysis, extended discourse was identified as a possible predictor for successful literacy development. For the parents who participated in extended discourse frequently with preschool children, narrative production skills were weakly predicted at kindergarten, but emergent literacy or receptive vocabulary were not affected by the amount of extended discourse at home (Tabors et al., 2001). Despite the weak results of the relationship between extended discourse and literacy skills, Tabors et al., (2001) claim that a relationship between extended discourse and literacy skills remains, and that based on overall results, extended discourse has an effect on the kindergarten outcomes, although this was not as significant as the other variables. Although extended discourse between parent and child did not correlate strongly to the childs literacy development, extended discourse between teacher and student had a significant impact on the students literacy development (Dickinson, 200 1b). This claim may seem contradictory when compared to the finding by Hart and Risley (1995) that the number of words the child is exposed to at home by the age of 4 years is a strong predictor of literacy skills. However Hart and Risleys study focused more at the

55 utterance level rather than at the discourse level and did not analyze the effects of language development by teachers and peers at preschool. In the HSSLLD study, researchers started to collect data when the children in their study were already attending preschool, between the ages of 3 to 4 years old, as opposed to Hart and Risleys study where data collection began when the children were one year old. Moreover, there has been criticism accusing the Hart and Risley study of ethnocentrism and generalizing results of the six black welfare families in their study, reinforcing pernicious racial stereotypes when taking into consideration that only 25% of the 33 million Americans living below the poverty line are Black (Dudley-Marling, 2007). Dudley-Marling objected to some assumptions made by Hart and Risley in their publication. For instance, they said the poor parents in their study used negative tone in their talk at home and that it would take hours and hours of positive feedback to repair the damage caused by this early exposure to negative language. While Dudley-Marlings claims have merit, we cannot deny the quantitative findings of Hart and Risleys study. What we can glean from the findings of Hart and Risleys study and the HSSLLD study is that the quantity and quality of discourse during the first five years of a childs life seems to predict academic achievement (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995). The results of the HSSLLD study indicate that the quantity of extended discourse in specific classroom activities and the amount of time given to particular smaller group activities (e.g., free play, gross motor, snack time, small group activities) were strongly correlated with the students reading and writing achievement abilities. Extended discourse during large group meetings was correlated with lower scores on all of the kindergarten measures (Dickinson, 2001b). Dickinson noted that teachers tend to do

56 repetitious reviews of information (p. 251) during large group times, and extended interactions with a single child during large group times often caused the other students to tune out. Dickinson and Tabors (2001) did not discuss their quantitative definition of large group times specifically, however, the number o f students in a preschool class in their study ranged, on average, from 20 to 35 students. Would their finding about extended discourse in large groups be similar for deaf classrooms, which often have fewer students per classroom? In classroom contexts other than large group times, extended discourse has a powerful relationship with the students emergent literacy and receptive vocabulary. Based on the studys results, Dickinson concludes the quality of the teachers extended conversations with children throughout the day has a significant bearing on the childs long-term language and literacy development (2001b, p. 274). Although the best outcome for language and literacy development was a rich linguistic environment at home and at school, a close second was a weak language and literacy environment at home and a strong language and literacy environment in preschool (Tabors, Snow, & Dickinson, 2001). This finding by HSSLLD shows that the amount of extended teacher discourse with preschool students can compensate for limited language and literacy support at home (Tabors et al., 2001). The scenario in which there is limited literacy and language support in the home appears to be true for most deaf children with parents who do not know sign or who are learning to sign, especially during the critical language and cognitive development period (birth to 5 years). The HSSLLD finding that preschool teachers can compensate for limited language and literacy support at home is the very inspiration for this dissertation study. That finding in particular gives us hope for deaf

57 children born in homes with limited access to language: that ASL/English bilingual teachers in preschools can somehow compensate for the unintentional deprivation of deaf childrens language and cognitive skills during the first few years of life. Like any other study there are some limitations to the HSSLLD findings. One perceived limitation is that correlations in general show a systematic relationship between two entities, but do not indicate that one causes the other. Basically, the quality of adult discourse at home and at school may not directly cause an increase in the childs academic achievement. However, based on the HSSLLD findings, when there is quality adult discourse at home and at school, the child is more likely to have higher academic achievement scores than children who do not have sufficient quality adult discourse at home and at school. It is also possible that families that engage in extended discourse may have different socio-cultural factors that contribute to effective language and literacy learning. Although the HSSLLD study included control variables such as reported family income, mothers education, gender, and race, other variables such as comfortable and safe sleeping quarters, access to good nutrition, regular doctor and dental check-ups, access to newspapers, magazines, books, computers and television channels at home and school, and access to adults who do not work in the evenings and weekends were harder to measure quantitatively. Those variables, along with other larger socio-cultural factors such as classroom dynamics, transportation and location of the preschool, may encourage or limit opportunities for parents and teachers to extend discourse with their children and students, which in turn may correlate with later literacy skills. Despite this limitation, the findings of the HSSLLD study indicates that preschool teachers can make a difference in

58 later literacy skills of disadvantaged preschool students from low-income families through the frequent use of extended discourse at an early age. The HSSLLD study finding that preschools may compensate for limited language input at home may be somewhat analogous to ASL/English bilingual preschools compensating for the limited language input at homes for deaf children with parents who do not know ASL. While there are some analogous components, however, as mentioned earlier, Deaf children with non-signing parents come from a much more impoverished language environment than that of any hearing child. Even with an impoverished language environment at home, hearing children have access to the language spoken around them in the household and in the community while Deaf children do not (Kretschmer, 1997). One contribution this dissertation study makes in the area of extended discourse and deaf children is to identify and describe the linguistic features and the context in which extended discourse occurs between teachers and deaf students in preschool. Although the question of whether ASL/English bilingual preschools can compensate for impoverished language environment at home goes beyond the scope of this dissertation study, research in the area of young childrens discourse contributes towards a better understanding of the role of extended discourse at school for deaf children. Summary This chapter began with a discussion of the subpar academic achievement of deaf students graduating from high school, which been the source of major discontent for stakeholders in deaf education (Babbidge, 1965; Commission on the Education of the Deaf, 1988; Johnson et al., 1989; Livingston, 1997; Thumann-Prezioso, 2000). A

59 sociocultural framework developed by Vygotsky (1986) was discussed to help us better understand the academic achievement challenges deaf children face. By providing young deaf children early linguistic and cognitive access, they develop linguistic and cognitive tools necessary for highly complex conversations. Next, classroom discourse research showed traditional, highly structured teacher talk (IRE) was not as successful in promoting academic achievement among students as compared to nontraditional extended discussions between teachers and students about academic concepts. A transition from classroom discourse to preschool discourse showed that while preschool discourse is highly spontaneous, it is more structured within a classroom environment than at home. Research findings about deaf students in preschool environments showed that deaf students have longer conversations and ask more questions when a deaf, ASL fluent teacher is involved in the discourse. Because deaf preschool classrooms are unique in using two languages, ASL and English, a discussion of bilingual education and especially ASL/English bilingual education was covered. Findings were shared about how a strong base of ASL skills predict English literacy skills, and sophisticated use of ASL also predict sophisticated use of English (ability to infer and discuss academic concepts). Again, the unique situation of ASL/English bilingualism as compared to bilingualism for non-deaf students in two spoken and two written languages was discussed through Cummins interdependence hypothesis. Re-stated, regardless of the form of the first language (in the case of ASL, a visual-spatial mode), transferability of concepts and linguistic features still occur to print English, the second language of Deaf students.

60 Research into cognitive skills of monolinguals versus bilinguals shows bilinguals have higher cognitive skills. Deaf children who acquired ASL early in life were found to have similar cognitive results as non-deaf children. However, when a Deaf child acquires ASL early in life, and yet struggles in school, there must be a fundamental reason. The investigators in the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development (HSSLLD) argue that it is the opportunities for the child to engage in extended discourse at home and at school early in life that predicts later academic achievement. One critical HSSLLD finding inspired this dissertation study: When computing data from the HSSLLD study, they found the best scenario was plenty of opportunities for the child to extend discourse at both home and at school. Finishing very closely to the first scenario, the second best scenario was limited opportunities for children to extend discourse at home but plenty of opportunities to extend discourse at school. This finding gave me hope that the unintentional language deprivation of deaf children born to non-signing homes may somehow be reversed. If these children are given a chance to catch-up by acquiring basic sign language skills at home, coupled with early enrollment in preschool with teachers who are skilled in extending discourse, they may have a fighting chance for academic success later in life. The following chapter leads us to a discussion of how teacher-student discourse in a deaf preschool classroom was investigated for this dissertation study.

61 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY The average academic achievement of deaf students in the United States has long deemed to be inferior to that of their non-deaf peers. It is suspected that for deaf children, the lack of full language access and the lack of opportunities to extend discourse with linguistically fluent members of the Deaf community at an early age establishes a lower academic achievement trajectory. One proposed solution from non-deaf research literature is increased opportunities to extend discourse in preschool. This case study provides an opportunity for a significant analysis on how extended discourse within the context of an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom is constructed. This chapter outlines the methods for this study. My philosophical paradigm and my personal background are shared. Next, the research questions, research design, data collection and data analysis procedures are detailed. Finally, I discuss how I maintained rigor through all stages of this mixed methods dissertation study. Philosophical Paradigm I acknowledge that every individual has a particular way of looking at the world. Our realities are shaped by our cultural experience through different lenses, such as political, social, economic, ethnic, ability, and gender lenses. Our values and experiences also affect how we look at the world and make decisions. The way we look at the world affects how we do our research. By being aware of our own philosophical paradigm, we are more conscious of how our beliefs affect research design and methodology. Researchers work from a variety of paradigms, such as the positivist, constructivist and the transformative paradigms. The transformative paradigm is focused on the use of

62 research to address issues of social justice and human rights (Mertens, 2010). My values and beliefs are closely aligned with the transformative paradigm which supports and recognizes my values and beliefs. We know researchers have power; they often research powerless subjects and make decisions about research results, usually without input from the people from whom they collect data (Mertens, 2010; 2009). Researchers working within the transformative paradigm not only make explicit the issue of power and who holds the power, but also explicitly identify the process of sharing ownership of the research with marginalized groups, such as having community-based discussion groups about the topic being researched and integrating their views in the results (Foster, 1993). By allowing the participants to become part of the research process itself, we are able to deconstruct our realities and see how and what the others are seeing. What the participants share and do is just as important as what the researchers see and think (Creswell, 2005). Ideal transformative research would have the participants participate from the beginning of the research project, and seek their interpretation of the data, a technique used by transformative researchers to ensure rigor of the data interpretation process (Mertens, 2010). As mentioned earlier, my values and beliefs are closely aligned with the transformative paradigm. My values and beliefs about academic discourse, hierarchical structure in research, research as a dialogue, and the language of this dissertation study also led me to the transformative paradigm. First, I believe academic discourse is powerful. Gilmore and Smith (2005) argue that academic genre/discourse is not simply academic writing, but also knowledge of traditional rules for creating and disseminating knowledge (p. 71). Academic discourse is not only powerful, but may be also colonizing, and in other

63 words, oppressive. bell hooks said, I know that it is not the English language that hurts me, but what the oppressors do with it, how they shape it to become a territory that limits and defines, how they make it a weapon that can shame, humiliate, colonize (1994, p. 37). As a student of academic writing, it is my goal to avoid promoting hegemonic knowledge and discourse, in other words, the predominant influence exercised by the majority members of a nation. For instance, Ladd, a Deaf researcher writes about how damaging hegemonic knowledge can be for the Sign Language community: Each discourse contains its own unspoken rules as to what can or cannot be said and how, when and where. Each, therefore, constructs canons of truth around whatever its participants decide is admissible evidence, a process that in the case of certain prestigious discourses, such as those found in universities, medical establishments and communication medias, can be seen as particularly dangerous when unexamined, for these then come to determine what counts as knowledge itself. (Ladd, 2003, p. 76) This dissertation may challenge some other research interpretations and results, in other words, certain privileged discourses, made by researchers about the Sign Language community. It is the intention of the author to avoid promoting hegemonic discourse by having research interpretations and conclusions audited and validated by members of the Sign Language community, commensurate with the Sign Language communities terms of references (Harris, Holmes, & Mertens, 2009). The primary essence of the Sign Language communities terms of reference is that in any res earch involving the Deaf community, Deaf people must be involved in every step of the research, and not simply as consultants or research assistants (Harris, et al., 2009). Similarly, Smith (1999) argued

64 for an insistence that all investigations in our t erritories should be carried out with our [indigenous communities] consent and under joint control and guidance (p. 119). Denzin (2005) elaborated, adding, Social scientists can no longer carry on with their usual practice of simply inserting themselves into the context to study what and when they will (p. 1120). Using these statements by Smith (1999) and Denzin (2005), I have inserted my own words to apply to this dissertation study and the Sign Language community: My investigation within the Sign Language community must be carried out with the consent of the Sign Language community participants, and most importantly, under joint control and guidance of members of the Sign Language community. Hearing people will not carry on with their usual practice of simply inserting themselves into the context of the Deaf community to study what and when they will. To address this in my study, there are several Deaf professors on my dissertation committee and several Deaf researchers overseeing my ASL English translations and my interpretations of the data. Second, the current prevailing oppressive research structure puts the researcher at the top of the hierarchical structure. This sends the message that the researcher has nothing to learn and that the researched are the ones who need to learn (Chilisa, 2005). Ormand, Cram, and Carter (2004) argue that research done on the Mori needs to be by Mori, for Mori, with Mori (p. 161). One way to restructure the existing system is by making this dissertation by Deaf, for Deaf, with Deaf and making the results of this research project accessible to the Sign Language community (Harris, et al., 2009). In a similar sense, researchers aligned with Sign Language communities are essentially seeking to decenterize spoken language as ownership of the world, adapted from Ormand, Cram, and Carters quote: Mori researchers are essentially seeking to

65 decentre whiteness as ownership of the world forever and ever (2004, p. 167). Hegemonic research discourse typically includes contract discourse such as any and all intellectual property including copyright in the final and other reports arising from the work under this agreement will be the property of the University of X (Chilisa, 2005, p. 678). Instead, ownership of research should belong to the people being researched. The ownership of this dissertation is shared among myself, the research participants and the Sign Language community, including the right to protect and control dissemination of this knowledge. For instance, I interviewed teachers in this study to check with them regarding the completed data analysis and interpretations. Their perspectives, comments and thoughts are shared as is in this dissertation. No differing views were excluded. Any time I show or publish videos of the participants in public, I will check with each of them to make sure they allow the video to be showed in specific public venues. Those are some examples how the participants and Sign Language communities may protect and control dissemination of knowledge in this study. Third, I believe research is a dialogue between community, the colleagues, research participants and myself. Cummins (2000) states, Dialogue that brings together what is seen from outside and what is felt from inside is necessary to articulate understandings. These understandings are always partial, and subject to expansion and refinement through further dialogue. Theory expresses this ongoing search for understanding. As such, theory itself is always dialogical (emphasis in original, Cummins, 2000, p. 1). Publishing this dissertation does not bring closure or finality to the dialogue about extended discourse within ASL/English classrooms, instead, it is the

66 intention of the author of this study to light a spark and invite continued dialogue about extended discourse and ASL. Fourth, I acknowledge the irony of producing a dissertation in written English, a language that the majority culture has intentionally and unintentionally used to colonize and oppress the American Sign Language community for over two hundred years. But I also recognize the importance of disseminating this knowledge in academic English helps to re-write and reright existing and often damaging academic research (Gilmore & Smith, 2005, p. 71). I also acknowledge the immense importance of disseminating this knowledge in academic ASL to the Sign Language community, in hope that future doctoral students at Gallaudet University (the only liberal arts university for deaf people in the world) will seriously consider making their publications bilingual, and eventually leading up to a mandate for all dissertations and theses by Gallaudet graduates to be bilingual. Denzin (2005) argues, It is no longer unheard of, or even strange , for students to produce doctoral dissertations that include portions that some of the members of their dissertation committees may not be able to translate (p. 1121). To my knowledge, there is only one dissertation chapter published in ASL; chapter fiv e of Bienvenus dissertation from the innovative Union Institute and University (2003). Chapter five by Bienvenu does not have a written English translation, and some members of her dissertation committee do not understand ASL (Harris, et al., 2009). This inability by committee members to understand a chapter produced in the language of the researched reverses the power typically held by people who are monolingual English speakers. Denzin claims, the students of these new faculty tend to be equally comfortable with experimentation, and they are increasingly preparing research papers and dissertations that are, at

67 minimum, bilingual writings that address multiple rather than singular audiences (p. 1121, 2005). My dissertation needs to adhere to the standards and publication guidelines set by the university and participating publishers. I am re-producing parts of this dissertation on video in ASL, and I aim to submit it to the Deaf Studies Digital Journal (http://dsdj.gallaudet.edu) for publication. In this dissertation, I also include in Chapter IV photographs of the original video data, some with sign language in sequence (see page 199 for an example) and photographs of words in ASL that do not have a standardized translation to English (see page 193 for an example). I also included selected video data analysis in my video submission to Deaf Studies Digital Journal, with permissions from the participants. I am fortunate to have an entirely bilingual dissertation committee fully committed to deconstructing hegemonic practices within the Sign Language community, and open to new and innovative ways of preparing dissertations, especially in ASL. Involvement of participants in research is emancipatory for both the researcher and the participants, however, this transformative approach towards research is not possible for all research topics due to a variety of factors such as time, money and systematic barriers. Nevertheless, it may be possible to promote social change without having complete participant involvement, by sharing the research results through publications, presentations, workshops, and by consulting with programs and schools (Harris, et al., 2009). Selected members of the Sign Language community are included in the interpretation and research process of this study; that process in itself is transformative because it distributes power back to the community. Regardless of the results, the researcher, participants and the community are in some ways transformed by the research process (Mertens, 2009).

68 Some may think the principles of transformative paradigm are similar to feminist theory (Madison, 2005; Reinharz, 1992), queer theory (Plummer, 2005), critical race theory (McCaskill, 2005; Parker & Lynn, 2002), postcolonial and indigenous theories (Battiste, 2000; Chilisa, 2005), and participatory action theory (Kemmis & McTaggart, 2005; Reason & Bradbury, 2006). Denzin and Lincoln (2005) classify these theories under the critical (emancipatory) paradigm (p. 22). The relationship between theories and paradigms was clarified through correspondence with Denzin and Lincoln, who stated that theories are integrated statements, within paradigms. .., while paradigms are overarching cosmological statements to which we subscribe when we engage in research (personal communication, March 19, 2006). Lincoln and Denzin use the metaphor of paradigms as parent, and theories as children, and in order to collapse theories within paradigms as long as they exhibit resonance and are commensurate (personal communication, March 19, 2006). Feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory, and more can be placed under the transformative paradigm as a metaphysical umbrella, with the goal of deconstructing power and transforming society with research results (Mertens, 2009). The transformative paradigm is distinguished from other paradigms because: 1) the lives and experiences of the participants are of central importance; 2) inequities based on gender, race, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic classes are analyzed; 3) the researcher examines results of a transformative study and its links to political and social action; and 4) transformative paradigm is used in developing program theory (Mertens, Farley, Madison, & Singleton, 1994). In this case, what is discovered about extended discourse in ASL may have an effect on teacher training programs and in-service training

69 about teaching and learning in preschool classrooms for deaf students. The findings may also make an impact on nationwide early intervention programs, and how deaf preschool classrooms are currently structured. Transformative Paradigm, Data Collection, and Analysis In this section, I delineate how the data collection process of the Signs of Literacy project and my dissertation study are commensurate with the transformative research paradigm. This study uses data collected by the Signs of Literacy (SOL) research team in the past. The years of data collection are not specified to protect the identity of the participants in this study. From the beginning of the Signs of Literacy longitudinal study, teachers and researchers worked collaboratively; the goal was to distribute power as evenly as possible among researchers and teachers, deaf and hearing people, and ASL was the language of communication (C. Erting, 2003b). In essence, the data in this mixed methods study were collected in the transformative sense although the label transformative paradigm had not yet become widespread at the time of data collection. The intention of the Signs of Literacy data collection was to document deaf children's ASL and English literacy development in preschool classrooms and the pedagogical practices of ASL/print English bilingual preschool teachers. Since the data were already collected by the Signs of Literacy (SOL) research team, the ability to apply the transformative paradigm to this current study is limited due to the fact that data collection happened in the past. However, the researcher maintained the transformative stance of the original research team by including a Deaf peer debriefer who was responsible for debriefing me as I sorted through the data, interviewing the original teachers in this study,

70 and by making the results available in ASL and English for educators, parents and the Sign Language community. In order to be a transformative study, there are six criteria. Here, I explain how my dissertation study is transformative. 1) Positionality or standpoint epistemology. All research studies are in fact, incomplete because they represent a part of the truth. It is impossible for a research study to contain all universal truths because knowledge is contextual. What happens in a study is inherently influenced by the position of the researcher at this point in history and by the setting (Lincoln, 1995; Mertens, 2010). This study is breaking new ground in an area never studied before, extended discourse in ASL among preschool deaf children and their teachers. It is hoped that this study will help increase the interest of other researchers in studying extended discourse in ASL and contribute to research literature about extended discourse. The more research-based contributions, the better understanding we have about extended discourse in ASL and its role in education. 2) Community. A transformative study must be linked to the community and result in positive action within the community (Lincoln, 1995; Mertens, 2010). This research study is situated within the Sign Language community. It is my intent to make the research results accessible to the Sign Language community through ASL and English for educators, parents, and community members (Harris, et al., 2009). 3) Attention to voice. As a transformative researcher, it is crucial that the insight and perspective of the participants are represented in this study (Lincoln, 1995; Mertens 2010). One of the strengths of this study is the number of Deaf people and Sign Language community members involved who keep me honest, in other words, conscious

71 of representing marginalized voices. My dissertation team members represent a diverse cohort of Deaf and Sign Language community members, including a Deaf person of color. Likewise, my peer debriefer, and my research auditor, who tracked my data to my results and interpretations and back to the data, is Deaf and a member of the Sign Language community. In addition, I am a Deaf researcher and a member of the Sign Language community. 4) Critical reflexivity. The importance of self-awareness by the transformative researcher for duration of the study cannot be overlooked. I relied on Spradley (1979) ethnographical techniques (elaborated later in this chapter) in studying collected data, which includes a mandatory reflective column to assess my own self-awareness, personal transformation, and critical subjectivity (Guzmn, 2003; Lincoln, 1995; Mertens, 2010). 5) Reciprocity. The research methods for collecting data need to demonstrate a sense of trust and mutuality between the researcher and the participants in the study (Lincoln, 1995; Mertens, 2010). The data in this study were collected by a collaborative team of Deaf and hearing teachers and researchers. To ensure linguistic access for everyone, ASL is the language of communication during Signs of Literacy research team meetings (C. Erting, 2003b). Deaf and hearing teachers and researchers used ASL as the language of communication throughout all aspects of data collection. I continued the inclusive and reciprocal nature of the original data collection by having the teachers and the site research coordinator at the time of data collection review and provide feedback on the transcripts, data interpretation, and analysis of this study. 6) Sharing the perquisites of privilege. One way to share the perquisites of privilege is to ensure a share of the royalties from research-based books and publications should go

72 back to the community (Lincoln, 1995; Mertens, 2010). Currently, there are no plans in making profit off the study results, for instance, book publication, workshop/lecture presentation or DVD sales. If a for-profit opportunity emerges from the results of this study, I will donate a share of the royalties to the Sign Language community, perhaps to a non-profit organization promoting ASL/English bilingual preschools nationwide. In all, this study meets the six criteria to be considered a transformative study. Although the data in this study were collected from a mixed methods standpoint, the centrality of ASL and the Deaf experience and the insight of Deaf teachers and researchers were constantly an important priority throughout data collection and throughout this dissertation study. Background of the Researcher Since my high school years, I have been interested in the role of ASL in schools and classrooms. At that time, the first Deaf Studies course co-taught by two Deaf teachers was offered at my high school (possibly the first such course in the nation), and this spurred my interest in my heritage, language, and culture. Like my parents, I enrolled at Gallaudet University, the only liberal arts university in the world for D/deaf people. During that time, my mother was the principal at the first public school in the United States to identify itself an ASL/English bilingual and bicultural Deaf school. My mother shared the struggles and progress of this school in transitioning to a bilingual and bicultural school with me and this made a lasting impact on me. From that point on, I started attending workshops at The Bicultural Center (TBC), an activist organization dedicated to promote understanding of bicultural education and qualified ASL teaching and interpreting (Bauman, 2008, p. 11). The center was managed by Dr. MJ Bienvenu

73 and Betty Colonomos in Riverdale, Maryland. The information shared during their workshops was one of the reasons I decided to major in American Sign Language for my undergraduate studies. I, with other students, established the first Bilingual and Bicultural week at Gallaudet, which was then renamed Deaf Issues Department within the university Student Body Government. Upon graduation, I continued my passion in learning more about ASL by enrolling in graduate school, focusing on ASL linguistics and ASL/English bilingual education. I remained actively involved with the study of ASL and its role in our education throughout my work as an ASL consultant, teacher, and specialist at a variety of deaf schools and programs in the United States. When I applied for the doctoral program in Gallaudet Universitys Department of Education in 2002, I wrote in my application essay that I wanted to study and develop ASL resources for schools but did not know which area to focus on ASL assessment tools or ASL curriculum resources. Over the years of learning from my professors and classmates, I have realized that research on different aspects of ASL research contributes to both ASL assessment and curriculum development. The opportunity to do a study of this magnitude is only the beginning of my long-term vision where ASL is placed on an equal footing with English, and the amount of research, resources, and knowledge about ASL as a language reaches a monumental expansion, equaling research and resources for English. It is possible that readers may find sharing my personal background in a dissertation study a bit unusual. I share my background because in this study, I am a research instrument (Mertens, 2009). I make decisions about data collection and interpretation. In the interest of full disclosure, I bring to this study the following beliefs

74 and assumptions about ASL, Deaf students, discourse, and ASL/English bilingual education: 1. ASL is an accessible and natural language for Deaf infants, children, and adults in the United States and parts of Canada. 2. Deaf infants, toddlers, and children have not been given enough opportunities at home and at school to participate in extended discourse with adults fluent in ASL. 3. Before we can transform Deaf education, we must understand the role of extended discourse in ASL. 4. Extended discourse is the heart of teaching and learning. Parents and teachers who participate in extended discourses with children early in life position children on a higher trajectory for academic achievement and literacy development. 5. ASL/English bilingual education supports Deaf students in becoming bilingual. Extended discourse in ASL/English bilingual education supports Deaf students in becoming literate bilingual adults. Later in this chapter, I share vital research techniques such as member checks, peer debriefing, progressive subjectivity, and dependability and confirmability audits to keep my beliefs and assumptions as indicated above from clouding my interpretation of the data. I now turn to research design, research questions, site of study, participants, data collection, and data analysis process. Research Questions This study explores the nature of extended discourse in an ASL/English bilingual classroom among Deaf bilingual teachers and deaf preschool students. The following questions guided this study: 1. What is the context in which extended discourse is used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf preschool students in an ASL/English bilingual classroom? a. b. During which classroom activities do teachers tend to extend discourse? What types of extended discourse do teachers and students use?

75

c.

What characteristics facilitate teachers and students extend discourse interactions?

2. What are the linguistic features of extended discourse used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf students in an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom? a. b. Which sentence types are used during extended discourse? What kinds of ASL-English links are present in extended discourse? Research Design As mentioned earlier in this chapter, researchers work from a variety of paradigms. My beliefs and values are closely aligned with the transformative paradigm. The transformative paradigm is focused on the use of research to address issues of social justice and human rights (Mertens, 2010). Paradigms represent broader statements we subscribe to when we engage in research. Theories help frame the research agenda. There are several useful theoretical perspectives from which to approach this dissertation study. The framework of this transformative concurrent mixed methods study combines qualitative ethnography with quantitative methods simultaneously (Mertens, 2009). Data in this study are collected from naturalistic classroom contexts and from interviews with the teachers. The discourses teachers and students participate in are studied from an ethnographic perspective to help with describing the social practices of extended discourse in an ASL/English bilingual deaf preschool classroom. The intention of incorporating quantitative methodology is to help capture the frequencies of particular aspects of extended discourse in the same classroom. This study integrates two approaches, qualitative ethnography and quantitative methods, under the metaphysical umbrella of the transformative paradigm to help describe the broad components of extended discourse in ASL.

76 Case Study Since this research study is focused on one classroom throughout one academic year, a case study approach is consistent with the goals of this study. In a case study, data collection methods are focused on describing the nature of the case; the historical background; the physical setting; the economic, political, legal, and aesthetic contexts; other cases; and the participants (Stake, 2000). Although studying one preschool classroom might appear to make the findings less generalizable to other classrooms, this approach actually allows for greater understanding of the complexity of the situation (Mertens, 2010; Stake, 2000). In research, generalizability allows us to extend our findings to other similar situations. In this type of study, internal generalizability is significant because the findings can be generalized within the community and with similar school programs (Maxwell, 1992). Interactional Sociolinguistics Theory Since this study is focused on language used by teachers with their students another valuable theoretical orientation for this study is interactional sociolinguistics theory, which emphasizes how language is used in context (Schriffin, 1994). One limitation of this theoretical orientation is the stance on data collection, because the requirements for studying language in action are not made explicit. Mediated Discourse Theory Here, mediated discourse theory is useful, making explicit the importance of asking two questions: What is the action going on here? And how does discourse figure into these actions? (Scollon, 2001, p. 1). One of the best ways to document the action and the discourse is through the use of video cameras (Scollon, 2001). Typically, data

77 collection consists of audio recording and written observational notes. In the case of sign language, a visual language, video recording is necessary. Video recording allows a better understanding of the language data and helps detract from the western ideology of linear transcripts that are insufficient in demonstrating the connection between the action and the language used by people in the data (Norris, 2002). By not simply adhering to general linguistic transcription conventions, but instead, also transcribing the action of the people participating in linguistic interactions, the action carries crucial communicative meaning that would be lost with conventional transcriptions (Scollon, 2001). Video also serves as a powerful medium for capturing records of teaching practices for analyzing the interactions involved in learning activities and conversations. Social action includes, for example, the discourse, the teacher holding and turning the pages of the book, and the student who hangs on the teachers arm while she signs to get her attention. Such social actions are critical components of discourse and by studying the discourse out of context, the validity of the study is undermined (Norris, 2002). Also, the discourse of preschool students is more spontaneous and not always standard with respect to adult discourse and especially challenging with smaller hands than those of adult signers (C. Erting, 1980), therefore, analyzing data that allows access to both video and the transcript concurrently, as well as analytical and descriptive notes, help minimize misrepresentation of the data. The Signs of Literacy Project The data set of this dissertation study involves 113 hours of video data (plus several sources of paper artifacts) from a much larger data set of about 1,300 hours of video data of naturalistic home and preschool settings and structured interviews. The

78 Signs of Literacy research project is housed at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. The Signs of Literacy project was formed early in the 1990s to document and describe the context of bilingual biliteracy for young deaf children in classrooms with bilingual ASL and English teachers. Data collection included video documentation of preschool classroom activities, teacher interviews, and artifact collection on a regular basis for three years. Signs of Literacy Team Meetings Throughout my dissertation proposal writing and my first two tours of my data (elaborated on in the next section), I met with two other doctoral students working with similar data and several Signs of Literacy researchers on a regular basis. Members of the Signs of Literacy research team include myself and two other doctoral candidates Rosalinda Ricasa and Margaret Higgs Klotz; an ELAN consultant and doctoral candidate with the Department of Linguistics, Julie Hochgesang; a data technician on part-time loan from Visual Language and Learning (VL2) center supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), housed at Gallaudet University, Wei Wang; professor and researcher from Boston University affiliated with the Signs of Literacy research team, Dr. Marlon Kuntze; the co-director of the Signs of Literacy research laboratory, and chair of the Department of Education, Dr. Cynthia Neese Bailes; original site coordinator and researcher of the Signs of Literacy data collection, and current SOL lab coordinator, researcher and special assistant to the Graduate School and Professional Programs Dean, Carlene Thumann-Prezioso; original researcher with the Signs of Literacy data, and current assistant principal at Kendall School, Dr. Lynne Erting; original researcher with the Signs of Literacy, and current Gallaudet Research Institute researcher, Dr. Charles

79 Reilly; and original Signs of Literacy primary investigator and current SOL co-director and Dean of Graduate School and Professional Programs, Dr. Carol J. Erting. Table 3.1 Signs of Literacy Research Team 2009-2010

Role

Deaf/Hearing ASL Fluency

Ethnicity

Co-Coordinator Co-Coordinator* Affiliated Researcher* Doctoral Candidate Technician Doctoral Candidate Affiliated Researcher University Researcher* Doctoral Candidate Lab Coordinator* Technician

Deaf Hearing Hearing Deaf Deaf Hearing Deaf Hearing Hearing Deaf Deaf

Near-native Fluent Fluent Native Near-native Fluent Native Fluent Fluent Native Fluent

Euro. Am. Euro. Am. Euro. Am. Euro. Am. Euro. Am. Euro. Am. Euro. Am. Euro. Am. Asian Am. Euro. Am. Asian Am.

*Part of the original on-site SOL data collection

Signs of Literacy research team meetings covered various topics depending on where the doctoral students were in our dissertation work. These topics included operational definitions of the concepts we used in our data analysis; discussing and refining our research questions; sharing and reviewing a variety of relevant research publications; and watching video clips together and discussing our analysis and interpretations. I started to participate in those meetings in fall 2004, when I signed up as a doctoral research intern with the Signs of Literacy research laboratory for four consecutive semesters until spring 2006. After successfully defending my written and oral comprehensive exams, I decided to use the data from SOL collection for my dissertation concept paper so I returned to those meetings in the spring of 2007 and

80 continued to participate. Those meetings were regularly scheduled on a weekly basis, however at certain points of the academic year, we would meet twice a week, and sometimes not meet for a month at a time (usually during the summer and holidays). Purposive Sampling Since the SOL data set involves about 1,300 hours of video data of naturalistic home and preschool settings and structured interviews over a three-year period, I decided to narrow down this dissertation study to one academic year, consisting of 113 hours of video data (plus several sources of paper artifacts). In order to purposively select a cohort where extended discourse is likely to occur frequently for significant data analysis, I decided on two criteria. The first criterion was that the teachers of the classroom would need to be Deaf native ASL speakers. The rationale for that decision is supported by research findings about the importance of shared background and world knowledge between students and teachers sharing the same culture (Cummins, 2000; Delpit, 1998; Freire, 1970; Gonzlez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005; Heath, 1983; Lee, 2007) in this case, Deaf culture, and the importance of linguistic interaction between emerging and developing bilingual children and native bilingual adults for academic access and progress (Cummins, 2000; Diaz, 1985; Johnson & Erting, C., 1989; Mather, 1987; Vygotsky, 1986). The second criterion was that there would need to be a majority of Deaf native ASL preschool students in the classroom. From birth, their exposure to ASL on a daily basis by their Deaf, fluent ASL speaking parents (and possibly older siblings) parallel the linguistic and cultural development of non-deaf children. The rationale for seeking a majority of Deaf native ASL preschoolers is their deaf bilingual language abilities likely mirror the abilities of non-deaf bilingual children (Emmorey, 2002;

81 Mayberry, 2007; Newport, 1990), providing potential opportunities for extended discourse with and among students who arrive at the preschool classroom with ageappropriate linguistic competency. It is important to acknowledge this criterion is atypical of preschools for deaf children in the United States, primarily because as stated previously, more than 90% of deaf children have hearing parents (Mitchell, 2004) who may not know sign language. Based on these criteria, a specific cohort in the Signs of Literacy data collection was selected. The classroom selected was a part of a kindergarten through 8 th grade day school for the deaf, serving deaf children from birth through age 15 with a total of approximately 200 students. The school was in an urban setting and located on the east coast. The preschool classroom selected for this study consisted of two preschool teachers who are Deaf, native ASL speakers. They team taught twelve Deaf preschoolers with the assistance of a Deaf teacher aide. Participants The Signs of Literacy preschool data collection phase continued for three years. The classroom selected for this dissertation study came from the third year of the Signs of Literacy data collection phase. Although the teachers worked at the same school, they were not a part of the Signs of Literacy data collection during the first two years. The teacher aide was familiar with the Signs of Literacy research team because during the previous two years, she worked with different teachers and that classroom was a part of the Signs of Literacy data collection. Students

82 Some of the students in this study attended the same school under different teachers during the years of data collection. The length of school attendance means there is a possibility of increased exposure and experience with extended discourse in ASL because of the presence of ASL-fluent teachers and classmates. Five out of twelve students in this study were going into their third year with the Signs of Literacy research team, like the teacher aide. Three students were going into their second year with the Signs of Literacy research team. The remaining four students had never seen the Signs of Literacy research team before, like the teachers in this study. At the beginning of the school year, in this study, the students ages ranged from 4;43 to 5;5. At the end of the study, their ages ranged from 5;2 to 6;3 in June. This class had 6 females and 6 males. There were nine European-Americans, two AfricanAmericans, one Asian American and one Eastern European. Both of the teachers and the teacher aide were Deaf ASL/English bilingual females who signed from birth. The teachers were European-American and the teacher aide was a Deaf African-American. This class also had a high number of deaf children with at least one deaf parent (8 out of 12), and all of the deaf parents used ASL at home. That means this class had a majority of deaf children who arrived at school with ASL competence, which is not representative of most deaf preschools in the USA, considering the fact that approximately 90% of deaf children have hearing, non-signing parents (Mitchell, 2004). As mentioned earlier, this was one of the main reasons that specific classroom was selected for this study-- the deaf childrens competence in ASL upon arrival at preschool may create more opportunities for extended discourse.

Year; Month.

83 One unique feature of this study is the diverse experiences of the students. They all arrived at this preschool with varying skills in American Sign Language. Six students out of twelve had Deaf parents and arrived at the classroom with fluent ASL skills as indicated in student records. In addition, two students had one Deaf parent and one hearing parent. One of these two students lived full-time with her hearing parent who was a fluent ASL user and worked occasionally as an ASL-English interpreter. The other one was adopted six months earlier from another country and was a new ASL signer. Of the remaining four students, one had an older deaf brother in a neighboring high school who spoke ASL, however he lived in the dorms and did not go home to interact with the family except during school holidays. One had a hearing parent who knew basic ASL signs. The remaining two students had parents who knew a few ASL signs and mostly used gestures and exaggerated mouth movements to communicate with their children. The following table (Table 3.2) delineates students pseudonyms, their age at the beginning of the academic year, gender, ethnic background, identifying Deaf members of students family, their primary language used at home, and the number of years the student had been in the Signs of Literacy study. Teachers Ms. Jane, a Deaf European American, is an only child of Deaf parents. She rates herself as a fluent ASL speaker, receptively and expressively. She attended the same residential school from preschool until graduation. In her interview, she explained that from preschool through 4th grade, she was taught using mostly the oral approach, but fortunately she had some residual hearing so she was able to follow what was being said. From 5th grade on, almost all of her teachers were deaf, using ASL as the language of

84 instruction. On her fathers side, she has Deaf grandparents. On her mothers side, she has a Deaf uncle and aunt. All of them used ASL with her from birth. She attended Gallaudet University for one year then transferred to a hearing college because they had
Table 3.2 Student Demographics

Student Age Gender Ethnic Background

Family Background

Home Language

Years in Study 3

Ann

4.7

European American

Deaf parents, ASL older deaf sibling4 Deaf/hearing Parents Deaf Deaf Hearing Hearing Deaf ASL

Bree

4.3

European American

Cam

4.3

F M F M M M

European American European American African American African American European American Asian American

ASL ASL Spoken English Spoken English ASL

2 3 1 1 1 3

Charlie 4.5 Clara Dex Don Isaac 4.10 4.7 4.5 4.9

Hearing Spoken English parents, older deaf sibling (10+years) 5 Deaf Hearing Deaf/hearing parents, older deaf siblings Deaf ASL Spoken English/ Sign Language6 ASL

Jean Joe Katie

4.7 5.5 4.10

F M F

European American European American Eastern European

3 2 2

Mickey 4.10

European American

ASL

Older deaf siblings are noted here rather than younger deaf siblings to be commensurate with the sociocultural theory of language development with more fluent speakers. 5 Older brother is enrolled in a residential school and does not goes home on a regular basis except when school is closed 4 times a year (Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring break and summer time).

85 an undergraduate program in elementary education. She graduated with a bachelor of science in elementary education and then went to a graduate school, which used ASL as the language of classroom instruction, receiving a Masters in Deaf Education. She did not take any formal classes in ASL, but has taken workshops related to ASL structure. Prior to participating in this study, she had accumulated 8 years of teaching experience. Ms. Karen, also a Deaf European American, is the other teacher in this study. She described herself as a fluent ASL user, receptively and expressively. She attended an oral preschool from three to six years old, then attended a residential school until graduation. The Deaf relatives on Ms. Karens mothers side skip every other generation. Her maternal great, great grandparents were Deaf, her maternal great grandparents were hearing, her maternal grandparents were Deaf, and then her mother was hearing. She commented that her grandfather used pure ASL7. Her grandmother worked at the residential school as a dorm supervisor and incorporated some English-based signs from the school environment in her signing. Ms. Karens hearing mother signed to Ms. Karen since she was born and tended to use English influenced signing. Her father was hearing and had hearing relatives. Ms. Karen shared, My (Deaf) grandparents were nearby. They lived near our home. We lived in the same area. So I have been signing all my life. ASL? asked the interviewer. Yes, ASL, Ms. Karen confirmed. She attended a university for deaf students, graduated with an undergraduate degree in psychology, and married a Deaf man. Then she continued her schooling, obtaining a Masters in education, specializing in early childhood education. During her studies, she
6

Reports from teachers in the study and research team members say the mother spoke and used a selection of invented English signs and ASL signs in English word order simultaneously.

86 took ASL linguistics classes. She had approximately 1 year of teaching experience prior to participating in this study. Ms. Grace, the teacher aide, is a Deaf African American who became deaf at three years old. Her hearing parents brought her to the same school in this study, and she learned American Sign Language. Her parents, she states, never learned ASL. She graduated and returned to the same school as a teacher aide and was entering her 23 rd year as a teacher aide at the time of data collection. She commented that she never entered college or took college courses, however she says she participated in numerous in-service training for teachers and teacher aides at the same school, and there were a couple of in-service workshops about ASL and Deaf culture at the time of data collection. This was her third year as a teacher aide in the Signs of Literacy project. Data Collection Procedures The Signs of Literacy (SOL) research team prepared informed consent forms and informed the participants (teachers) and parents of the students in class about data collection procedures. All of the students parents and teachers co nsented to the investigation. The teacher-participants knew that they would be interviewed periodically, asked to review videotapes, discuss what was happening in the videos, and asked to submit teacher journals (which they eventually chose to do in ASL, via a video camera). Data collection for this class began in September and ended in June. Several different types of data were collected: classroom video data, documents (site coordinator notes, classroom artifacts, and student records), and teacher interviews and journals. Videotapes of Classroom Interaction
7

The expression, pure ASL is often used by Sign Language community members to describe a signing style that has very little or no influence from the majority language, English. People with pure ASL skills

87 The Signs of Literacy research team used three cameras in three different areas of the classroom to collect data simultaneously, which allowed researchers to see discourse as it occurred from several perspectives and to capture as much of what was going on as possible. The data was recorded in VHS format, with time codes. The intrusiveness of the cameras and the people handling the cameras was minimized to the extent possible in several ways. Instead of the researchers deciding where to set up the cameras, the teachers determined the best locations for the cameras in the classroom. The cameras were also set up a week before data collection began so the students would become desensitized to the equipment. In addition, the class was filmed thirteen times for a full school year with the same group of camera handlers, so the students were seeing the same people in the classroom rather than new camera handlers every time. In the case of this study with a visual-based language, the signing children were videotaped by three camera handlers handling three video cameras on a tripod with wheels and wires attached to the wall. The difficulty is compounded by the preschoolers 3 -dimensional little hands, which are not as easily captured on a video camera, nor as easily viewed on a 2dimensional television screen. The teachers taught the classes as planned. They were not asked by the Signs of Literacy research team to modify their lessons or discuss particular themes or materials. The video cameras captured natural classroom interaction. There were approximately 3 hours of videotaped data per morning. The videotaped dates throughout the academic year are as follows: September 9 and 27, October 9 and 24, November 9 and 13 (1 hours each day due to technical problems), December 12, January 24, February 22, March 5 and 18, April 26, May 8 and 23, a total of approximately 107 hours of data as
are often regarded with awe and respect within the Sign Language community.

88 noted in Table 3.3. All videotapes were reviewed using ethnographic techniques described by Spradley (1979) and are discussed further in the data analysis section. Document Review Three types of documents were reviewed in this study: the site coordinator notes, student records, and classroom artifacts. Every time the classroom was filmed, the site coordinator of the video camera handlers took carefully detailed notes including information such as absent students, materials used in a specific activity, and comments made by teachers to the camera handlers about classroom activities that were not filmed. The site coordinator also documented who was responsible for operating each camera and the names of visitors to the classroom. These documents were reviewed contemporaneously with the classroom video data.
Table 3.3 Dissertation Study Classroom Video Data Set

Month

Day

Minutes of Classroom Footage

September September October October November November December January February March March April May May

9 27 9 24 9 13 12 24 22 5 18 26 8 23

180 147 161 141 70 99 173 170 156 173 170 165 168 126

Total: 2,099 minutes (35 hours and 38 minutes) Total multiplied by 3 cameras: 106 hours and 54 minutes

89 At the end of each visit, the camera handlers split up the following responsibilities: one filmed the classroom walls for new posters and drawings; another filmed the front cover and each page of every book used to share stories in class; another filmed drawings and paintings done by the students throughout the day. Some of the classroom artifacts were donated to the research lab. These videotaped artifacts and physical artifacts were reviewed concurrently with the classroom video data. Student records consist of the following information on each student: intake information, audiological charts, communication assessment and treatment plans, social work and counseling reports, medical history, infant family service plan and individualized education plan, Child Study Team (CST) summaries, and psychological summaries. The language data found in these records were compared with teacher interviews and videotaped classroom data. Language-related data from student records were documented. In addition, these documents and video data were coded and analyzed, looking for patterns and cross-data comparisons. Documents were reviewed using ethnographic techniques described by Spradley (1979) and discussed later in the data analysis section. Teacher Interviews and Journals The first interview with the teachers during data collection was semi-structured. Both teachers chose to be interviewed in ASL. A Deaf native ASL interviewer used a background and teaching questionnaire and asked additional probing questions for more details when needed. The background questionnaire included questions about their background with ASL, the Deaf community, and their education. The teaching questionnaire included questions about their teaching philosophy, their comments about

90 teaching content and individual student progress. The questions are listed in Appendix A. The teachers were encouraged to submit journals in ASL about their teaching experience during the SOL study. The teachers were also asked to participate in video playback open-ended interviews with SOL researchers. The researchers would select clips from the data collection and ask the teachers what they thought was happening in the video clips to gain a better understanding of the context, in other words, an emic account. Ms. Janes background interview was on September 28th, she did a video journal on March 1st, and then she was interviewed with video playbacks on July 29 th. Ms. Karen was first interviewed on October 5th, did a video journal on February 22nd, and she was interviewed with video playbacks on June 6th. Table 3.4 Dissertation Study Teacher Video Data Set

Teacher

Type of Interview

Month

Day

Minutes

Ms. Jane Ms. Jane Ms. Jane

Background Video Journal Video Playbacks

September March July

28 1 29

116 31 53

Total: 200 (3 hours 20 m.) Ms. Karen Ms. Karen Ms. Karen Background Video Journal Video Playbacks October February June 5 22 6 53 67 52

Total: 172 (2 hours 52 m.) Teachers Total: 372 (6 hours 12 m.)

91 Follow-up Teacher Interviews The follow-up interviews with both teachers and the teacher aide was partly designed using information gathered from the original interviews and on the focused coding of videotaped classroom interaction. The definition and criteria for extended discourse was shared with the teachers and the teacher aide along with several examples of what extended discourse looked like in the HSSLLD study. The findings of this study were shared in detail with the teachers, and they were asked for their reactions to each component of this study. The teachers viewed selected extended discourse samples from the data. The interview was semi-structured, with questions developed based on the randomly selected extended discourse interactions. Additional probing questions were asked as needed. Sample questions include: What is your reaction to the results of this research study? Can you tell me what is happening in this video clip? Do you remember what you were thinking and feeling at this time? Is this a typical classroom event? Why or why not? Based on what you just learned about extended discourse, do you think this is an example of extended discourse in ASL? Why or why not? What are the characteristics of extended discourse for this interaction? In general? Do you think this event promoted academic achievement and literacy development for the student(s) involved in the conversation? Why or why not? The review of the videos of the classroom, interviews and journals, documents, and follow-up interviews serve important purposes. They allow the researcher and the research auditors to determine the dependability and authenticity of the data, elaborated below in the research rigor section. A follow-up interview with each teacher in this study

92 occurred near the end of the data analysis process after all of the extended discourse interactions were coded. Video clips of extended discourse between the teacher and their student(s) were randomly selected for the follow-up interview. The video clips involving the teacher with the student were shown to the same teacher in the video. For instance, Ms. Jane and I only discussed extended discourse interactions that Ms. Jane participated in. The same procedure was repeated with the other teacher, Ms. Karen. The interview questions, like the video playback interviews during SOL data collection (Appendix A), were open-ended and semi-structured. The interviews with each teacher and video playbacks were videotaped. Language-related data from all interviews, and teacher journals were coded and analyzed for patterns and cross-data comparisons. Those interview and journal videotapes were reviewed using ethnographic techniques by Spradley (1979) and initial and focused coding by Charmaz (2006) and are discussed further in the data analysis section. Data Analysis The classroom video data were coded and analyzed for extended discourse interactions in a preschool ASL/English classroom with bilingual teachers. Spradleys (1979) ethnographic techniques were used for data analysis. In his classic The Ethnographic Interview, he emphasizes that ethnography is a non-linear process where researchers continue to shuffle between the research question, data collection, analysis and interpretation. Evidence of this type of shuffling in this study is the recent revision of my research questions, halfway through my data analysis. Spradley (1979) uses a cartographer studying land as a metaphor to describe the dual nature of an ethnographer: an ethnographer both examines the small details of culture and at the same time seeks t o

93 chart the broader features of the cultural landscape (p. 185). The role of ethnographer researchers, Spradley (1979) asserts, is to be students of the people they are studying. In this case, I am learning about the use of extended discourse in an ASL/English preschool classroom from the teachers and students. To date, there has been no research on extended discourse in ASL/English preschool classes. It is convenient to use concepts and categories from a similar, earlier study of a different population such as the Home-School Study (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001). This is especially useful when studying a specialized population such as Deaf teachers and D/deaf students. It may be convenient to apply research findings from other non-deaf contexts to this Deaf classroom, however, we need to step back and look at the data with fresh, unclouded eyes. Thus, while considering categories developed by studies of English speakers, it is also important to allow unique categories to emerge. This is why flexibility in coding and categorizing in the beginning stages of data analysis is valuable (Charmaz, 2006; Mertens, 2010; Saldaa, 2009). For example, in the HomeSchool Study of Language and Literacy Development, there are several different types of extended discourse emerged between non-deaf preschool teachers and students (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001). In this study, I am the research instrument; I looked for examples of these extended discourse types in the data for this study, however, I did not limit myself to these discourse categories. In other words, I was conscious of the 95 findings of the Home-School Study, and yet, I looked at the data with the understanding that the use of a visual-spatial language in a bilingual setting with different cultural traditions than non-deaf classrooms may allow for new categories and patterns from the data. The linguistic features of extended discourse in spoken English may differ from

94 extended discourse in ASL, or the context in which extended discourse occurs in an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom may differ from such contexts where spoken English is the language of discourse. Categories and codes emerge and are revised through several repeated tours of the data in order to saturate the data analysis process (Charmaz, 2006; Saldaa, 2009). The first tour is called a grand tour, and the second is called a mini-tour (Spradley, 1979), also called first cycle and second cycle coding by Saldaa (2009). For the third to ur of the data, I used Charmazs (2006) focused coding approach in categorizing the data incisively and completely (p. 57) to saturate the data completely. Grand Tour When first approaching the data, Spradley recommends doing a grand tour, a broad, sweeping inquiry of what is happening in the data to get a general sense of the surroundings, people, objects, discourse, and activities over a period of time (1979). During this grand tour of one academic year of classroom video data from September until June, I documented the following: time, camera (there are three), participants, and a descriptive and analytical memo. The descriptive memo is my description of what occurred in the data, in other words, field notes. An analytical memo includes analysis about cultural meanings, interpretations, and insights about the data. In my analytical memo, I brainstormed ideas as they came to me while watching videos and thinking about the data. Like Spradley says, my memos are a place to think on paper about the culture under consideration (1979, p. 76). In my grand tour, I also used highlights (in other words, tagged) sections that might appear to be extended discourse. An extended discourse checklist was developed based on the definitions and descriptions of

95 extended discourse in the Home-School Study (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001) to help maintain consistency during the tagging process (see page 116). Figure 3.1 displays a snapshot sample of my grand tour analysis.

Figure 3.1. Image sample of a Grand Tour memo. Mini-tour For the next step, Spradley suggests the researcher repeat a tour of the data, which he calls a mini-tour, or a secondary tour, refining the explanations of the processes that occur in the data. The level of inquiry in a mini-tour is actually identical to grand tour

96 questions except that they deal with a much smaller unit of experience (Spradley, 1979, p. 88). In this secondary tour, I expanded on the previous categories and codes including exact time the discourse was occurring, identifying which camera was recording, identifying participants, and describing the activity such as free play or silent reading with more detail. Based on the grand tour and the mini-tour, I also identified the type of extended discourse and types of ASL-English links using the initial coding approach developed by Charmaz (2006). Charmaz (2006) describes initial coding as a way for the researcher to create codes based on the data. Codes are brief one-word descriptions or acronyms, describing what is happening in the data, rather than applying preconceived categories or codes to the data. I also refined my descriptions and found myself stumbling on more examples of extended discourse that I missed in the first grand tour. In the analytical memo, I dated and expanded on my thoughts about patterns and relationships in the data. Figure 3.2 displays a snapshot sample of my secondary tour analysis. Focused Coding For my third tour of the video data, I used the focused coding approach (Charmaz, 2006). Focused coding allows us to see features of extended discourse through a window that would otherwise be overlooked by not grounding the data analysis to allow for more meaningful categories to emerge from the data. Focused coding is more direct, selective and conceptual than initial coding (Charmaz, 2006). The focused coding technique is where the most significant and/or frequent codes used during the first and second tours of the data are used to comb through large amounts of data (Charmaz, 2006; Saldaa, 2009).

97

Figure 3.2. Image sample of a Secondary Tour memo.

98 I included the following modified categories for the third tour of the data, with the intent to uncover extended ASL discourse structure and patterns situated in pre-academic settings. The categories in the focused coding analysis are described below. Attendance tiers. I looked at the frequency of extended discourse interactions per child but this would not be represented accurately if their presence in the classroom were not tracked. During the first two tours of the data, I noticed students were often taken out for various reasons (e.g., bathroom break, speech therapy, to see the nurse, occupational therapy). This category tracked the approximate number of minutes each participant is present in the classroom so this can be compared with the frequency of and length of extended discourse interactions. Camera and activity tiers. While I was analyzing the first tour of the data, often I returned to a certain time code and realized I did not know which camera filmed the event. This led me to specify the cameras during the second tour. I also decided to identify activities during the second tour. At the completion of the second tour, I realized the terms I wrote down for the activities were inconsistent and difficult to review. To keep the original representation of the activities in this data collection, another doctoral student, Margaret Higgs Klotz, and I were advised during one of the Signs of Literacy research team meetings to follow the terms used to describe the activities by the original teachers and original on-site research coordinator. After reviewing the documents, Margaret and I noticed teacher and researcher variation in classroom activity terminology. We decided to do a frequency count of the activity terminology. The highest count became the official activity term for coding during the third tour of the

99 data. The results are delineated in Table 3.5, with bold items indicating the official choice for the coding process.
Table 3.5 Frequency of Activity Terminology Used by Teachers in This Study8

Terms Used of Use Free Choice Free Choice/Play Open Activity Open Activity Time Reading Reading Activity Group Reading Reading Groups Language Arts Free Reading Reading Corner Individual Reading Reading Area Book Reading Story Reading Quiet/Silent Reading Storytelling Story Groups Story time Story Reading Math Math Your Way Math Their Way Math-Related Activities Math Groups

Frequency of Use

Terms Used

Frequency

18 11 3 1 16 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 3 2 1 13 5 3 1 1

Writing Writing Activity Language Arts Writing Table Writing Center Snack Snack time Show & Tell Art

9 5 2 1 1 8 5 6 3

Role Play Pretend Play Kitchen Area Playing House

3 29 1 1

Circle Time Calendar Calendar Time Calendar Activity Good Morning Greetings

9 8 3 2 1

Developed by Raychelle Harris with assistance from Margaret Higgs Klotz. Rather than use role play, we decided to use pretend play because it is a term used in the educ ational field that encompasses rehearsed role playing and spontaneous pretending.
9

100 Each video camera tier has annotation fields referring to activity contexts being filmed on screen such as the terms listed in Table 3.3: free choice, small group, snack, transition, and large group, and a short description of the activity, e.g., art, computer, math, pretend play, reading, show and tell, storytelling, and writing. One unexpected issue emerged as I tested this method. The camera handlers would switch camera position. For instance, based on guidance from the on-site research coordinator, one camera handler filming a small group painting would suddenly change position and begin filming a book-sharing session between a teacher and a student in another section of the classroom, and another camera handler would switch from the book-sharing session to the painting activity, often because the proximity of one camera would capture the discourse better for a certain activity. To help minimize this issue during data analysis, I decided to develop a diagram of the classroom to identify locations within the classroom, which helps with coding activity terms (Figure 3.3). Interaction tiers. When analyzing discourse between the participants, the SOL research team decided it was important to operationalize interactions within the data. An interaction is defined as a continuous communicative interaction on a same topic between or among two or more interactants consisting of at least two turns. Extended discourse does not always mark the start of the interaction (personal communication, SOL team meeting, November 3, 2009). Every seventh interaction for each teacher was transcribed in English glosses using transcription conventions for a maximum of ten transcribed interactions per teacher, per morning (in Appendix C).

101

Figure 3.3. Ms. Jane and Ms. Karens Preschool Classroom Diagram

102 Initial categories and codes specifically for the interaction tiers were developed during the grand and mini-tours to identify the type of extended discourse, the extent of interaction by the participants and the number of turns (see Appendix B codebook10 for more details on their operational definitions). The process of adding, revising or deleting pre-existing categories and codes is based on the researchers ability to look at both the finer details and the broad themes in their studies (Spradley, 1979), also called focused coding (Charmaz, 2006). In focused coding, I code individual signs, phrases, and incidents in the data using codes from the codebook in Appendix B. Focused coding is a search for the parts involved in co-constructing extended discourse, the relationships among the components of extended discourse and how the components are connected in an extended discourse interaction. During this process, unique features and concepts that do not fully fit in any of the established codes and categories were described in the analytical memo. A constant comparative analysis of the analytical memo revealed whether a new category, code or a revision of the current categories or codes (e.g., merging a former category with the new) or redefining an operational definition of a category was needed (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). The codes are tested against the extensive body of data to show how resilient the original codes are in the bigger picture that emerges from the analysis. This is how I reset my categories and codes during the third tour of my data. ELAN software. During the third tour of the data, I analyzed interactions of extended discourse using a video annotation software tool called ELAN. ELAN stands for Eudico Linguistic Annotator, with Eudico representing European Distributed Corpus
10

Brief descriptions of each code is included in a codebook (Mertens, 2010).

103 project. With ELAN one can create, edit, visualize, and retrieve annotations for video and audio data. ELAN runs on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers and can use a variety of different video file formats (Bickford, 2005). Sharing of data and findings through ELAN is convenient because anyone with a computer and Internet connection can download this software for free from the following website: http://www.latmpi.eu/tools/elan. ELAN is becoming popular in sign language research because of its capability in facilitating collaboration between research groups who work in different areas of the world (Chen-Pichler, Hochgesang, Lillo-Martin, & Mller, 2010; Crasborn, Mesch, Waters, Nonhebel, van der Kooij, Woll, Bergman, 2007; Mesch & Wallin, 2008). One useful feature for this study is the capability of ELAN to incorporate the use of up to four videos of the same event, and video length is not an issue (Efthimiou & Fotinea, 2008). Annotations are created at the discretion of the user. For instance, there are approximately 100 annotation tiers for this study. The author acknowledges the irony of establishing pre-existing categories through the use of ELAN tiers for the data, which may make researchers blind to new, more meaningful categories. It is stressed that this process is dialogical and that the pre-existing ELAN tiers may change throughout the data analysis process (Spradley, 1979). One can add, rename or delete annotation tiers in ELAN software, allowing for incorporation of new categories and themes that may emerge from the data, helping to keep the data analysis process grounded (Charmaz, 2006; Maxwell, 1992). Specific annotation tiers can be collapsed (or hidden) at the users discretion. The user can switch from the video to the annotation tier quick ly and at a variety of speeds and can be exported into a spreadsheet (Bickford, 2005).

104 The data was fully coded for all extended discourse interactions then a metadata search was executed within the ELAN software. ELAN calculated the extent of extended discourse frequency and length between teachers and students. Other metadata search questions included: Does the teacher tend to extend discourse with certain students? Who tends to initiate extended discourse? Is there a variation in length of extended discourse? Is the variation in length influenced by the lesson, participants or topic? What topics are usually extended? Which activities seem to encourage extended discourse? I created charts and tables answering the contextual questions above and more. These codes help to qualitatively and quantitatively examine the nature of extended discourse in an ASL/English bilingual classroom. In examining the linguistic structure of extended discourse, every seventh extended discourse interaction in the data was transcribed using the transcription conventions for a maximum of ten interactions per morning for each teacher (in Appendix C). The transcriptions help show the frequency of certain phonological processes, word choices and counts, typical sentence structures as well as the pragmatic nature of extended discourse (e.g., interruptions and reformulations). Frequency count metadata searches in ELAN were completed using selected transcription conventions in combination with other contextual factors. If I wanted to search for patterns in sentence structure and teacher discourse, the results of the search would show sentence types used by both teachers in extending the students discourse. For example, I could search the amount of rhetorical questions and fingerspelled items used by teachers with students. Metadata searches in ELAN are very useful only when the data have been identified with consistent, searchable codes and terms. The data analysis process is complete when I

105 reach a point of saturation, i.e., I start finding similar contextual and linguistic features identified during the first and second tour of the data. Saturation also occurs when the participants in this study check on and concur with my interpretations of the data (which will be elaborated on in the research rigor section of this chapter). Transcription Transcribing the language spoken in the data is not an interpretation-free process, especially when the language does not have a corresponding written language. It is unusual for linguists to transcribe the spoken language studied into a different written language. The only time this is acceptable is when the language does not have a written form and when the study is published in a different language. For example, when studying and transcribing spoken French into written French, and publishing this information with a print English journal, one would need to supply English glosses of the French language data for those who do not know French. In the case of transcribing languages with no corresponding written form, the situation is much more complex. Since the majority language of the American Deaf community is English, American Sign Language linguists have grown accustomed to this process, to the point where translating and glossing ASL to print English is automatic, nonchalant, and downplayed. To be sensitive to the prevailing hegemonic structure the majority language and culture has had over the Sign Language communities (Harris, et al., 2009), the transcribing of ASL into English glosses must be treated carefully. This is why, in the sense of mediated discourse theory (Norris, 2002; Scollon, 1998), English glosses are seamlessly integrated with the ASL video in ELAN. This way the ASL form supersedes the English glosses, and the English glosses are not completely independent from the ASL source. To

106 maintain consistency in transcription within my data analysis and across data within the Signs of Literacy laboratory and with other research teams, the Signs of Literacy has adopted and adapted conventions for sign language transcription (see Appendix C) from a team of sign language linguists who explicitly aimed to minimize interpretation of the data when transcribing (Chen-Pichler, et al., 2010). A Deaf linguist, Hochgesang describes how the act of transcribing is not interpretation-free: Transcription of language data is the written representation of what the researcher observes and what the researcher thinks is linguistically relevant to record. This crucial act of representation, crucial because the analysis depends upon it, includes selection and interpretation of language behavior. (Hochgesang, in progress). Hochgesang explains that the act of transferring uttered signs to the computer screen is a technical act that involves an understanding of theory, including transcript design (in progress). Since I am interested in the construction of extended discourse in American Sign Language, I need to be able to represent the construction adequately to answer my research questions. There are infinite possible units of analysis for transcription, ranging from sentence structure, eye gaze, hand orientation, tongue positioning, hand movement, nouns, eye blinks, constructed action to depicting verbs. Clearly, as delineated above, I plan to limit the transcription process to certain linguistic and contextual features based on the first two tours of the data that seem to help demystify the nature of extended discourse in ASL. Ochs (1979) argues that incorporating the selectivity principle makes the transcript more effective for systemic analysis.

107 The transcription conventions, categories, and codes for extended discourse interactions were created to help with answering the following questions: What is the nature of extended discourse in an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom among Deaf bilingual teachers and deaf preschool students? What are the linguistic features of extended discourse used by Deaf native ASL teachers with deaf preschool students? What is the context of extended discourse used by Deaf native ASL teachers with deaf preschool students? Comparisons were made between and across transcriptions, classroom artifacts, documents and video clips to crystallize the data. The term crystallization refers to an older concept in qualitative research called triangulation, where data are collected from a variety of sources and compared to help validate the analysis and findings (Richardson & St. Pierre, 2005). Use of the ELAN software program helps to quantitatively and qualitatively document recurring themes and categories for one morning of data and across thirteen mornings of data, and to show connections between themes that emerge from the research analysis process. Research Rigor To ensure rigor in this study, the following research criteria were utilized: credibility, transferability, dependability, confirmability, and authenticity. Credibility The first criterion, credibility, is established if there is a correspondence between the way the respondents actually perceive social constructs and the way the researcher portrays their viewpoints (Mertens, 2010, p. 388). Credibility parallels internal validity in quantitative research. Internal validity confirms, through an investigation or a research

108 project, a relationship between the cause and the outcome, resembling credibility in qualitative studies (Guba & Lincoln, 1989). Credibility was established for this dissertation study through seven sub areas: prolonged substantial engagement, persistent observation, peer debriefing, member checks, negative case analysis, progressive subjectivity, and crystallization. Each of these terms is elaborated below. Prolonged and substantial engagement. This study used data collected from a classroom for a full school year, indicative of a prolonged engagement with the research site. When the themes of the study begin to repeat, this is a good indicator it is time to begin interpreting the data (Mertens, 2010; Ramsey, 1997; Wilson, 2005). Although every extended discourse interaction was qualitatively analyzed and quantitatively documented, only every seventh interaction for each teacher was transcribed and analyzed in detail to better understand the nature and engagement of extended discourse, sufficient to represent the themes of this study. Persistent observation. Not only is prolonged observation is necessary, persistent observation is also crucial to the quality of a study. The context needs to be observed as frequently as possible. The classroom was filmed at least once a month throughout the school year. By observing the context frequently, it ensures that the researcher avoids making premature conclusions about the study (L. Erting, 2001; Lincoln, 2009). Peer debriefer. A peer debriefer poses questions and shares his/her perspective to help the researcher confront his or her own values and to guide the next steps in the study (Mertens, 2010, p. 257). The peer debriefer should be detached and should not be involved in the study in any way. To ensure rigor in my study, I needed someone from a different but related discipline, someone with experience researching and working with

109 signing preschoolers, a Deaf person and native or near-native ASL speaker. Those criteria led me to my current peer debriefer, Julie Hochgesang, a Deaf, ASL fluent linguist who is also working with preschool children in a different lab and data set on the same campus. In the best interest of full disclosure, she works with Signs of Literacy as a video technician and ELAN consultant for doctoral students like myself. She has not, and does not do research involving SOL data, however, she has university Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to review the data and artifacts with me as we debrief my findings and analysis. She and I started meeting on a regular bi-weekly basis in January 2009 to watch videos and to discuss my findings during the secondary tour. My research assumptions, analysis, findings, and interpretations continued to be shared with my peer debriefer throughout the third tour of the data until the end of this study. Negative case analysis. Using the negative case analysis approach was another way to increase the credibility of this study. To do a negative case analysis, I reviewed similar studies, such as Rosalinda Ricasas in-progress dissertation study of one Deaf child using extended discourse in a three-year period, Dickinson and Tabors HomeSchool Study of Language and Literacy Development, and Hart and Risleys Meaningful Differences study to find if the results are similar to the findings in my study. If not, the assumptions, data, and data analysis were reviewed to take into consideration the difference in data results of those cases (Maxwell, 2004; Mertens, 2010). Progressive subjectivity. Progressive subjectivity is another way to increase the credibility of this study. As mentioned earlier, I explicitly name the assumptions I have about Deaf people, ASL, and deaf education in this chapter. I am also making my beliefs explicit from the beginning of the study until the end of the study by documenting my

110 reaction to the data collection and analysis using Sp radleys ethnographical technique where my reflection is included in an analytical column (expanded account) (1979). This column is always included in all aspects of data analysis. My peer debriefer meets with me regularly to ensure that I am not only finding what I want to find based on my beliefs, but seeing patterns in the data as they emerge (Guzmn, 2003; Mertens, 2010). Member checks. Member check consists of checking with the members (participants) in the study regarding the constructions that are or have developed as a result of data collection and analysis (Cho & Trent, 2006). Cho and Trent (2006) describe different types of member checks: 1) technical, where the focus is on accuracy; 2) ongoing, where participants check on the data coding and analysis process over time; and 3) reflexive, where the discussion between researcher and member is collaborative and open-ended. I interviewed the teachers in the study, Ms. Jane and Ms. Karen, for their input on the data analysis and findings. During the technical and reflexive interviews with them about their participation in extended discourse interactions, I shared my analysis and findings with them to gain their perspective. This process helped me further refine my ability to express the views of the participants involved in the study more accurately (Blackburn, 1999; Maxwell, 2004; Mertens, 2010). Triangulation. Also called crystallization (Richardson & St. Pierre, 2005) and prism as a metaphor (Mertens, 2009), data from different sources in this study such as teacher interviews, class videotapes, and artifacts from the setting are checked to see if the information is consistent across multiple data sources (Mertens, 2010). Consistency is not necessarily a good thing; if there are discrepancies, this can be even more interesting. Crystallization (and prisms) is used to represent the concept of looking at

111 multiple sources of data, not from the perspective of plane geometry, but instead from the perspective of infinite multidimensionalities. Richardson and St. Pierre (2005) clarify, Crystals grow, change, and are altered, but they are not amorphous. Crystals are prisms that reflect externalities and refract within themselves, creating different colors, patterns, and arrays casting off in differe nt directions (p. 963). The change in terminology from triangulation to crystallization helps deconstruct the idea of validity as one single truth, as triangulation seems to evoke. Crystallization helps us know that we only have a partial understanding of our data, and that we know there is always more to know (Richardson & St. Pierre, 2005, p. 963). Relying on one, or in the sense of triangulation, three sources for data analysis is not enough, and only serves to undermine the credibility of this research study. Transferability I am responsible for the quality of the descriptions of the data, the analysis, and the interpretation. The quality of the description enables the reader to determine the degree of similarity between the study site and t he receiving context thereby increasing transferability of the study to the general population (Mertens, 2010, p. 259). Transferability occurs when the researcher provides thick descriptions and includes multiple cases. Another name for transferability in quantitative studies is external validity (Guba & Lincoln, 1989). Thick descriptions. According to Maxwell (2004), this term has been incorrectly defined as extensive description of the time, place, context, and culture. Thick description was originally coined by Ryle (1949), applied to ethnographic research by Geertz (1973), and defined by Maxwell as description that incorporates the intentions of

112 the actors and the codes of signification that give their actions meaning for them (p. 116, 2004). Through the interviews at the time the data were collected and post-data coding interviews with the teachers, I strive to represent their intention and their world-view by including a thick description, in other words, an emic account. Multiple cases. Instead of a single case study, multiple cases can strengthen the potential of transferability and generalization of the research results (Mertens, 2010; Yin, 2009). In this inquiry, I am studying two teachers and twelve students. Extended discourse is present, identifiable, and occurs with both teachers and among different students in different contexts; this strengthens the case of extended discourse being present in other ASL/English bilingual preschool classrooms. Dependability Qualitative researchers acknowledge that research contexts are not fixed, but change over time. The dependability of a study is determined not based on the fixed nature of the research results but based on the openness of the research inquiry. If the research inquiry is documented in detail, it can be inspected and reconfirmed thus, attesting to its dependability (Guba & Lincoln, 1989; Mertens, 2010; Yin, 2003). Yin (2003) states that one way to determine reliability of a study is if data collection procedures are repeated; if the results are the same, that is a sign of dependability. The steps in this study were documented in detail so my Deaf auditors, Carlene ThumannPrezioso, a native ASL speaker and site coordinator of the Signs of Literacy data collection, and Julie Hochgesang, a near-native ASL speaker and also my peer debriefer, were able to complete the dependability audit. Another reason for documenting the steps of this study is to provide a chain of evidence so the dependability auditor can backtrack

113 to the original source. In Chapter 4 of this study, quantitative data and some translations of extended discourse interactions were included, increasing the dependability of the study because other auditors can investigate the information directly (Yin, 2003). Selected extended discourse video clips were shown during the dissertation defense as well as other presentations about the data. Researchers reading my dissertation can contact me and/or the Signs of Literacy laboratory directly for permission to view the actual video clip when reading about my transcription, analysis, and interpretation. Dependability parallels reliability in quantitative studies. Reliability is an indicator that a research study shows stability across time (Guba & Lincoln, 1989). Confirmability Confirmability is the minimization and/or exclusion of researchers bias in the study. Confirmability is asserted in a qualitative study by making explicit the process between the data and the interpretation of the data (Mertens, 2010). A confirmability audit is completed when the steps leading from the data source to the data analysis to the interpretation of the data is made explicit (Bailes, 1999; Mertens, 2010). For this study, two Deaf researchers in two different disciplines randomly selected several conclusions I made about the data, then backtracked the chain of evidence to its original source in the data to make sure the interpretations are not figments of the researchers imagination (Mertens, 2010, p. 260). In quantitative studies, this is called objectivity, also meaning the eradication of researcher bias in research studies (Guba & Lincoln, 1989). Authenticity

114 My research study is authentic if it fairly represents the perspectives involved. A research studys authenticity is questioned if any perspective, value, or belief is excluded from the study without discussion (Lincoln & Guba, 2000). Fairness. Research studies often come across people with different beliefs about the data and about the interpretation of the data. Their insights are to be valued and included in the data interpretation (Mertens, 2010). Conflicts and differences in the views of people involved in the Signs of Literacy research team at the time of data collection were documented either by video during interviews or video playbacks and on the notes of the site coordinator. The researchers associated with the study at the time of the data collection had the ability to give feedback and make suggestions about data interpretation and analysis as well as the future action of this study (C. Erting, 2003b). I maintain fairness and authenticity by collaborating with five other Signs of Literacy team members on a regular basis from 2005 discussing and reviewing our data and our interpretations. Two out of the five members were part of the original Signs of Literacy research team at the time of data collection, ensuring the original beliefs of the participants were preserved and shared during team meetings. In addition, teacher interviews at the end of the data analysis process ensured their views and thoughts were represented fairly. In all 107 hours of video data in a school year were collected by the Signs of Literacy research team, on a regular basis, exhibiting prolonged and substantial engagement. Data collected by the Signs of Literacy research team were from a variety of sources, including classroom interaction video, classroom artifacts, and participant interviews, indicative of crystallization. Those sources were described in detail and were

115 reviewed by the teachers in this study, allowing for transferability and ensuring the findings are not figments of my imagination. The translations and data analysis were checked by a researcher involved in the study at the time of data collection. My peer debriefer monitored my subjectivity about the research by reviewing my reflection about the data and data analysis as well as completing a random confirmability audit of the data analysis. No differing participant views were excluded. All discrepancies in the data were presented as is, without exclusion, affirming the authenticity and fairness of the data interpretation process. Summary This chapter outlined the methods used in this dissertation study. My philosophical paradigm and background were shared. My guiding research questions, research design, data collection, and data analysis procedures were detailed. Finally, my approaches to maintain rigor through all stages of this transformative concurrent mixed methods dissertation study were delineated. The following chapters discuss the linguistic interactions in an ASL/English bilingual classroom among Deaf bilingual teachers and deaf preschool students for evidence of extended discourse in ASL. Answers to the following questions will be explored: What is the context in which extended discourse is used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf preschool students in an ASL/English bilingual classroom? What are the linguistic features of extended discourse used by Deaf native ASL teachers with deaf preschool students in an ASL/English bilingual classroom?

116 CHAPTER IV FINDINGS Introduction The national reading and math median for deaf students has been at an impasse between third and sixth grades for more than 35 years (Allen, 1986, 1992; Jensema, 1975; Traxler, 2000). For more than 45 years, stakeholders in deaf education have been dissatisfied with the state of the education of deaf students (Babbidge, 1965; Commission on the Education of the Deaf, 1988; Johnson, Liddell, & Erting, 1989; Livingston, 1997; Thumann-Prezioso, 2000). However, approximately 10% of deaf children in the United States have consistently performed at or above the national reading and math averages (Traxler, 2000). It has been suggested that the majority of these children come from homes that speak American Sign Language (ASL) (Bailes, Erting, Erting, ThumannPrezioso, 2009; Corson, 1973; Erting, 2001). It is possible the remaining 90% of deaf children, who are born to hearing parents who do not sign, are also deprived of early and critical access to a natural, visual language. Without access to language, those deaf children are also simultaneously deprived of early cognitive development, which is crucial for later academic achievement. For a deaf child, having access to a visual language early in life creates pathways for optimal cognitive development and academic performance later in life (Hoffmeister, 2000). Some have argued that deaf children, on top of their early unintentional language deprivation, are also marginalized by the predominantly hearing American educational system like other culturally-linguistically diverse groups and languages in the world (Johnson, et al., 1989; Lane, et al., 1996).

117 Studies show strong correlation between limited language socialization early in life and eventual low academic achievement among non-deaf children (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995, 1999). Similarly, studies of deaf students also show significant correlation between low ASL proficiency and low English proficiency (Hoffmeister, 2000; Padden & Ramsey, 1998, 2000; Prinz & Strong, 1998; Singleton, Morgan, DiGello, Wiles & Rivers, 2004; Strong & Prinz, 1997, 2000). Rich language socialization early in life and eventual high academic achievement is also true for both populations: for non-deaf students, quality language socialization early in life is a significant predictor for high academic achievement later in life (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995, 1999). Likewise, Deaf students with high ASL proficiency are very likely to have high English proficiency (Hoffmeister, 2000; Kuntze, 2004; Mayberry, Lock & Kazmi, 2002; Padden & Ramsey, 1998, 2000; Prinz & Strong, 1998; Singleton, Supalla, Litchfield, & Schley, 1998; Singleton, et al., 2004; Strong & Prinz, 1997, 2000). Research evidence supports the argument that linguistic and cognitive proficiency is developed specifically by exposure to and frequency of extended discourse early in life (in other words, quality and cognitively challenging discourse) (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Dickinson, St. Pierre, & Pettengill, 2004; Hart & Risley, 1999). Given the importance of early exposure to language and cognitive development, there is a pressing need for research that describes extended discourse in ASL/English bilingual preschool contexts. This investigation is one such study. The benefits of frequent quality and cognitively challenging discourse in preschool have been widely recognized (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1996, 1999; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). However, there is very little documentation about quality complex

118 discourse with young deaf children. The purpose of this study is to shed light on how Deaf teachers extend discourse with young deaf children in a bilingual preschool setting. A preschool class consisting of a majority of deaf children with consistent sign language exposure at home was purposively selected for this study. Ethnographic and focused coding methods were used to uncover the contextual and linguistic construction of extended discourse between teachers and students during one academic preschool year. The research focused on two key components of extended discourse: the context and the linguistic construction of extended discourse among Deaf, native ASL teachers and deaf preschool students. The following broad research questions guided the data analysis: 1) What is the context in which extended discourse is used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf preschool students in an ASL/English bilingual classroom? 2) What are the linguistic features of extended discourse used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf students in an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom? The data were drawn from multiple sources including (a) videos of naturalistic preschool classroom interaction across thirteen mornings during one academic year, (b) videotaped interviews with teachers in this study, and (c) artifacts including research site coordinator notes, teacher administrative paperwork, and classroom products. In identifying extended discourse in the videos of naturalistic preschool classroom interactions, I developed the following extended discourse checklist to guide the identification process. The checklist was developed based on the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development (HSSLLD) findings (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001).

119 Figure 4.1 displays the extended discourse checklist created based on Dickinson and Tabors operational definitions and findings. Introduction (p. 2-5) Does the discourse language replicate some of the demands of literacy? Does the discourse require understandings beyond the here and now? Does the discourse include several utterances or turns to build a linguistic structure? Storybook Sharing (p. 36-39) Based on the book being read, is the discourse a recollection of personal experiences, comments, or questions about general knowledge or for drawing inferences or making predictions? Is the discourse longer, more explicit, and complex than the labeling or the yes-no questioning that constitutes much of immediate talk? Pretend Talk (p. 62-65) Does the discourse include pretend elements and a nonliteral approach to features in the immediate environment? Is the discourse less dependent on the immediate setting? Example: making an object represent another, attributing actions, thoughts, or feelings to inanimate objects, assuming or assigning a role or a persona, enacting typical scripts or routines of everyday events, or creating a narrative about a person or an object? Narrative Talk (p. 83) Is the narrator telling about an event that has happened in the past or that will happen in the future and takes shape over several turns? This story can be co-constructed by the adults/children.

120 Explanatory Talk (p. 86) Does the talk include a request and/or make logical connections between objects, events, concepts or conclusions? For instance, does the discourse include: - an explanation of peoples actions or speech? - a cause-and-effect explanation? - definitions or descriptions of words and objects? Rare Words (p. 93) Does the talk include different/unique signs not typically used with children at that age? Science Process Talk (p. 112) Is the talk related to the process of science? Example: A mother making an analogy between magnetism and electricity, and discussing the material of metal vs. plastic with magnets. Adults (p. 142) Is the talk between an adult and child(ren)? It is adults who are most likely to be able to extend a childs thinking about topics and supply appropriate new vocabulary. Instructional Approach (p. 199) Is the teacher challenging the children to think rather than require them to recall familiar information? (Cazden, 1988) Snack Time (p. 206) Is the teacher stationary? Circulating teachers participate in less nonpresent talk. Example: What did you do last weekend? Large Group Times (p. 251; p. 260)

121 Is the teacher having management issues? It is likely s/he is using traditional classroom discourse as described by Cazden (1988). Is the teacher engaging all students in intellectually challenging conversation? That reduces class management issues. Is the teacher engaging one child? The rest are more likely to tune out. Source: Dickinson & Tabors 2001 Figure 4.1. Extended discourse checklist. To extrapolate on this extended discourse checklist, it is crucial to understand what extended discourse does not look like. Talking about topics present in the area or immediately visible in text is called immediate talk. It is immediate talk if the discourse is based on identifying information in the present surroundings, closely tied to the illustrations, or counting and/labeling. An example of immediate talk from the HSSLLD data occurs when a mother points to a drawing in a book and says to her child , See the caterpillar? (DeTemple, 2001, p. 36). Conversely, nonimmediate talk, like extended discourse, is defined as recollections of personal experiences, comments, or questions about general knowledge or for drawing inferences and making prediction s (Beals, 2001, p. 37). Nonimmediate talk involves topics that are not visible in illustrations, text, or in the surrounding area and typically involves longer utterances and more explicit, complex language than does the labeling or the yes-no questioning that constitutes much of immediate talk (DeTemple, 2001, p. 39). An example of nonimmediate talk from the HSSLLD data occurs when a mother reads a book to her daughter that says, That night he had a stomachache. The mother asks the daughter, Why you think he had a stomachache, Astra? The daughter responds, I dont know. The mother says,

122 Because he ate too much (Beals, 2001, p. 37). In this study, the analysis is on extended discourse, in other words, nonimmediate talk. Certain dialogues about entities that are present in the classroom can be considered extended discourse. If the teacher discusses how the entities are made or what they are used for, concepts not immediately present or visible to the child, this is extending the discourse of the child. Extended discourse involves talking about the present in a different conceptual space, for instance, the past or the hypothetical. After using the definition of extended discourse from Dickinson and Tabors (2001), and developing the checklist (Figure 4.1) based on their book, and with practice, I was able to discern the difference between immediate discourse and extended discourse in the data in this study. This was not attempted alone; I worked closely with the Signs of Literacy research team on identifying examples of extended discourse across different data sets (the years before the data in this study). My peer debriefer and research auditor also randomly went through the data to identify tokens of immediate talk and extended discourse. The determination of when an instance of extended discourse began and ended was developed by the Signs of Literacy team. An interaction is defined as a continuous communicative interaction on the same topic between or among two or more interactants consisting of at least two turns. We agreed that a discourse interaction is counted as one token, regardless of brief interruptions (e.g., a sneeze or someone asking for the time during the discourse). The interaction begins when the interactant utilizes an attentiongetting strategy, and/or brings hands up to sign, and/or initiates eye contact. The interaction ends when interactants bring their hands down, and/or eye gaze moves

123 elsewhere, and/or conversation does not continue for at least five seconds. In all, this counts as one token, or one extended discourse interaction, regardless of the amount of immediate talk at the beginning, throughout, or end of the interaction. Altogether 1,005 extended discourse interactions were identified in 35 hours and 38 minutes of video data (which represents 13 school mornings across one academic year). The extended discourse interactions were analyzed using ethnographic methods described by Spradley (1979) to identify categories within the extended discourse interactions. Based on these categories, numerous sub-questions were generated for each of the broad research questions for this study in order to conduct in-depth analysis of extended discourse. The formation of these questions was guided by (a) research literature regarding extended discourse and cognitively challenging talk (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1999) and (b) the categories that emerged from the grand and mini tours of the data (Spradley, 1979). To preserve the quality of this study, I narrowed down the sub-questions even further for a more intensive analysis, or continued data analysis, answering a selection of the sub-questions listed below to give a slightly broader berth with which to frame future studies. Since there are currently no studies regarding the nature of extended discourse in ASL, the goal of this study is to explore the nature of extended discourse on a broader level utilizing the sub-questions below. The following sub-questions for each research question guided the data analysis: 1. During which classroom activities do teachers tend to extend discourse? 2. What types of extended discourse do teachers use with students? 3. What characteristics facilitate teachers and students extended discourse interactions?

124 4. Which sentence types are used during extended discourse? 5. What kinds of ASL-English links are present in extended discourse? The analysis generated for each of the sub-questions revealed the nature of extended discourse by focusing on the context in which extended discourse occurs and the linguistic features of extended discourse. To illustrate the nature of extended discourse, the quantitative findings were aligned with qualitative descriptions of selected extended discourse examples as they occurred within this particular bilingual Deaf preschool classroom. The examples were selected on the basis that they were commensurate with the quantitative findings in order to give the readers direct examples from the actual data. Finally, the findings are summarized in terms of the themes that emerged from the data. The Context of Extended Discourse The first research question of this investigation asked What is the context in which extended discourse is used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf preschool students in an ASL/English bilingual classroom? An initial review of all the data, in other words, the grand tour (Spradley, 1979), and a review of the HSSLLD study suggested four sub-questions to analyze further. The first sub-question that helped focus the analysis was During which classroom activities do teachers tend to extend discourse? Previously gathered and assembled codes from the codebook (Appendix B) for classroom activities during the data collection process included the following broad codes: Large Group: Structured activities are conducted consisting of all students present in the classroom (on nearly all mornings in this data, there was at least one absent student; thus, the term large rather than the term, full class).

125 Roaming: Students can pick their preferred activity context. Sometimes the teachers arrange for several activities in certain areas of the classroom, however, students are free to move from or to another activity as they please. Small Group: Structured activities are not conducted with all of the students in the classroom. In this preschool classroom, students were frequently split up in two groups, sometimes three. The rationale for these categories came from the HSSLLD study. The investigators in the HSSLLD study found that extended discourse with students during large group activities was negatively associated with later literacy and academic achievement, unlike small groups and activities that allowed students to roam and play at will (Dickinson, 2001b). However, it is important to take into consideration that in the HSSLLD study, the average number of students in one classroom would range from 22 to 30 students. In this dissertation study, the largest number of students together in a structured activity was a maximum of twelve students, which is considered a very large group by deaf education standards. Deaf children are generally placed in classes ranging between four to six students per class (Ramsey & Padden, 1998). With these broad codes in place, I needed specific codes for specific activity contexts. Members of the Signs of Literacy (SOL) research team advised me to use terms already used by the teachers to describe the activities taking place in the classroom. I developed a frequency count for each of the activity terms with assistance from another doctoral student (see Table 3.5 and Appendix B). The terms describe the activities for this particular preschool classroom. There were certain activities that occurred only in a large group setting, some that occurred only in a small group setting, and some that

126 occurred only when students were free to roam. The activity terms are categorized under large group, roaming and small group categories. In large groups, these are the subcategories. Circle time: The entire class sits in a circle facing the teacher. This activity often covers calendar-related questions, instructional activities, storybook sharing, and show and tell. Pretend play: Student(s) are pretend/role playing characters or objects. Snack: Students gather around the multiple triangular tables in the classroom to eat and drink. Story sharing: Teachers or students tell stories in ASL with or without a book in a large group (all students who are present at that time are sitting together in a semi-circle). These are the sub-categories for activities that occurred when the students were allowed to roam: Free choice: Students pick their preferred activity context. Sometimes the teachers set up several activities in certain areas of the classroom, however, students are free to move from or to another activity as they please. Free reading: Students are confined to one corner of the classroom called the reading corner by the teachers, and are free to read in groups, individually, or to watch teachers tell stories. When a group of students watches a teacher tell a story, this is still classified as free reading because they are free to leave to join another group or read on their own. Transition: The time between activity changes often allows students to roam.

127 Finally, these are the sub-categories for small group activities: Art: Students use a type of instrument or material to create art work (e.g., painting, drawing, shaping clay, making cardboard buildings). This activity often included writing letters and words. Computer: Students sit by the computer typing and/or using the mouse. Math: Students are introduced to stories and materials that stimulate emerging math skills (e.g., geometrical rubber boards and blocks). This activity is often hard to differentiate from art. I depended on the teachers to explicitly state when it was art and when it was math. Science: Activities usually involve elements of science (e.g., exploring our five senses and investigating natural earth materials). Again, these activities can easily be confused with art. I depended on the teachers to explicitly identify this activity as science. Story sharing: Teachers or students tell stories in ASL with or without a book in small groups. After coding each activity and each extended discourse on a computer video analysis software, Eudico Linguistic Annotator (ELAN), the quantitative output revealed which activities seemed to promote extended discourse interactions in proportion to the amount of time the teachers devoted to this specific activity. These results were converted to percentages. Table 4.1 shows the total instances of extended discourse interactions during each classroom activity.

128 Table 4.1 Total Extended Discourse Interactions during Class Activities

Activity

Number of EDIs

Minutes Allotted

Proportion of EDIs during specific activities

Story sharing Circle time Pretend play Science Math Free choice Snack Art Transition Free Reading

186 173 16 50 60 250 43 63 89 62

204 201 24 87 110 556 130 194 280 217

91% 86% 67% 57% 55% 45% 33% 32% 32% 29%

Figure 4.2 displays the frequency of extended discourse in percentages during particular preschool classroom activities.

129

Figure 4.2. Percentage of extended discourse interactions during specific class activities. There are several points to take into consideration regarding the chart above. All of the activities typically fit in one of three categories: large-group, small-group, and roaming activities. However, one of the activities above, story sharing, occurs in both large-group and small-group activities. The numerical data for story sharing is a combination of both large group and small group story sharing, with 186 extended discourse interactions in 204 minutes. The rest of the activities are either large group, small group, or roaming activities. In the next two analyses, large group and small group

130 story sharing data are separated for a closer examination. Circle time had 173 extended discourse interactions in 201 minutes. Out of 13 mornings, Ms. Karen led circle time six times, Ms. Jane led circle time four times, and there were no circle time activities for the remaining three mornings. Circle time also had the most optimal filming set up of all activities combined. One camera had a close-up shot of the teacher moderating the activity, one camera had a medium shot of 1/2 of the students in the circle, and the other camera had a medium shot of the other 1/2 of the students. Essentially, this was the only activity in the data where all extended discourse interactions were captured on tape, unlike other activities, possibly influencing the findings. Structured pretend play occurred only twice during the year with a total of 16 extended discourse interactions during 24 minutes. Free choice often included spontaneous pretend play among students (e.g., using wooden blocks to make a boat, making play dough pizzas and burgers). Science class happened infrequently during the year because science classes only occurred on Thursdays and Fridays, and data collection occurred on Thursdays or Fridays five times out of thirteen mornings. Math class occurred on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, accumulating eight mornings of data. For part of snack time, the video cameras were frequently unoperational because of the need to move the cameras to different positions in the classroom in order to capture the snack event from three angles. Thus, the time needed to move the cameras represents loss of video camera time (and potential extended discourse interactions). Also, during snack time, both teachers tended to be mobile, preparing snacks, bringing drinks, and talking to the camera handlers or to each other. Sometimes one of the teachers left the room to go to the bathroom or to do an errand during snack time. Sometimes one teacher

131 prepared for the next activity (cutting paper, setting up supplies, or moving items). On May 8th, Ms. Karen and Ms. Jane spontaneously decided Ms. Karen would go to the library and borrow a videotape about chickens hatching, and this took her approximately 10 minutes to walk there and back. She showed this uncaptioned educational videotape during snack time for an additional 10 minutes, signing some of the information to the students as they watched. There were no extended discourses during this event. In interviews with both teachers, they were asked what snack time meant to them. Ms. Jane responded, Its a time where the students can finally talk to each other without being told not to. I realize I should sit down with them more but the demands on my schedule do not allow that to happen often. Similarly, Ms. Karen said, Snack time is an important time of the day because everyone gets to relax and just chat without agenda or structure. I try to sit down with them but most of the time I need to set up the next activity. I asked, Why dont you set up all of the activities in the morning before the day begins then you can sit down with the students during snack time? Ms. Karen responded, I would if I had a bigger classroom. With a small classroom, eac h area in the classroom is used for multiple purposes. For example, that corner is reserved for math activities, in the morning, then after snack time, it is used for story book sharing. We rotate activities in different areas of the classroom. Considering all those factors, it is extraordinary that snack time, which usually lasts about ten to fifteen minutes each morning, garnered 43 extended discourses out of 13 school mornings. Art had a low number of extended discourses. The difficulty for participants to extend discourse during art was noted during analysis. Ms. Karen explained to Joe, Ann, Jean, Don, and Charlie the rules for playing with shaving cream on a tray.

132 Ms. Karen: (waving) What are the rules for this activity? You can spread the shaving cream across the tray and trace letters, but dont go outside the tray or put it on other people. Dont put your hands on your hair. When done, go immediately to the sink to wash your hands. Charlie: (taps arm) You dont put the shaving cream on t he floor too. Ms. Karen: Right, you dont put it on the floor. Keep it on the tray itself, drawing different letters, numbers and words. When done, go and wash your hands, ok? Charlie: (nods affirmatively). This is an example of extended discourse because Charlie cognitively processed Ms. Karens rhetorical question asking about the rules for the activity not yet begun. Charlie, in this situation, listened to Ms. Karens explanation of the rules and added a rule Ms. Karen did not mention in her original list of rules. Don and Joe commented while Ms. Karen was explaining the rules, responding to, and imitating Ms. Karen and her affirmative and negative phrases (e.g., yes and no). During the shaving cream activity, each participant had no extended discourse interactions (and very little discourse, mostly gestures without sharp movements, mainly because they did not want to sign and accidentally flick shaving cream elsewhere). This example illustrates how some art activities inhibit extended discourse interactions. There were 89 extended discourse interactions during 280 minutes of transition time. Similarly, with snack time, camera handlers tended to move cameras during transition time. Also, during transitions, some camera handlers would film artifacts (e.g., student drawings, photos, and books) while waiting for the next activity to begin, missing

133 out on potential extended discourses between teachers and students. Like snack time, during transitions between activities, the video cameras are often unplugged (either by accident or intentionally) and moved to different areas of the classroom to prepare for the next activity. This means a loss of potential extended discourse interactions during transition times. Like snack time, it is extraordinary that there were 89 captured extended discourse interactions during transition times; there could have easily been more if the camera handlers were trained to keep the video cameras directed at the participants even though it was simply a transition between class lessons. As the class was transitioning to line up to go to lunch, Mickey, Ann, and Ms. Karen were waiting for the rest of the students to complete the line. Elsewhere in the classroom, Ms. Jane was helping some students return items to their original places. Ann and Mickey started discussing Dexs name, which was listed in full as Dexter on a poster indicating the order for the students to stand in line before departing the classroom. Ann asked Ms. Karen: Dexs name is Dexter? [referring the poster listing student names] Ms. Karen: Dexter. Dexs full name is actually Dexter but its shortened as Dex. Did you know that? Ann: (appears to shake her head no) Ms. Karen: Just like mine, my fu ll name is Karen. But its shortened to Kar. My name went from Karen to Kar, a shorter name. Ann: My name can be shortened? Ms. Karen: No, your name, Ann, cant be shortened. Ann: (signs her own name sign)

134 Ms. Karen: Yes, thats it. Thats your na me. Ann: (signs her own name again) Ms. Karen: Thats right, yes, thats an abbreviation of your name, yes. Mickey: (waves to Ms. Karen) (His back is to the camera) You... me.... Ms. Karen: What? Mickey: (His back is to the camera... from Ms. Karens responses, it seems he is signing his own name sign, and trying to fingerspell his own shortened name) Ms. Karen: (repeats after Mickey) M..... C......K..... yes. (Camera was redirected elsewhere) Regardless if the conversation continued or ended at that point, this is an extended discourse interaction during transition time that was cut off by a decision made by the camera handler (or site coordinator). The extended discourse interaction between Ms. Karen, Ann, and Mickey reflected that they were actively thinking about English print in their surroundings and comparing the information to their daily experiences (e.g., the shortened name for Dex in ASL). Anns line of inquiry, Ms. Karens response, and comparison to her own name led Ann to continue the conversation with a question as to if the name abbreviations could be applied to her own name, an example of cognitively challenging discourse. Free reading had 62 extended discourses in 217 minutes. Like snack time, free reading was a difficult activity to film. There were two walls meeting at a corner, and a makeshift wall with shelves creating the third wall. Video footage of reading time often was not with optimal conditions the teachers almost always had their backs to the video Yes, (signs his name sign),

135 camera or someone would be blocking the view. Since there were no chairs in the free reading section of the classroom, the students moved around frequently, making it more difficult for the video cameras to capture more discourse. Figure 4.3 displays a snapshot of free reading activity.

Figure 4.3. Snapshot of free reading activity. All of the other activities have chairs, except circle time. However, students know during circle time they have to sit cross-legged and put their knees behind the tape on the floor (the floor was taped in a semi-circle), which made for feasible taping conditions, unlike free reading time where students could lay down, sit on their backs or sideways. During free reading, Ann, Jean, and Don were sitting watching Ms. Jane share a book about a caterpillar that turns into a moth.

136 Ms. Jane: Why are flowers there? Why are there flowers? (points to book) Whats up with that? Jean: Why, because its food? Ms. Jane: Food? Hmm, I see. Ms. Jane then turns the page, points to the new page, and nods her head affirmatively. She proceeds to depict in ASL a moth flying down to the flower and using its antennae to suckle nectar, pointing to the book again after her depiction. Although the drawings of the flowers were immediately present in the book, their role in the food cycle was not present, indicative of Jeans ability to infer from the content of the book and the teachers discourse. This conversation is a typical occurrence during free reading, when conditions permit optimal filming. Ultimately, it is important to take into consideration that the camera handlers influence how this question about teachers extending discourse during classroom activities is answered. The person handling the video camera makes spontaneous decisions of what to film and what not to film during classroom activities. There are only three camera handlers, and often fourteen or more participants in the classroom, so it is often impossible to ensure the filmed data includes every participant and activity occurring simultaneously in the classroom. Large Group Activities The discoveries made by earlier analysis of extended discourse during class activities led to a closer examination comparing extended discourse during large group, small group and roaming activities. The teachers in this study rarely arranged to teach all

137 12 students together, simultaneously. On average, about 20 minutes to 30 minutes each morning was devoted to circle time, which would include all 12 students and both teachers. The other large group times were story sharing, snack (10-15 minutes every morning) and structured pretend play (which occurred only twice during data collection). Table 4.2 shows the total of extended discourse interactions during large group classroom activities. Table 4.2

Total Extended Discourse Interactions During Large Group Activities

Large Group Activity Circle time Pretend play Story sharing Snack

Number of EDIs 173 16 50 43

Minutes Allotted 201 24 84 130

Proportion of EDIs during large group activities 86% 67% 60% 33%

138 In Figure 4.4, you can see the large group activities adjacent to each other in a bar graph.

Figure 4.4. Percentages of extended discourse interactions during large group activities.

139 Often large group activities identified as circle time or story sharing would include math or science themes. The teachers used circle time to discuss todays date with the students. A selected student would stand in front of the class and enter into a discussion with the teacher about whether to post a picture of a school bus (in yellow) or a school house (in red) on todays date on the calendar. Figure 4.5 depicts a snapshot of Ms. Jane and the calendar routine during circle time.

Figure 4.5. Snapshot of Ms. Jane and the calendar. Ms. Jane: Now, lets look at this calendar. Is it now school house or school bus? Which one is it? (taps Don and tells him to move back to his seat). Is it school house (points to calendar) or school bus? Which one?

140 Students are giving different answers, and Ms. Jane is not acknowledging any of those answers. Instead, she continues: Ms. Jane: (points to a date on the calendar) school house (points to the next date on the calendar) school bus (points to the next date on the calendar) school house (points to the next date on the calendar) school bus (points to the next date on the calendar) school house (points to the next date on the calendar) school bus (points to the next date on the calendar) school house (points to todays date) Huh? Whats today? Katie: (fingerspells) Bus. Ms. Jane: Ah, yes, (fingerspells) bus, (fingerspells) bus, school (fingerspells) bus! This required the students to decipher the pattern and infer what would come next, a logical skill typically associated with mathematics. Similarly, science activities were consistently done in two small groups (e.g., exploring our five senses by being blindfolded and tasting or smelling items); however, science themes sometimes were discussed within large group settings such as during circle time or story sharing. After doing a similar calendar routine described earlier, Ms. Karen pulled out a yellow box and asked students what they thought was inside this box. There were various apples and apple products (e.g., apple juice, apple bars, apple chips, and apples). She took an apple out and asked: Ms. Karen: (holds apple in left hand, points to it with right hand) Apple. Where do they grow? Where? Where do they grow? Where? Where? Katie: (unintelligible) Ms. Karen: Apples grow underground? And you pull them out?

141 Katie: Yes. Ms. Karen: (furrowed brows) Where? (pauses) Trees! (holds sign for tree, brings left hand holding the apple to right fingers as if the apple was hanging from a tree branch) (depicts the act of pulling the apple down). Apples come from trees. After this, the teachers divided the class up in two groups, and had the students taste each item and decide whether they liked it or not, and added it to a chart. This is an example of a science-process talk during circle time (as opposed to during the time of the day devoted to science). An example of a large group extended discourse interaction in narrative type during story book sharing included Ms. Jane just starting to share a book with the full class. Ms. Jane: Who wrote this story? Who? (points to book) Jean: (raises hand) Ms. Jane: Is it a woman, man or a woman? Mickey: (raises hand) Ms. Jane: (points to Jean) Who? Jean: Man. Ms. Jane: A man wrote the story? (points to Mickey) Mickey: A man wrote that story. Ms. Jane: Man? Oh, I see. (points to the book) It says L-Y-N-D-A. Ann: (interrupts) I think a man wrote that book.

142 Ms. Jane: L-Y (gestures for Ann to move back to your seat) L-Y-N-D-A means its a female author. Jean: (signs simultaneously while Ms. Janes signs the above) Woman! Woman! Woman! Ms. Jane: (eye contact with Jean) Yes, its a woman! In this extended discourse interaction, the remaining nine students did not participate in the discourse between Ms. Jane and three students, Jean, Mickey, and Ann. Pretend play is another language-rich area that deserves closer examination. While opportunities to pretend play in this study were limited (only two structured pretend play activities occurred, for a total of 24 minutes). During that 24 minutes, 16 extended discourse interactions were documented. During the post-data analysis interview with Ms. Karen inquiring about pretend play, she said, Yes, pretend play is really important. The students love it! Im not sure why we didnt do it often that year. I responded that it might have had something to do with the timing of filming, as we only collected data during thirteen mornings that year, so it is possible they incorporated pretend play during the other mornings in their activities. Ms. Karen said, Yes, thats probably what happened. Ms. Jane was also similarly puzzled, Pretend play and preschool go well together. I dont do it often now, since I teach students in elementary school, but when I taught in preschool, oh yes, the students go crazy over pretend play. I love creating opportunities for them to take on roles and play different roles throughout the year. Im not sure why we didnt do it often during filming. Both teachers agreed that pretend play created plenty of opportunities for cognitively challenging discourse among the students and teachers.

143 In all, extended discourse interactions occurred frequently during circle time, pretend play, story sharing, and with optimal conditions, apparently, during snack time as well. Small Group Activities Of small groups, story sharing had the most extended discourse interactions. Table 4.3 shows the total instances of extended discourse interactions during small group classroom activities. Table 4.3 Total Extended Discourse Interactions During Small Group Activities

Small Group Activity Story Sharing Science Math Art

Number of EDIs 127 50 60 63

Minutes Allotted 120 87 110 194

Proportion of EDIs During Group Activities 106%11 57% 55% 32%

Unlike large group story sharing with 50 extended discourse interactions in 84 minutes for a 60% rate, small group story sharing had more extended discourse interactions with 127 occurrences of extended discourse in 120 minutes (106%). Computer small groups were not included here because video cameras were rarely directed at the computer area consistently.
11

There were 127 instances of extended discourse interactions in 120 minutes, which resulted in a 106% average.

144 Figure 4.6 displays a bar graph of extended discourse interactions during small groups.

Figure 4.6. Percentages of extended discourse during small group activities. In one story book sharing example with Ms. Karen, she includes emergency room props which she proceeds to demonstrate by putting on her own body. Mickey, Dex (with Grace sitting behind him), Charlie, Joe, Jean, Cam, and Ann are sitting in a semicircle on the floor facing Ms. Karen. Ms. Karen: (opens a package holding a needle, for giving shots) Jean: (depicts giving herself a shot, repeatedly) Ann: Thats a needle, I have that too at home. Ms. Karen: (shows needle to class, depicts herself getting a shot in her arm, then the bottom of her back). Ann: I have one of those at home (waves to Ms. Karen) Ms. Karen: (nods to Ann) You put the medicine inside the tube. Ann: I have the same one at home, but its fake, you understand? I have that.

145 Ms. Karen: (injects a piece in the needle canister to push the medicine out of the needle) (points to the needle) N-E-E-D-L-E (inserts the piece downwards) (depicts giving her arm a shot). Its no big deal for you all, right? Youre strong. No big deal. Ann, Mickey and Charlie: No big deal. No big deal. Ms. Karen: It might hurt a little (depicts a shot in her arm) Its no big deal, right? No big deal, right? Ok. Jean: No, no big deal. Joe: (waves twice to Ms. Karen, points to himself) Charlie: (slaps floor) Ive had a shot before. Ms. Karen: (does not seem to see Joe and Charlies comments, looks away to put away the needle and picks up a packaged tongue depressor) When Ms. Karen demonstrates an actual needle from a doctors office, Ann shares that she has a needle at home, and emphasizes that it is fake. She is able to discern the difference between the real and fake instrument, and she also knows that it is important to convey this message to Ms. Karen so she knows Ann does not have a real needle but instead a fake one at home. Then when Ms. Karen questions that receiving needle shots is no big deal, right?, Ann, Mickey , and Charlie respond, basing their answer on their past experiences in receiving needle shots. In this example, Ms. Karen adds props to her book sharing session about hospitals and emergency rooms before she starts storybook sharing, possibly to encourage students to start recollecting about their past experiences with medical professionals, going beyond the here and now.

146 During science class, Ms. Jane blindfolded students and had them taste one surprise item laid out in front of them on the table. The student doing the tasting would need to decide if the flavor was salty, sweet or sour. Dex, Mickey, Jean, and Cam sat in a semi-circle at a large round table with Ms. Jane on the opposite end. It was Cams turn, and as Ms. Jane took off the blindfold, she asked: Ms. Jane: So what is it? Cam: Chips. Ms. Jane: Yes, C-O-R-N C-H-I-P-S. Is it salty or sweet? Which is it? Cam: Salty. Ms. Jane: Yes, salty (the remaining phrase was blocked from view, then Ms. Jane takes a bag of sweets and allows Cam one piece before she goes to her seat) In this science extended discourse interaction example, Ms. Jane had her students explore one sense: their sense of taste. The remaining students watched the discourse, and took turns with different pieces of food being inserted in their mouths while blindfolded to determine their flavor. The following extended discourse interaction during math class involves Ms. Jane and Issac. The teachers set up different playing stations, with each station requiring practice with different mathematical skills. For example, one station would require the students to make patterns with colored shapes, another station would include rubber bands and a board with pins in it, where students would make geometrical shapes by wrapping rubber bands around the pins. In this dialogue between Ms. Jane and Issac during math, Ms. Jane notices Issac is playing his rubber band design on the board like someone would play a guitar.

147 Ms. Jane: (looks at Issac) Yes. What are you doing? Issac: Im doing music with this (head rocks back and forth to music) Ms. Jane: Youre making music? Ah, yes. Issac: (drums his fingers across the geo-board and rocks head/body in rhythm) Ms. Jane: (laughs) This extended discourse interaction is also an example of pretend talk during math class. Issac is pretending his geometrical board is a guitar, and he is pretending he is making music by strumming the rubber bands on his board. During art, the students were creating shapes with play dough. Ms. Karen was sitting at the same round table with Ann and Issac. Ms. Karen looks over at Ann, and asked: Ms. Karen: What are you making? Ann: Snake (Ann holds the end of the snake sign in signing space) Ms. Karen: Snake? Oh, I see. Will it be short or long? Ann: Long! Ms. Karen: Well see. Ms. Karen then proceeds to ask Issac what he was making. In this pretend talk between Ms. Karen and Ann during art, Ann explains her future plans for the dough she is kneading. Roaming Activities Table 4.4 displays the quantitative data for extended discourse interactions during roaming activities.

148 Table 4.4 Total Extended Discourse Interactions During Roaming Activities

Roaming Activity

Number of EDIs

Minutes Allotted

Proportion of EDIs during roaming activities

Free choice Transition Free Reading

250 89 62

556 280 217

45% 32% 29%

Figure 4.7 displays a bar graph of extended discourse interactions during roaming activities.

Figure 4.7. Percentages of extended discourse interactions during roaming activities. During free choice, the students chose among several activities in the classroom. As Ms. Jane walked past the large round table, she saw Charlie cutting a piece of paper.

149 The filming for the following dialogue is rather atypical for this data set, because the camera moves from Ms. Jane to Charlie back and forth instead of zooming out and capturing both in one screen. There may be missing parts of the discourse due to the back and forth filming technique. Ms. Jane: What are you making? (Charlie is not in camera view so we do not know what he said to prompt Jane to respond with the following question) Eggs? Charlie: Yes. Ms. Jane: Wow, thats many eggs there. Charlie: The eggs are hot (Charlie signed eggs more like chair because he was holding a piece of paper and scissors in the left hand while signing egg) Many! (Charlie does not sign many clearly to the teacher. Instead, it looks like wet or soft) Ms. Jane: (the first part of her phrase is missing because of the time it took the camera to transition from Charlie to Ms. Jane) It seems Ms. Jane was asking a clarifying question to Charlie: Soft? (We do not know what Charlie said in his response because the camera was still directed at Ms. Jane) Hot, soft, hot, oh I see. Ms. Jane: What are you going to do? (waves to Charlie to get his attention, he appears to have looked away) Whose eggs? Whose eggs are those? Who? Charlie: Bird, hes hot and wet (instead of wet he may be signing outside). Ms. Jane: Oh I see (Charlies immediate response is not visible on the screen) (Ms. Jane sits down at the table)

150 Charlie has Deaf parents, and both teachers comment that Charlie understands ASL, but does not express himself clearly when speaking ASL. This example (and the candle example on page 159) exhibit teachers difficulties in understanding Charlies signing. The discourse above is an example of pretend talk between Ms. Jane and Charlie during free choice. An example of extended discourse interaction during transition time included Ms. Karen, Ann, and Mickey discussing abbreviated names while waiting to depart for lunch is detailed on page 127. Free reading was discontinued after the fifth morning of filming. The teachers explained that they decided to change the schedule by moving free reading from the first hour of the morning to the afternoon to allow students to explore the classroom (free choice) during the first hour of each morning. The teachers noted that upon arrival, the students were excessively active and curious about the new activities the teachers would set up in the classroom before the start of the day; therefore, they decided to move reading to later in the day when the students would be quieter and relaxed. As mentioned earlier, free reading was extremely difficult to film. There were no chairs, so the students were free to sit or lay down as they pleased. This section of the classroom was the only one with three walls, so the camera handlers often found someone or an object blocking the view and constant camera position modification had to occur during this activity. Table 4.5 displays the number of extended discourse interactions during each activity settings and the minutes allotted for each type of activity and the proportions.

151 Table 4.5 Total Extended Discourse Interactions During Large, Small and Roaming Activities

Activity

Number of EDIs

Minutes Allotted

Proportion of EDIs during activity settings

Large group Small group Roaming

282 300 401

439 511 1,053

64% 59% 38%

Figure 4.8 exhibits the same results in a bar graph.

Figure 4.8. Percentages of extended discourse during large, small and roaming activities.

152 In sum, the majority of school-related activities (e.g., circle time, story sharing, free choice, pretend play, science and math) implemented by the teachers seem to promote extended discourse interactions. Types of Extended Discourse The second sub-question that helped focus the contextual analysis of extended discourse was What types of extended discourse do teachers use with students? There were four extended discourse types described by the HSSLLD study: 1) explanatory talk, 2) narrative talk, 3) pretend talk, and 4) science process talk. Explanatory talk is talk that requested and/or made some logical connection between objects, events, concepts, or conclusions (Beals, 2001, p. 86). An example from the HSSLLD mealtime data i s when a mother tells her daughter, Dont eat too fast, Astra. Youll choke yourself, and the daughter responding, Okay. Not too fast. (Beals, 2001, p. 86). Another example of explanatory talk in the Home-School study is when a father describes a seahorse to his son during dinner (Beals, 2001). In this study, during a mathematics activity, Katie had problems with her hearing aid and asked Ms. Jane for assistance. Ms. Jane fiddled with it, then started clapping and making vocal sounds near her ear. Katie smiled and nodded affirmatively and returned to making shapes with the colored blocks on the table. Cam and Ann were both watching this process. Ms. Jane turned around to face Cam, and asked: Ms. Jane: (to Cam) Did you hear that? Cam: Im deaf. Can you hear? Im hard of hearing. Ms. Jane: Im hard of hearing, too

153 Then Cam went off on a tangent about fairies and parties. When Cam paused, Ann softly banged on the table, obtaining Ms. Janes attention and said: Ann: I can hear too. Ms. Jane: So youre hard of hearing? Ann: What does hard of hearing mean? Ms. Jane: Hard of hearing means you can hear a little. Being deaf means you cant hear anything at all. Ann: I can hear hearing people. Ms. Jane: I see. They return to their respective projects, assembling colored shapes. This is explanatory talk between three people, the teacher, Ms. Jane, and two students, Cam and Ann. Narrative talk tends to come in the form of a story. In narrative talk, someone tells about an event that has happened in the past or that will happen in the future and that usually take shape over several turns in a conversation (Beals, 2001, p. 83). For example, if three siblings share their experience seeing a dead mouse to their mother at mealtime that is an example of narrative talk (Beals, 2001). In this study, Ms. Jane was story book sharing the classic, Goldilocks and Three Bears story to Cam, Ann and Mickey. After Ms. Jane explained how Papa Bear came up with the idea of the family going out biking to let the porridge cool off, Ms. Jane turned the book around to show it to the audience. Ann pointed to a picture in the book of a little basket attached to the front of a bike. Ann: Thats funny (pointing to the little basket attached to the front of a bike). Ms. Jane: Thats because the bear is small and can fit in the small basket?

154 Ann: (nods affirmatively) In this specific interaction, even though Ms. Jane used explanatory talk to expand on the concepts presented in the book, this discourse was coded as narrative talk because of the presence of the book, the elements involved in storytelling and the illustration in the book that facilitated the talk. While other studies may code this interaction as both explanatory and narrative talk (Ricasa, in progress), I decided to assign one type of talk to each extended discourse interaction in this study. Each decision depended on the number of elements within each type of extended discourse (explanatory, narrative, pretend and science process talk) present in each extended discourse interaction. Each assigned type had the most elements within an extended discourse interaction. There were extended discourse interactions where it was difficult to determine which type. The descriptions from the HSSLLD study (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001) and initial coding (Charmaz, 2006) during the data collection process contributed to the development of the following codes: Explanatory: Does the talk include a request and/or make logical connections between objects events, concepts or conclusions? Narrative: Is the narrator telling about an event that has happened in the past or that will happen in the future and takes shape over several turns? Pretend Talk: Does the discourse include pretend elements and a nonliteral approach to features in the immediate environment? Science Process Talk: Is the talk related to the process of science? Each of these types can be co-constructed by more than one participant. Each of the 1,005 extended discourse interactions were analyzed, identified as one of the types listed above then coded. Often during a narrative, there would be elements of pretend talk,

155 explanatory talk or science process talk. The analysis and coding focused only on the extended discourse interaction, not the discourse leading up to or the discourse after. For instance, when Ms. Karen narrated a book-based story about babies being born, she expanded on a concept not listed in the book: Ms. Karen: Your mothers have eggs (points to the book) that become babies. What do eggs look like? (points to the book) Eggs. Dex: (unintelligible) Ms. Karen: Your mothers have (points to book) Katie: (laughs, points) Ms. Karen: Yes, your mothers have that inside of their bodies. You cant see it, but your mothers have eggs inside, yes. Your mothers! Katie: (depicting a growing stomach) Baby! Ms. Karen: Yes! That interaction was coded as science process talk, rather than narrative, because the extended discourse interaction had a science-process emphasis. There were numerous extended discourse interactions like that example where the type was difficult to identify. That was when the research auditors for this study were consulted based on the HSSLLD study criteria to help with consistency and accuracy. Another type of extended discourse is called pretend talk. In pretend talk, there are pretend elements and a nonliteral approach to features in the immediate environment (Katz, 2001, p. 62). Pretend talk includes making an object represent another; attributing actions, thoughts, or feelings to inanimate objects; assuming or assigning a role or a persona; enacting typical scripts or routines of everyday events; and

156 creating a narrative about a person or an object (Katz, 2001, p. 65). Katz shares an example where a mother and a son build a house with blocks. They discuss where to put the chimney and the front door for Santa (2001). In this study, Charlie walks up to Ms. Karen and points to the Superman logo on his shirt. Charlie: (taps Ms. Karen) (tracing S on his shirt) Ms. Karen: What? Charlie: Superman. Ms. Karen: Whos Superman? Whos Superman? Charlie: Me. Ms. Karen: Youre Superman? Charlie: Yes. Ms. Karen: What does Superman do? Charlie: What does he do? He helps... Ms. Karen: Helps? Helps animals? Charlie: No. Ms. Karen: Does he help animals? Charlie: (answer blocked from camera view, but it is suspected he responded with people) Ms. Karen: Oh, he helps people. Why does he help people? Charlie: Why.... (Dex interrupts, tapping Ms. Karen, and Ms. Karen tells Dex to wait without breaking eye gaze with Charlie) Charlie: Superman helps. Counterfactual question

157 Ms. Karen: He helps people who are hurt, right? Charlie: Yes. Ms. Karen: Oh I see... Charlie: (waves to get Ms. Karens attention) (portions blocked from camera view) During fires, Superman helps. Ms. Karen: Thats right, yes. In this discourse, Charlie pretends he is Superman and Ms. Karen intentionally extends the discourse by asking a counterfactual question, Superman helps animals?, a questioning technique with the intent of running contrary to the facts, with the intent of facilitating cognitively challenging talk. This technique is also called creating contrast through negation, discussed by Livingston (1997). The teacher creates a contrast (Superman helps animals?) with the intention of having the student respond with a negative sentence (e.g., No) and possibly an explanation of who Superman helps. One may wonder, if Charlie was unable to respond to the teachers question, would the question be converted to a rhetorical question, where the teacher would say, Superman helps animals? then the teacher shakes her head slowly, hinting to Charlie to respond with a negative sentence. The final type of extended discourse in the HSSLLD study is called science process talk. Science process talk is talk related to the process of scie nce, such as talk about magnetism (Tabors, Roach, & Snow, 2001, p. 112). They share an example where a mother explains to Mariana that magnetism is like electricity because both have power to attract things (Tabors, Roach, & Snow, 2001). In this study, Ms. Karen led a full-class inquiry during circle time about whether apples float or sink.

158 Ms. Karen: (points to photo on book) Water. A jar (depicts putting an apple in the jar and letting it sink) or (depicts putting an apple in the jar and making it float). Which? Katie: Sink! Ms. Karen: You think itll sink? What do you think? (to Dex) What do you think, Dex? Dex: Sink! Ms. Karen: Sink? (turns towards Mickey) What do you think, Mickey? (depicting an apple floating and sinking) Which? Mickey: Sink... float. Ms. Karen: Which? Youre still thinking? Ann, will it float or sink? Ms. Karen continued to ask each student individually for their prediction and then demonstrated by dropping an apple in a cup of water. To everyones amazement, the apple floated! Ms. Karen said to Ms. Jane at the end, I surprised myself, too! This is an example of a large group science-process talk. Table 4.6 displays the count for each type of extended discourse interactions for each teacher and their proportions.

159 Table 4.6 Frequency and Percentages of Each Type of Extended Discourse Interactions

Teacher

Explanatory Narrative

Pretend

Science Process

Total

Ms. Jane Ms. Karen Total/Avg.

355 (62%) 289 (67%) 644 (64%)

123 (22%) 57 (13%) 180 (18%)

93 (16%) 65 (15%) 158 (16%)

4 (0.5%) 19 (4%) 23 (2%)

=575 =431 =1,005

Figure 4.9 shows the frequencies and percentages of each types of extended discourse used by both teachers in a pie chart display.

Figure 4.9. Percentages of the types of extended discourse used by both teachers.

160 There were 644 incidents of explanatory talk out of 1,005 extended discourses. Narrative and pretend talk had similar results, with 180 and 159 incidents each and science process talk had only 23 incidents. When comparing the types of extended discourse Ms. Jane and Ms. Karen used in their discussions, both results were very similar, except Ms. Karen used more science process talk and Ms. Jane used more narrative talk. Figure 4.10 displays the types of extended discourse used by both

teachers. Figure 4.10. Percentages of teachers types of extended discourse.

Ms. Jane participated in more narrative talk, while Ms. Karen participated in more pretend talk in their extended discourse interactions with students. Ms. Karen participated in more science process talk with her students. This analysis prompted a comparison across students types of extended discourse as reflected in Table 4.7.

161
Table 4.7 Frequency and Percentages of Extended Discourse Types Used by Students

Student

Explanatory

Narrative

Pretend

Science

Ann Bree Cam Charlie Clara Dex Don Issac Jean Joe Katie Mickey

97 (53%) 66 (74%) 162 (64%) 61 (57%) 43 (49%) 48 (63%) 39 (48%) 38 (47%) 102 (52%) 50 (49%) 104 (74%) 70 (61%)

51 (28%) 6 (7%) 58 (23%) 23 (21%) 14 (16%) 15 (20%) 7 (9%) 18 (22%) 68 (34%) 17 (17%) 17 (12%) 20 (17%)

34 (19%) 18 (20%) 32 (13%) 19 (18%) 18 (21%) 9 (12%) 31 (38%) 21 (26%) 24 (12%) 33 (32%) 15 (11%) 19 (17%)

3 (2%) 1 (1%) 9 (4%) 5 (5%) 4 (5%) 5 (7%) 5 (6%) 4 (5%) 4 (2%) 6 (5%) 4 (3%) 7(6%)12

12

Percentages for each row do not add up to 100% because each decimal was rounded off to the closest 10th.

162 Figure 4.11 displays the proportions of students types of extended discourse in a line graph.

Figure 4.11. Percentages of the types of extended discourse used by students. Students who had high explanatory talk (Bree and Katie), also had lower narrative and/or pretend talk. Issac (47%), Don (48%), Joe and Clara (49%) participated in the lowest amount of explanatory talk. They also were described by their teachers to have emerging ASL skills as opposed to their other classmates who were described to have developing or proficient ASL skills. The students with emerging ASL skills also had the highest amounts of pretend talk of their classmates, with Don leading the group at 38%, Joe with 32%, Issac at 26%, and Clara with 21%. Narrative talk varied among the students, with the lowest at 7%, and highest at 34%. The amount of science process talk

163 was consistently minimal among all students, which ranged from the lowest, 1% to the highest at 7%. Based on observations of classroom interaction and then during follow-up teacher interviews, both teachers said they tend to approach individual students with emerging ASL skills to ask about what they are doing or what they are making, and often this results in pretend talk. The theme of the day was babies, and in earlier contexts, the teachers would discuss some animals give birth to eggs (e.g., birds), and some animals and people give birth to babies. This is possibly why Ms. Jane inferred the balls in Dons bowl were actually eggs in a nest. Don: (jumps in chair) Big! (points to his play dough bowl with several dough rolled into balls laying inside the bowl) Ms. Jane: Big? Whose eggs are those? Don: Eggs. Ms. Jane: Whos? (points to bowl) Don: (puts his hands in the bowl) Ms. Jane: (taps Do ns arm) Bird eggs? Don: Bird (holds up a play dough egg) Ms. Jane: (taps Dons arm) Bird egg. Compare the earlier example with an example of immediate talk between Ms. Jane and Jean, a highly competent ASL speaker as Jean plays with play dough. Ms. Jane: What are you making? Jean: A bowl. Ms. Jane: To hold food for eating?

164 Jean: Yes. When the teachers ask students with proficient ASL skills about what they are making or doing, they tend to respond literally, classifying the form of the immediate discourse as explanatory talk, but not as an extended discourse interaction. The teachers commented during the follow-up interviews that they were more likely to leave the more independent and linguistically adept students alone because they were more likely to work quietly and/or work with their peers. The teachers would scan the tables and talk with students with emerging or developing ASL skills who made eye contact with them. The types of extended discourse used by the teachers and students in this study were consistently similar. Everyone participated in explanatory talk for a majority of their extended discourse interactions. Narrative and pretend talk varied across all participants, including the teachers, with narrative talk ranging between 7% to 34% and pretend talk ranging between 11% to 38%. Everyone participated in limited science process talk, from .5% to 7%. As mentioned earlier, it was difficult to identify the type of numerous extended discourse interactions in this study, for instance, some explanations occur within narratives, and some pretend elements emerge in narratives. I was also unable to identify other types of extended discourse, either unique to ASL and/or to add to the list of extended discourse types identified by the HSSLLD study. Characteristics that Facilitate Extended Discourse There are numerous approaches in how to analyze characteristics that facilitate extended discourse. Since analyzing extended discourse in ASL is a relatively new area, an exploration of the basic structural components of extended discourse are discussed: number of extended discourse turns, teacher and student initiations, the extent of the

165 extended discourse, and a preliminary analysis of the characteristics of students who participate in the most extend discourse interactions. These selected components help describe extended discourse interactions from a broader perspective. Extended Discourse Turn-taking Each extended discourse interaction was coded for number of turns. Since the definition of extended discourse involves a dialogue that continues for three turns or more, the following categories were implemented: 3 turns, 4 turns, 5 turns, and 6 or more turns. See Table 4.8 for depiction of turn-taking percentages. The three turns of some extended interactions in this study closely resembles what Mehan (1979) and Cazden (1988) describes as a common discourse structure within the classroom: first, the teachers inquiry, second, the student responds, and then the teacher evaluates or gives feedback to the students response (summarized as IRE or IRF). The dialogue below demonstrates a common example of IRE/F format in this study. Ms. Karen is story book sharing with a small group of students: Mickey, Dex, Ann, Jean, Joe, Cam, and Charlie. The teacher aide, Grace is sitting behind Dex. Ms. Karen is turning the page of a book titled, Warm in Winter, and narrated on the previous page that the character in the story was sad and lonely she could not go out and visit her friend because it was snowing and really cold outside: Ms. Karen: (points to book) Hmm. I have an idea. Ill go ahead and put my boots on, pants, jacket, hat, gloves and jacket and go out. Im going where? Jean and Ann in unison: Friend... Ms. Karen: Friends house, right. I went ahead and walked against the wind...

166 Table 4.8 Frequency of Turns in Extended Discourse Interactions

Participant

6+

Ms. Jane Ms. Karen Total Ann Bree Cam Charlie Clara Dex Don Issac Jean Joe Katie Mickey Total Total of all participants

186 (32%) 138 (32%) 324 (32%) 57 (31%) 23 (26%) 78 (31%) 37 (35%) 29 (33%) 21 (28%) 27 (33%) 30 (37%) 72 (36%) 31 (30%) 44 (31%) 32 (28%) 481 (32%)

53 (9%) 37 (9%) 90 (9%) 16 (9%) 9 (8%) 20 (8%) 9 (8%) 13 (15%) 7 (9%) 7 (9%) 5 (6%) 12 (6%) 7 (6%) 10 (7%) 7 (6%) 122 (8%)

118 (21%) 107 (25%) 225 (22%) 40 (22%) 20 (22%) 58 (23%) 21 (20%) 7 (8%) 12 (16%) 16 (20%) 11 (14%) 42 (21%) 17 (16%) 26 (19%) 25 (22%) 295 (19%)

217 (38%) 149 (35%) 366 (37%) 68 (37%) 37 (42%) 98 (38%) 39 (36%) 29 (33%) 36 (47%) 31 (38%) 35 (43%) 71 (36%) 47 (46%) 60 (43%) 51 (44%) 602 (40%)

805 (32%)

212 (8%)

520 (21%)

968 (39%)

167 Figure 4.12 displays the percentage of turns for all extended discourse interactions identified in this study (n = 1,005).

Figure 4.12. Percentage of turns for each extended discourse interaction

This is an example of a typical IRE discourse structure in a structured class format. There were other types of extended discourse interactions with three turns that did not resemble an IRE/F format, most typically when students initiate: Bree: (taps Ms. Janes arm) I have the same computer at home. Its just the same, and I have one at home. Its a big one and it s in a room at my home. Its really big. Ms. Jane: A big computer? I see.

168 Bree: Yes. (returns to drawing) This type of comment from the students to the teachers happened frequently in the data during transition or snack times. The teachers in this study were very similar in their number of turns during their extended discourse interactions. Figure 4.13 displays each teachers percentage of turns during their extended discourse interactions with their students.

Figure 4.13. Teachers average percent of turns for each extended discourse Even with a combined 1,005 extended discourse interactions, both teachers had very similar results, in fact, both had exactly the same average for three and four turns. With five and six or more turns, thats when the numbers varied slightly for each teac her. Ms. Jane had 5 turns 21% of the time, while Ms. Karen had 5 turns 25% of the time. For six turns or more, Ms. Jane had 38% while Ms. Karen had 35%. The students were also

169 similar with their results. Figure 4.14 shows each students number of turns in percentages.

Figure 4.14. Percentages of students number of turns during extended discourse. Extended discourse interactions between teachers and students were mostly over six turns in nature, coming in an average of 40% among the 12 students. Three turns came out close, which is typical of teacher talk (Mehan, 1979), at 32%. By looking at this chart, you can see all of the students had very similar turn taking frequencies. Six or more turns during an extended discourse interaction would usually include multiple probing questions by either the teacher or the student. When Charlie made a pretend cake with pretend candles, he tapped Ms. Jane on the arm and waited for Ms. Jane to look at him.

170 Charlie: (eye gaze directs Ms. Janes attention to a lump of dough on the table by her) Ms. Jane: I see three sticks stuck upright in this dough. Are those sticks a way to eat this dough? Charlie: Wait. Ms. Jane: Wait for it to cook? Charlie: Wait. Ms. Jane: Wait for what? Charlie: (fingerspells slowly) K...A... K...A.... K...A. Ms. Jane: Its pizza! I see... Charlie: (affirmative nod) (hand palm up) Ms. Jane: I should wait because its hot? Charlie: (hand comes up to mouth, blows index finger) Ms. Jane: Blow? Charlie: (affirmative nod) Ms. Jane: (look of surprise) Its a cake? Its a cake or a pizza? Charlie: (fingerspells slowly) Y...K...A Ms. Jane: (finerspells slowly) C.....Cake? Charlie: C... (affirmative nod) Ms. Jane: And these are candles? Charlie: (affirmative nod) Ms. Jane: Im to blow it out? Charlie: (affirmative nod)

171 Ms. Jane: Heres three candles. Im three years old? Charlie: (affirmative nod) Ms. Jane: Ok (blows the candles out). Im done. I thought... I thought you said wait but oh, you meant candle. A candle. Thats what you meant, right? I see. I understand now. In this extended discourse interaction, when Charlie asked Ms. Jane to wait, Ms. Jane could have followed Charlies instructions by waiting. Without her persistence and probing questions, we may have never known that lump of dough with the protruding sticks was actually a birthday cake. This may have been classified as an extended discourse interaction in the type of pretend talk with three turns. Instead, Ms. Jane continued to inquire further, Why wait? Wait for what? I should wait because its hot? When Charlie brought up his index finger to his mouth, and blew, Ms. Jane realized Charlie might be talking about a birthday cake with candles. But the dialogue did not end there. Ms. Jane counted the number of sticks in the play dough, and pretended, Oh, that means Im three years old? Charlie responded affirmatively, and Ms. Jane blew the pretend candles out. Then she explained her previous thought process and tried to provide conversational repair by demonstrating the right sign for CANDLE. Then she proceeds to demonstrate and hold the sign for CANDLE close to Charlies line of vision longer than the amount of time typically associated with that sign. From this example, one may assume that six or more turns may include more teacher persistence and cognitively challenging discourse than three turns. While that has been the observation of the author, it is also the position of the author that this requires a

172 closer examination and comparison of all extended discourse interactions consisting of three turns with discourses with more than three turns. Extended Discourse Initiations Each extended discourse interaction was analyzed to identify the initiator of the interaction, and each interaction was coded for non-initiators as well. A majority of the EDIs (65%) were initiated by the teachers. Table 4.9 displays the quantitative findings for teacher initiations.
Table 4.9 Teachers Extended Discourse Initiations Teacher Initiator Did not initiate

Ms. Jane Ms. Karen Total

410 (71%) 240 (56%) 650 (65%)

164 (29%) 191 (44%) 335 (35%)

173 Figure 4.15 shows the proportions of initiations for each teacher.

Figure 4.15. Percentage of initiations for each teacher.

Ms. Jane initiated more extended discourse interactions than Ms. Karen. Students initiated extended discourse interactions with Ms. Karen 44% of the time, and 29% of the time with Ms. Jane. The discourse interactions initiated by students are reflected in Table 4.10.

174 Table 4.10 Students Extended Discourse Initiations

Student

Initiator

Did not initiate

Ann Bree Cam Charlie Clara Dex Don Issac Jean Joe Katie Mickey Total

47 (26%) 31 (35%) 85 (33%) 34 (32%) 22 (25%) 10 (13%) 18 (22%) 18 (22%) 38 (20%) 20 (19%) 41 (29%) 15 (13%) 379 (25%)

136 (74%) 60 (65%) 180 (67%) 73 (68%) 65 (75%) 66 (87%) 63 (78%) 63 (78%) 160 (80%) 83 (81%) 99 (71%) 90 (87%) 1,138 (75%)

175 Figure 4.16 displays students percentage of initiations in a bar graph.

Figure 4.16. Frequency of students extended discourse initiations in percentages Students proficient or developing reported ASL skill upon the start of the academic year did not seem to be connected with students ability to initiate discourse, except that the students who were less likely to initiate also had emerging ASL skills (e.g., Dex, Joe, Don, Issac, and Clara). However, this does not sufficiently explain why the students with the highest ASL skills (Jean, Ann, and Cam) were not initiating the most extended discourses. Jean, Ann, and Cam were very close friends, and often talked, played and worked independently among themselves during the school day. This may have influenced the number of their extended discourse initiations with their teachers. During the post-analysis interview with Ms. Karen, she immediately agreed that this finding represented the students assertiveness level when it came to approaching

176 teachers for questions and/or comments. I asked Ms. Karen why one of the most proficient ASL speakers in the class, Jean, had a very low initiator level. Ms. Karen responded, Oh, I remember Ms. Jane, Ms. Grace (teacher aide) and I were always worried about Jean. Shes a very, very shy girl. Outside of the class, she wouldnt talk to anyone, especially adults, and even during lunch time or recess. People would often ask me if she could talk. I would let them know that Jeans actually a very, very bright girl and talks beautifully in ASL, but is just shy outside of the classroom. The findings that Jean had a low initiat or rate makes complete sense to me. This also indicates one of the limitations of filming solely inside the classroom. Based only on videotape analysis, anyone watching the videotapes would never have known that Jean was actually a very shy student outside of the classroom. Ms. Jane elaborated, Jean, Ann, and Cam also liked to play independently on their own. Often, when everyone was working independently, Ms. Karen and I intentionally sought out the less ASL proficient students because we wanted to develop their expressive language skills. We also wanted to take preventive disciplinary measures by engaging them in discourse and maintaining their interest and focus in their activity. This finding suggests that the more assertive the child is in initiating discourse, the more likely it is that the child might participate in more extended discourses. Extent of Extended Discourse Interaction Each member involved in an extended discourse interaction was analyzed for participation level. There are three broad categories, borrowed from the Signs of Literacy research team codebook:

177 Balancing: Participants have equal amounts of speaking time; interruptions are minimal and/or nonexistent. Dominating: One participant controls most of the speaking time. Non-dominating: Participant(s) may be watching the discourse, and responding using head nods, gestures, and/or brief one-word response. Frequent examples of discourse involving dominant/non-dominant types of extended discourses were found in this study. In this study, teachers dominate, not because they want to be dominant, but because they are trying to probe and facilitate responses from non-responsive students, typically the ones with emergent ASL skills. Ms. Karen approached Clara as she was starting to play in the newly formed rice area. Ms. Karen: What are the rules for playing here? Clara: (looks at an object inside the box and taps it) Ms. Karen: (taps Clara) Do you throw rice outside of the box? No.... Clara: (shakes head sideways slightly) Ms. Karen: Dont throw rice outside of the box. You can get hurt. You can playClara: (looks inside the box) Ms. Karen: (taps Clara) You can play here... play here (emphasis on here). Clara: (slightly nods affirmatively then looks away) Clara immediately looked away and started playing with the rice in the container. This illustrates a dominant participant (Ms. Karen) and non-dominant participant (Clara). Ms. Karen tried to give opportunities to Clara to respond using ASL, but Clara did not, so Ms. Karen answered her own question and continued with the conversation. Large group times had the most teacher-dominated types of discourse mainly because the teachers

178 would ask the group mostly yes-no (or two-choice) questions, they would give a brief answer, and the teacher would evaluate the answer (or seek for other answers). Table 4.11 Extent of Extended Discourse Interactions

Participant

Balanced

Non-Dominant

Dominant

Ms. Jane Ms. Karen Total Ann Bree Cam Charlie Clara Dex Don Issac Jean Joe Katie Mickey Total

422 (74%) 356 (83%) 778 (77%) 126 (69%) 58 (67%) 190 (75%) 62 (58%) 31 (36%) 41 (54%) 40 (49%) 36 (44%) 150 (75%) 56 (55%) 93 (66%) 58 (50%) 941 (62%)

63 (11%) 6 (1%) 66 (7%) 49 (27%) 27 (30%) 53 (21%) 41 (38%) 53 (61%) 34 (45%) 36 (44%) 41 (51%) 36 (18%) 40 (39%) 42 (30%) 52 (45%) 504 (33%)

89 (16%) 69 (16%) 158 (16%) 7 (4%) 6 (7%) 12 (5%) 4 (4%) 3 (3%) 1 (1%) 5 (6%) 4 (5%) 12 (6%) 7 (6%) 5 (4%) 5 (4%) 71 (5%)

179 Figure 4.17 illustrates the extent of each teachers extended discourses with students.

Figure 4.17. Extent of teachers extended discourse interactions with students Both teachers had very similar results for balanced and dominant extended discourse interactions with students. Ms. Jane had a higher non-dominant extended discourse frequency count. In these interactions, the teacher often pretended not to understand her students requests or questions, also called kimping (Smith & Ramsey, 2004), to do several things: encourage the student to articulate their sentence more clearly, encourage the student to restate his/her sentence with different word choices, and encourage the child to add more information to his/her concept. The kimping technique was used by Ms. Karen in her extended discourse interaction with Charlie about Superman (transcript on page 137-138). In another

180 dialogue, Ms. Jane, Ann, Jean, Don, and Charlie are sitting at the small round table playing with dough. Ms. Jane: (points at Anns dough) Thats swell. Ann: Do you know how to make this? Ms. Jane: Teach me how. Ann: You must first get dough... Ms. Jane: (nodding affirmatively) Ann: (shows by squeezing and separating dough) you must.... (demonstrates) Ms. Jane: You must squeeze and roll this way? I see... Ann: (continues squeezing and rolling while moving her eye gaze from her dough to Ms. Janes dough) Ms. Jane: (distracted and resolving another issue with another student) Ann: (taps Ms. Janes arm) (shows a rolling technique) Ms. Jane: Oh I see (rolling) Ann: You break it when its a little soft. Jean: (to Ms. Jane) I want to try. I want to try. Try. (Try was fingerspelled in this sentence). Pink. I want do something. I want to do something. Ms. Jane: (to Jean) Anns teaching me. Im learning from Ann. I saw what she was doing (with her dough) and I thought it was swell! Shes showing me the steps, and Im going, Oh, I see and Im copying her (returns to her dough) . Ann: (continues to demonstrate and looking back and forth from her dough to Ms. Janes) See, this is done - see how it looks, with this cone-shaped end. Ms. Jane: (nods) (depicts pretend eating of her dough)

181 Ann: (taps Ms. Janes arm) No, its a witch hat (puts dough on her head, falls off) Ms. Jane: Ohhh. Ann: (continues demonstrating the dough on her head with a smile) Ms. Jane: (nods with a smile) In this discourse, Ms. Jane created an opportunity where Ann dominated the conversation, using complex concepts and language specifically for giving instructions. When the students dominated the extended discourse interaction, the range was consistently between 1% to 7% of all extended discourses. The percentage of nondominant talk was broader, ranging between 18% to 61% of all extended discourses. Balanced extended discourse interactions ranged 36% to 75%. Figure 4.18 demonstrates the extent of the students extended discourse interactions.

Figure 4.18. Extent of students extended disco urse interactions in percentages.

182 The students with proficient ASL skill upon starting the school year (Cam, Jean, and Ann) had the most balanced interactions and the lowest number of non-dominant interactions. The students with emerging ASL skill upon starting the school year (Joe, Dex, Don, Issac, and Clara) also participated in the most non-dominant talk. The students with developing ASL skill upon starting the school year were in the middle (Katie, Bree, and Charlie), between the proficient ASL and emerging ASL groups with one exception, Mickey. The findings suggest students who were more adept with ASL were also adept at holding their own conversational end in extended discourse interactions. At the opposite end of the continuum, students who have high percentages of non-dominant talk also have low levels of balanced extended discourse interactions with their teachers, as well as emerging ASL skill upon start of the preschool year. Extended Discourse and Parental Hearing Status The characteristics that facilitate students ability to extend discourse, as argued earlier in Chapter I and II, may be connected to the deaf students early, complete access to a visual language, and opportunities to use the language with more competent others. One way to identify children as potentially having those experiences and opportunities is through their parental hearing status. In this study, there were six Deaf children with ASL-speaking Deaf parents. There were also two students with one ASL-speaking Deaf parent and the other parent was hearing and speaks ASL. The remaining four students had hearing parents who were not fluent in ASL. Table 4.12 illustrates the proportion of students extended discourse interactions and the number of days they were present during data collection.

183
Table 4.12 Proportion of Students Extended Discourse Interactions

Student

Number of Days Filmed

Frequency of EDIs

Proportion of Days Filmed and Number of EDIs

Ann* Bree Cam* Charlie Clara Dex Don Issac Jean* Joe13 Katie Mickey

11 7 12.5 12 11 13 13 12 11 13 13 12

183 89 255 107 87 76 81 81 198 103 140 115

17% 13% 20% 9% 8% 6% 6% 7% 18% 8% 11% 10%14

13

Asterisks by childs name indicates the child has proficient ASL skills. Italics indicate emerging ASL skills, and regular font indicates developing ASL skills. 14 Those percentages are represented in Figures 4.19 and 4.20.

184 Bree joined the school in the middle of the academic year; therefore, her attendance was lower than the rest of her classmates. Due to technical problems, data collection on November 9th did not start until halfway through the morning. The team returned to collect the first half of the morning on November 13th. Cam was absent on November 9th, but present on November 13th, which explain why she had a unique attendance record of 12.5 days. Figure 4.19 displays the frequency of students extended discourses categorized by parental hearing status.

Figure 4.19. Frequency of extended discourse as categorized by parental hearing status. The figure displays the frequency of extended discourse by Deaf students of Deaf parents (DODs), Deaf students of a Deaf parent (DOD), or Deaf students of Hearing parents (DOH). Joe was the oldest student of the class, starting off the year at 5 years, 5

185 months old, while everyone else ranged from 4 years, 3 months to 4 years, 10 months old. Although the frequency of extended discourse interaction results showed comparable differences between students with both deaf parents and students with hearing parents, categorizing by parental hearing status was not able to sufficiently explain why some students participated in more extended discourse interactions than other students. Extended Discourse and ASL Competence Upon the start of the school year, the teachers were interviewed and asked about each student. Ms. Jane and Ms. Karen supplied their observations of each students ASL and English skills, general classroom behavior, and goals for the year. Both agreed that the students in class had a large variability in ASL skills. The teachers said Ann, Cam, and Jean had the highest ASL competence upon the start of the school year and had ASL skills appropriate for their age. Ms. Karen and Ms. Jane determined the ASL skills of Charlie, Mickey, Bree, and Katie had slightly below expected ASL fluency at their age. The teachers agreed they needed to develop their ASL competence further. Charlie and Mickey both come from Deaf families, yet struggle with expressing themselves in ASL. Ms. Karen explained, [Charlie] has deaf parents but his expressive language is not that great. His signs are not clear. The way he moves his hands. I have a hard time understanding him. The birthday cake transcript on p. 151 demonstrates Charlies developing ASL skills, where he is unable to explain to Ms. Jane that he wants her to blow out the pretend birthday cake Charlie made for her. Ms. Karen continued, [Mickey] has deaf parents but he does not have good expressive language. His signs are not clear either. Maybe it has to do with being a boy? Both of them are boys. Maybe that is why they are delayed in that area? Maybe, I am

186 not sure. The teachers determined that students with emerging ASL skills were Joe, Clara, Issac, Don, and Dex. They had basic, minimal gestures and limited range of ASL lexicon to choose from when conversing. All of their parents are hearing except for one, Don, who has deaf parents. During teacher interviews, both teachers explained that Don has unusually low ASL skills for someone with Deaf parents. They also described his personality and behavior as infant-like. They also expressed optimism and hoped Don was simply a late bloomer. Based on the teachers report of the childrens ASL competence at the start of the academic year, Figure 4.20 displays their extended discourse frequency in proportion to the number of days they were present during data collection. The group with the proficient ASL fluency as reported by the teachers had the most extended discourse interactions. Cam, Jean, and Ann had 20%, 18% and 17% extended discourse interaction participation rate. The group with developing ASL fluency, Bree, Katie, Mickey, and Charlie, participated in 13%, 11%, 10% and 9% of extended discourse interactions, respectively. The group with emerging ASL fluency, with Joe, Clara, Issac, Don, and Dex had a range of 6% to 8% extended discourse interaction participation rate. These results indicate that ASL ability upon arrival at preschool may be connected with the ability to extend discourse. Similarly, access to ASL at home appears to facilitate ability to extend discourse, but not as consistently as perceived ASL ability at the start of the academic year. Percentages of extended discourse interactions are noted in Figure 4.20.

187

Figure 4.20. Percentages of extended discourse interactions by students categorized by ASL competence. Linguistic Features of Extended Discourse The second broad research question of this investigation asked What are the linguistic features of extended discourse used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf preschool students in an ASL/English bilingual classroom? An initial review of all the data, in other words, the grand tour (Spradley, 1979) and a review of the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development (HSSLLD) revealed two sub-questions to analyze further. The first sub-question that helped focus the analysis was Which

188 sentence types are used during extended discourse? Transcription conventions help maintain consistency during transcription. Previously gathered and assembled transcription conventions and codes developed by Chen-Pichler, Hochgesang, LilloMartin, and Mller (in press) were used and expanded on in this study. Figure 4.21 displays the codes for sentence types used during extended discourse (to review the full transcription conventions chart, see Appendix C): Syntactic Level Topicalization Conventions The topicalized glosses are enclosed between less than and greater than and a t at end of the greater than symbol Yes/No Questions The glosses involved in a yes-no question statement are enclosed between less than and greater than symbols with a ynq at the end of the greater than symbol Wh-questions The glosses involved in a wh-question are HOUSE RED <HOUSE RED>ynq Examples <HOUSE>t RED

enclosed between less than and greater than <WHERE>whq symbols with a whq at end of the greater than symbol Affirmative Negative The glosses involved in affirmative or negative sentences are enclosed between less than and greater than symbols with a n at end of the greater than symbol <HOUSE RED>y <HOUSE RED>n

189 Rhetorical Question The glosses involved in a rhetorical question <HOUSE RED>rh YES are enclosed between less than and greater than symbols with a rh at end of the greater than symbol Command The glosses involved in a command are enclosed between less than and greater than symbols with a com at end of the greater than symbol Conditional The glosses involved in a conditional are <HOUSE RED>cond <HOUSE RED>com

enclosed between less than and greater than MOVE WILL symbols with a cond at end of the greater than symbol Relative clauses The glosses involved in a relative clause are <HOUSE>t <DV(bigenclosed between less than and greater than house-be-at-place) RED> rc symbols with a rc at end of the greater than <IX(self) BUY>y symbol

Figure 4.21. Sentence type coding The ASL linguistics field has not yet agreed on what constitutes an ASL sentence (Hochgesang, 2009), and this transcription convention is an attempt to maintain transparency and consistency during data analysis. For instance, during one conversational turn, a participant may exhibit use of several sentence types. For example, if a participant signs, glossed in English as:

190 HOUSE BIG OVER THERE RED I BUY The English translation may be: I bought that big red house over there, or That big red house over there, I bought it. When using the transcription conventions for this study, we discover the participant used three different sentence types: <HOUSE>t <DV(big-house-be-at-place) RED> rc <IX(self) BUY>y The participant used topicalization to identify the topic of the sentence, the house, and then used a relative clause to describe the physical location, size, and color of the house, and then finally an affirmative sentence indicating that s/he bought the house. When using transcription conventions, the sentences (among other linguistic features) become apparent. In other cases, some ASL speakers double their wh-words in their wh-questions, that is wh-words appear at both beginning and the end of the sentence. In this study, reduplication of wh-words (and within other sentence types) were only counted once to maintain consistency. For instance, if a participant said: WHY (indexing towards another participant) HUNGRY WHY The English translation may be: Why is s/he hungry? This would be transcribed as: <WHY IX(participant name) HUNGRY WHY>wh The software, when tracking the number of wh-questions, would count this as one whquestion sentence type, which is consistent with the literature. Researchers do not consider wh-doubling to mean there are two wh-questions, only two wh-words. However, if the participant said:

191 WHY (indexing towards another participant) HUNGRY...(pause, looks around, looks back at interactant) WHY The English translation may be: Why is s/he hungry? Why? This would be transcribed as: <WHY IX(participant name) HUNGRY>wh <WHY>wh The software would count this as two separate wh-question sentences. In other situations, ASL structure also includes duplication of signs for different purposes. For example, with the sign WORK, to indicate the form of working over a long time, one would sign WORK with several repetitions of larger and slower cyclity than the plain verb, WORK. This is an aspectual form, which are verbs modified to add more information regarding duration and/or frequency (Valli, et al., 2005). In that situation, that linguistic information would be transcribed as A(work-really-hard), rather than typing WORK several times, which would be counted as separate signs by the software. Similarly, ASL speakers often repeat signs for various communicative and pragmatic purposes, and those signs were transcribed as MOTHER[+] which is also used to indicate unusual cyclicity (less or more than usual), rather than typing MOTHER several times or, in cases of less cyclicity than usual, adding a comment somewhere else in the transcript regarding the unusual phonetic form. These conventions help maintain consistency, especially important considering the quantitative nature of results being reported in this study. Ten extended discourse interactions per teacher for a total of twenty interactions per morning were randomly selected and transcribed. The transcribed discourse interactions account for 25% of the extended discourse interaction data set (260

192 interactions out of 1,005). One extended discourse interaction may have multiple sentence types used by both participants. The results are displayed in Table 4.12, with the abbreviations for each sentence type: Wh-question (Wh), Affirmation (Affirm), Yesno question (Y/N), Negation (Neg), Command (Com), Topicalization (Top), Rhetorical question (Rh), Conditional (Cond), and Relative clause (RC).
Table 4.13 Frequency of Sentence Types in 260 Extended Discourse Interactions Participant Ms. Jane Ms. Karen Total Ann* Bree Cam* Charlie Clara Dex Don Issac Jean* Joe15 Katie Mickey Total Wh-q 219 143 362 3 3 5 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 10 14 39 Affirm Y/N-q 198 126 324 6 10 1 0 0 2 6 2 3 2 5 2 39 153 104 257 2 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 4 17 Neg 50 34 74 1 7 5 3 10 2 0 0 3 2 4 4 41 Com 14 9 23 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 Top 4 9 13 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 Rh-q 5 1 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 Cond 5 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 RC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

15

Asterisks by childs name indicates the child has proficient ASL skills. Italics indicate emerging ASL skills, and regular font indicates developing ASL skills.

193 Figure 4.22 exhibits frequency of sentence types in 260 extended discourse interactions.

Figure 4.22. Frequency of sentence types by teachers and students in 260 extended discourse interactions. Since the selections of extended discourse interactions were randomized, some students may seem to have more sentence types than other students. The remaining 745 extended discourse interactions will need to be transcribed and coded before comparisons can be made across participants. Transcribing is a very tedious and time-consuming process, and in order to make this study more manageable, analysis of 25% of the data set was determined to be sufficient to capture the frequency of sentence types used in extended discourse interactions, however, this does not reflect the actual range of sentence types used by the students in this study.

194 Out of 260 extended discourse interactions, wh-questions had the highest frequency, with wh-questions being typically associated with cognitively challenging talk. More complex sentences such as rhetorical questions, conditionals and relative clauses were not used frequently, if at all in the data. Figure 4.23 displays the sentences used by the teachers during their extended discourse interactions.

Figure 4.23. Sentences used by the teachers during 260 extended discourse interactions. Teacher Extended Discourse Sentences Teachers tended to use wh-questions during extended discourse interactions. Affirmative sentences and yes and no questions also occurred frequently in teachers extended discourse interactions with students. Negation, commands, and topicalizations

195 were not as prevalent. The teachers did not use complex sentences (e.g., rhetorical questions, conditionals and relative clauses) frequently. A typical interaction of extended discourse between teachers and students in this study often included wh-questions; often, more than once during the same conversation. Ms. Karen, before starting to tell a story about fall time, asked the students what colors are typically associated with fall time. Ms. Karen: What are the colors usually associated with fall time? Dex: Pumpkin! Ms. Karen: (nods) Orange, yellow, and brown (depicting a list on each of her successive fingers) That is an example of wh-question with three conversational turns in a large group activity setting. Affirmative sentences were used very often by the teachers. Ms. Jane had all students sit in a circle and pass a toy cookie behind their backs. Before she started that activity, Ms. Jane showed the cookie to the students, and asked: Ms. Jane: Is this real? Is the cookie real? Can I bite into it? Students: (supplying various answers: Yes, No, and Thats fake) Ms. Jane: (nods affirmatively) Fake. Yes, its fake. Fake. Ms. Jane repeated the sign for FAKE several times while nodding her head affirmatively throughout, which was transcribed as <FAKE>y. The teachers used very similar commands during their extended discourse interactions. Table 4.14 lists twenty-three commands used by the teachers during extended discourse interactions.

196 Table 4.14 Commands used by Teachers in 260 Extended Discourse Interactions

ASL Commands

English equivalency

Frequency

LOOK-AT (self/others/other objects) LEAVE (in direction of object or person) STAY-THERE TELL (in direction of person) SORRY BRING-TO (self/others) GIVE (in direction of person) PUT (directed) SAY STOP (emblem, like a traffic cop gesture) WAIT WAIT-ONE-MINUTE (emblem)

Look at me/him/her. Leave (that/him/her) alone. Stay seated (in your position). Tell him/her youre sorry. Bring that to me/him/her. Give (that) back. Put that down. Sign this, ......... Stop and/or calm down Wait. Wait one minute.

8 4 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

The phrases in Table 4.14 were the commands spoken by the teachers in 260 extended discourse interactions. These phrases alone are not examples of extended discourse but naturally occurring phrases within an extended discourse interaction.

197 Figure 4.24 displays the sentences used by the students during their extended discourse interactions.

Figure 4.24. Frequency of sentences used by the students during 260 extended discourse interactions. Student Extended Discourse ASL-English Links The teacher and student results were very similar, although of all sentence types, negative sentences were the most commonly used by the students. Ms. Jane was telling a story based on a book about hospitals. Ms. Jane: (points to a photograph of a doctor on a book) Whos h e? Who? Students: (responding with Man, Father)

198 Ms. Jane: No. Whos he? What does he do? What is his job? (directs eye gaze at Bree) Bree: I dont know. Negation

Ms. Jane: Hes a doctor. He uses his stethoscope to check your heart and lungs, and gives you medicine to make you feel better. When Ms. Janes eye gaze arrived at Bree, she asked, Whos he? Bree responded, I dont know. Ms. Jane, known for her persistence, conceded and gave the answer. Brees sentence, I dont know is an example of negation during extended discourse interactions. Like with the teachers, wh-questions and affirmative sentences were also commonly used by the students. As earlier mentioned in this chapter, Ann watched a conversation between Ms. Jane and Cam about their hard of hearing status and jumped in the conversation with: Ann: I can hear, too. Ms. Jane: So youre hard-of-hearing? Ann: What does hard-of-hearing mean? Affirmative Yes/no question Wh-question

Ms. Jane: Hard-of-hearing means you can hear a little. Deaf means youre really deaf, and you cant hear anything. Ann: I can hear hearing people Affirmative

Rhetorical questions rarely occurred in the 260 extended discourse interactions, possibly because the signer follows the question with an answer. Unlike wh-questions, rh-questions do not prompt the addressee to answer. Thus, rhetorical questions may not be conductive for extended discourse interactions. It seems the teachers were aware of

199 that because in 260 extended discourse interactions, the teachers used the rhetorical question construction only six times. The students used rhetorical questions four times. During snack time, Ann called for Ms. Janes attention as she was walking by. Ann asked for more water, and then explained, My mother tells me to drink water. Why? Im always constantly hungry. The last word, hungry, was signed in an aspectual form. Ms. Jane had a small reading group where a large book was placed on a display holder. Students took turns standing up in front of the book and telling what happened during their certain pages. It was Claras turn, and she went up to the book, looked at the rest of the students, and commanded: Clara: Look at me! Then she proceeded with her storytelling, during which Ms. Jane asked some clarifying wh-questions throughout, classifying this as an extended discourse interaction. This is an example of a student-produced command within an extended discourse interaction. Topicalization only emerged in two sentences, and there were no examples of conditional and relative clause sentences in the transcribed extended discourse interactions in this study. During science class, the students were roaming and putting their hands in different boxes holding different types of soil (e.g., mud, dry soil, sand). Mickey had just arrived from an expedition outdoors collecting different types of soil with Ms. Jane and was massaging his soil. Ms. Karen was sitting directly opposite him watching the actions of t he class. Mickey called for Ms. Karens attention and asked: Mickey: Why are we doing this? (points to container of sand) Wh-question

200 Ms. Karen: That way we can feel different kinds of substances, such as sand. Mickey: Why did we come here after collecting the materials? and <WHY COME>whq <FINISH GET>t <COME HERE WHY>whq Topicalization Ms. Karen: This is something different. Its science. Were exploring freely and seeing the differences among the substances. You can see the topicalization occurs simultaneously with the signs glossed as <FINISH GET>. Topicalization within a sentence is identified by raised eyebrows and slightly open mouth (Valli, et al., 2006). It was very difficult to identify topicalized sentences within this data set because often the signs for a topicalized sentence were very subtle. Frequently, the cameras and participants were not well-placed to allow for capturing sentence types such as topicalization in greater detail among other features. Since this represents 25% of the data, as in 260 extended discourse interactions out of 1,005. This is not a large sample; therefore, the findings here should be taken into consideration, and we should be cautious about generalizing the results of this portion of the study to other extended discourse interactions between teachers and students in deaf bilingual preschool classrooms. Extended Discourse ASL-English Links The second sub-question was, What kinds of ASL-English links are present in extended discourse? Previously gathered and assembled codes developed by ChenPichler, Hochgesang, Lillo-Martin, and Mller (in press) were used and expanded on in this study. Figure 4.25 displays the codes for ASL-English links used during extended discourse: Wh-question

201 ASL-English links Convention Example IX(book-titleMary-had-alittle-lamb) IX(sentence-in-book-XXX)

Pointing

Underlining Print English: IX followed by object/location and exact wording within quotation marks without spacing in lowercase letters (except for proper names) enclosed in parentheses (hyphens between words)

Mouthing

If exaggerated mouthing accompanies sign, M(NO) label with capitalized M followed by gloss M(FS(OKAY)) in parentheses. If no accompanying sign, label with lowercase m followed by English word mouthed in parentheses m(no) m(okay)

English influenced The signs influenced by English are signing

BIRD <SIT ON

enclosed between less than and greater than TREE>ewo SING symbols with an ewo at end of the greater than symbol

202 Depicting English Gloss with label DV followed by description DV(tracingAnn) letters via tracing in parentheses (hyphens between words). Use quotation marks without spacing when tracing English letters

Fingerspelling

Gloss with label FS followed by the unhyphenated word in parentheses If gloss is different from literal fingerspelling, literal fingerspelling is documented first, then target fingerspelling is documented next if known

FS(Ann)

FS(ka(cake))

If literal fingerspelling is known, but target FS(apl(YYY)) fingerspelling not known, put YYY in internal brackets If sign fingerspelling (with held or pauses in LETTER-B# LETTER-U# between), add LETTER- before the fingerspelled letter. LETTER-G#

Initialized signs

Signs not usually initialized are identified with the label INT followed by the unhyphenated word in parentheses

INT(RED)

Figure 4.25. ASL-English links

203 In ELAN, frequency counts for ASL-English links were done across 260 out of 1,005 identified extended discourse interactions. While the participants in this study extend discourse, focused coding (Charmaz, 2006) is used to identify the interaction or connections between signing and print. The focus of this study is on the following: 1) fingerspelling, 2) pointing (indexing) to and/or underlining English letters and words, 3) mouthing with or without manual signs, 4) initialized signs, 5) English influenced signing, and 6) depicting English letters through tracing. There are other ways to connect ASL and English however, they were not examined in this study in order to make this study more manageable. Table 4.15 demonstrates the results of the analysis of ASLEnglish links in 260 extended discourse interactions. Table 4.15 Frequency and Proportions of ASL-English Links in 260 Extended Discourse Interactions

Participant

Fingerspelling

Indexing

Mouthing

InitialEnglish Depictized Influenced ing Signs Signing Letters

Ms. Jane Ms. Karen Total

247 160 417

140 109 249 33%

31 11 42 6%

9 8 17 2%

23 2 25 3%

1 0 1 0%

% in proportion 56% = 100% Ann* Bree Cam* 24 1 26

9 11 4

3 1 2

0 2 0

1 0 0

0 0 0

204 Charlie Clara Dex Don Issac Jean* Joe16 Katie Mickey Total 7 0 3 4 9 20 9 7 4 114 17 6 13 6 18 14 11 3 1 113 43% 0 1 0 0 1 4 0 0 1 13 5% 0 0 1 1 3 8 0 2 0 17 7% 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 1% 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0%

% in proportion 44% = 100% Combined Total 531

362

55

34

28

% in proportion 53% = 100%

36%

5%

3%

3%

0%

Figure 4.26 displays the percentages of ASL-English link used in 260 EDIs in a pie chart.

16

Asterisks by childs name indicates the child has proficient ASL skills. Italics indicate emerging ASL skills, and regular font indicates developing ASL skills.

205

Figure 4.26. Percentage of ASL/English links during 260 EDIs. There were 260 extended discourse interactions with 531 instances of fingerspelling, which means fingerspelling occurred, on average, at least 2 times during each extended discourse interaction. Indexing (or pointing to) and underlining print in books, posters, boards, and cards, also includes pointing to books in general, pictures in books, and pictures on paper and walls. With the quality of filming, it was often impossible to determine whether or if the participant was pointing to an illustration in the book or to print English, so pointing at or on literacy-related materials (e.g., underlining pictures, words, and/or sentences in books, posters, cards, and paper) were included in this frequency count regardless whether the pointing was towards an illustration or English print. Participants pointed to literacy-related materials very frequently in this study. In ASL, mouthing can occur with or without manual signing, and did not occur

206 frequently. Initialized signs and English influenced signing were also infrequent. Tracing English letters only happened twice in 260 interactions. Figure 4.27 displays a side by side pie chart comparing teachers and students use of ASL-English links during extended discourse.

Figure 4.27. Percentages of teachers and students use of ASL-English links during 260 extended discourse interactions. The teachers and students in this study varied slightly in their use of ASL-English links during the 260 extended discourse interactions. The pie charts above display the differences between teacher and student use of ASL-English linking in their extended discourse interactions. Teachers used much more fingerspelling (417 times) than indexing (249 times), while the students used both almost equally as often (114 and 113 times, respectively). The teachers mouthed more, with 42 occurrences, while students only mouthed 13 times. The students and teachers used the same amount of initialized

207 signs, with 17 occurrences each. English influenced signing came in last, with three occurrences for the students and 25 occurrences for the teachers. Fingerspelling. Fingerspelling is the use of handshapes that represents English orthography (Padden & Ramsey, 1998). One example of how Ms. Karen mediated ASL and English through fingerspelling occurred when her large group activity ended. Ms. Karen: Its S-N-A-C-K time. What time is it now? Mickey: Spider! Ms. Karen: No, no. Watch what Im fingerspelling. S -N-A-C-K time. Ann: Eat? Ms. Karen: Right! Its snack time now. It is important to emphasize that Ms. Karen signed each fingerspelled word as S-N-A-C-K instead of fingerspelling at normal speed, which closely resembles one sign. She was clearly trying to facilitate their comprehension of the relationship between fingerspelled signs and the English word. In this interaction, the students were looking at each letter and trying to make meaning. Mickey was close with his answer, possibly because both words begin with the same initial handshape and similar number of handshapes (snack has 5 handshapes, spider has 6). The handshapes for the letter sequences for both words are similar. The second letter of both words, N and P, are condensed, and P points downwards. The third letter in both words, A and I, are both condensed, and the fourth letters, C and D, are both signed with open hands, and the last letter of both words, K and R are both long and point upwards. The students were clearly finding handshapes that resembled the fingerspelled words they already had a schematic for. Ann was able to connect the fingerspelled word, snack, to the concept, a time of the

208 day when she and her classmates eat small amounts of food in the classroom. Table 4.16 lists all of the fingerspelled terms the teachers utilized during their interactions.
Table 4.16 Teachers Fingerspelled Words During 260 Extended Discourse Interactions Teacher Jane FROSTING FUR PIZZA OR OK GRR ALL WEED BACK AT FF17 KALE NOD VAN BE WOW SO DAD GA ALL CEREAL HALL SKIN YES JAN23 BUS PANCAKE GRASS FOX DOUGH ELEPHANT PETALS CAR CORN CHIPS MOLE MOM NM PINE CONES WILD MONSTER PO ABC22 HAMSTER UP LEGOS CAKE BOOTS ROLL FREIGHTER HONEY SKIN ACORN FILTER CAKE BEE BEDDING OR BEETLE HOT CAGE SOIL AC21 TENT BOO TTY18 BE EGG MIX APRIL RED RICE FIT OF

JACK-O-LANTERN CINNAMON JEWEL TV MUSCLE MARCH Karen BUS BAKERY JAZZY LEG MIX PO19 PA20

DUTCH CARS OK HESITANT SOCKS CASTLE MAILBOX COOKIE SHORT BOOTS TOY NEEDLE CLOUDS

17 18

FF refers to French Fries. TTY refers to teletypewriter, a device used with the telephone to communicate by typing messages back and forth. 19 PO refers to Post Office. 20 PA, GA, and NM are state abbreviations (Pennsylvania, Georgia, and New Mexico). In order to protect the location of this study, these state abbreviations are fictitious ones, but represent similar complexity as the original ones. 21 AC refers to air conditioning . 22 ABC refers to the alphabet .

209 There were more fingerspelled words not included in the table above such as names of people, visitors, and relatives of the participants in the study, and characters in the books (e.g., ZOOP and HAZEL). Table 4.17 displays the fingerspelled items used by students. Since the transcriptions of 260 extended discourse interactions were randomized (every 7th interaction up to 10 interactions per morning, per teacher were transcribed), this table does not accurately reflect their full range of fingerspelling potential. Also due to the randomness of the selection process, Clara did not contribute any fingerspelled terms in any of the extended discourse interactions selected for transcription analysis. A full analysis of all 1,005 extended discourse interactions may reveal more fingerspelled examples from the teachers and students in this study. Through this analysis of fingerspelling in extended discourse, a discovery was made about two additional techniques: a combination of strong facial markings and using a sign to prepare students for a large fingerspelled word (photo in Figure 4.25 below) and segmentation in fingerspelling (and sometimes in combination with signs for certain parts of the word). Segmentation of English words during fingerspelling does not coincide with a syllabic analysis of the word, only with the visible possible words within a word (C. Padden, personal communication, June 16, 2010).

23

JAN refers to the month, January. All of the months are fingerspelled in ASL (April and March are listed above).

210
Table 4.17 Students Fingerspelled Words During 260 Extended Discourse Interactions Students24 Ann* CAKE AC Bree Cam* YES ALL HONEY Charlie Dex Don Issac Jean* KA(CAKE) DO OK WEED NM HALL
27

FOOT JOKE

CAR BACK

HONEY

YES

BOO BACK YFKA(CAKE) CAR PINE CONES

BUS RARSR(RED)

VAN
25

CAR

RSSR(?)26

OK

BUS

BA(?) POOL

BOO

MALL

HONEY REDR(RED)

MOTER(MONSTER)

CARVY(CASTLE) Joe ZZA(PIZZA) BOO K(OK) BOO TB(?) OK

Katie Mickey

This example combines the two findings above in one extended discourse interaction between Ms. Jane and Jean. The theme of the day was about transportation, and trains in particular. The children were drawing items that went in their individual trains, and the goal was to link all of the drawings in one long train. Jean brought a drawing of a train carrying elephants to Ms. Jane. Ms. Jane, with the intention of encouraging Jean to learn and write down the English word, elephant, asked:
24

Students fingerspelled many of these words more than once. Names of people and characters in books were not included. 25 Word not in parentheses represent childs literal fingerspelling of word and word in parentheses represent the actual word. 26 Literal spelling was not obvious in these examples from the context.

211 Ms. Jane: Do you know how to spell the word elephant? Jean: (shaking head sideways) Ms. Jane: Its a long word (see figure 4.25) Jean: I dont know. Ms. Jane: (fingerspells) Elephant. Jean: (unintelligible, her back is to the camera) Ms. Jane: Ele. Ph. Ant. Do you want me to write that down? Jean: (unintelligible, but seems she said no) Ms. Jane: Oh, you want me to leave it alone. Jean: I cant write it there (on paper). Ms. Jane: Ele. Ph. Ant. You know how to spell ant? A-N-T. (moves to right of signing space) Its at the ending: A-N-T. Ele. Ph. Ant. Isnt that easy? Jean: (points to paper) Ms. Jane: Ok (starts to write). Jean: (walks away) Ms. Jane: (writing and tapping Jean to come back simultaneously). Underlining. Come here. (points, then underlines her written work). Jean: Whats that? (points to writing on paper) Ms. Jane: Ant. (using her hand to depict an ant crawling on Jeans right shoulder). Thats an ant (points to paper) (covers the part with phant on paper) Try this.
27

Anticipation.

Fingerspelling.

Segmentation.

Segmentation. Use of space. Segmentation.

Covering print.

Asterisks by childs name indicates the child has proficient ASL skills. Italics indicate emerging ASL skills and regular font indicates developing ASL skills.

212 Jean: (signs) Elephant. Ms. Jane: Fingerspell it. Jean: E... (back turns to camera, but Ms. Jane is confirming her fingerspelling by nodding one by one). Ms. Jane: (moves her hand down the paper, uncovering ph, and using her left hand to cover ele) Ph. Jean: Ph. A. (points to last letters of elephant) Ms. Jane: Ant. A-N-T (the last three were spelled simultaneously with Jean) Jean: A-N-T. Ms. Jane: (affirmative nod) Figure 4.28 below displays a photo of Ms. Jane depicting the length of the word to Jean. Demonstrating. Covering print.

213

Figure 4.28. Ms. Jane depicting the length of an English word to Jean. The sign Ms. Jane uses, where the length of word is described, is a non-manual adverbial on the mouth and is often described in print by linguists, researchers, and ASL teachers as CHA. CHA indicates the immense nature of the item being described, for instance, a house or in this example, a long word. This use of CHA to describe the length of the upcoming word seems to be some type of cognitive preparation for Jean before fingerspelling the word. Then Ms. Jane underlines certain letters (or combination of letters) on the drawing, and Jean responds by indexing to the letters. Ms. Jane signs Ant and uses her hand to depict an ant crawling on Jeans upper chest and right

214 shoulder. Some may wonder about the risks involved in this type of cognitive dissonance, in associating an ant with an elephant. In this one extended discourse interaction, Ms. Jane alternates between many different ways to connect ASL and English: preparing the student cognitively by using a sign representing long word; fingerspelling; segmentation; indexing/underlining the written word; chaining between the fingerspelled word, underlining, and signing; using space to establish segmentation and signs from left to right; covering up parts of the written word to assist with cognitive processing; and using a sign to replace one of the segmented portions of the word (e.g., ant).

All of this occurred in less than 1 minute and 40 seconds. Fingerspelling appears to be an essential part of extended discourse interaction, linking between ASL and English in a bilingual preschool for deaf children. Literacy-related indexing. Pointing (or indexing) to and underlining English letters, phrases, and sentences occurs frequently in the data, with 362 instances during 260 extended discourse interactions. Literacy-related indexing occurs most frequently during circle time and storybook sharing. One morning, Ms. Karen hosted show and tell during circle time, and Dex showed his quarter that he used to spin skillfully on the rug. Ms. Jane wrote down, Dex showed his spinning quarter and gave the piece of paper to Ms. Karen who held it facing the class. Like other students in the past show and tell

215 events during the year, Ms. Karen asked Dex to sign aloud the sentence by underlining the first word with her index finger, which was Dex. Ms. Karen: (index finger underlines Dex) What? Dex: My! Ms. Karen: (index finger underlines Dex) Whos this? Dex: Brought! Ms. Karen: (shakes head, index finger underlines Dex again). Who? Dex: Brought. Ms. Karen: (index finger underlines Dex) Dex (name sign) (points and makes contact with Dexs chest) Dex: Mine. Ms. Karen: (index finger underlines next word in the sentence) Spinning the quarter. Dex: Mine. Ms. Karen: Spin. Dex: Spin. Ms. Karen: (index finger underlines my) Your. Dex: Mine. Ms. Karen: (index finger underlines quarter) Quarter. Dex: Quarter. Ms. Karen: Yes, thats good! Now put this piece of paper up on the board. Dex responded using a sign associated with the next word, brought, because the verbs in the sentences written during show and tell are always either showed or brought. At the completion of this activity, Dex put the piece of paper on the wall

216 along with other students pieces of paper indicating what they showed or brought to class in past show and tell events. Show and tell started as a part of circle time activity, after calendar time, later in the year and continued until the end of the academic year. During this activity, the teachers always used their index fingers to underline the English words to help guide the students ASL translations. Figure 4.29 shows Ms. Karen underlining Dex and Dex responding with My or Mine.

Figure 4.29. Ms. Karen underlines English print while extending discourse with Dex. Mouthing. Mouthing with signs or without signs in ASL is frequently used by the sign language community (Bridges & Metzger, 1996; Valli, Lucas, & Mulrooney, 2005). Mouthing words used by the teachers and students in this study can be grouped in two categories: mouthing with manual signs and mouthing with no manual signs. In ASL,

217 mouthing is commonplace while signing, and mouthing is an important part of ASL grammar (depicts adjectives and adverbs among other features). In this study, I decided to tag only those with above and beyond normal expected mouthing in ASL. Those tagged were double-checked by a Deaf native signer (myself) and a Deaf near-native signer (my auditor). Table 4.18 displays both types of mouthing in 260 extended discourse interactions used by teachers and students.
Table 4.18 Participants Use of Mouthing During 260 Extended Discourse Interactions Participant Ann* Bree Cam* Clara Issac Jean*28 Mickey Ms. Jane BOO, AFRAID, TRAIN RIDE, CHEESE, EGG WOW, MOTHER BACK, OH-I-SEE Ms. Karen what, oh, fast, ow BOY boo, write ow what, oh, what else, happen oh-my-god, ok, or With Manual Version STAND, BOAT Without Manual Version oh ahh boo mad

28

Asterisks by childs name indicates the child has proficient ASL skills. Italics indicate emerging ASL skills, and regular font indicates developing ASL skills.

218 For this part of the analysis, I only identified those that were above the normal mouthing standards used by the sign language community members, which may indicate emphasis on ASL-English links through mouthing. Excess mouthing with manual versions were used infrequently, except when the participant is intentionally enlarging the sign for emphasis and/or to maintain attention from other participants. Mouthing without a manual version was used more often during the extended discourse interactions analyzed in this study but limited to the same cohort of mouthing in which oh, what, and ow were the most common. When Ms. Jane was storybook sharing a Jack OLantern story, she fingerspelled with both hands inwards to outwards B-O-O, mouthing Buuooooo! See Figure 4.30 below.

Figure 4.30. Ms. Jane fingerspelling and mouthing boo simultaneously with both hands.

219 As you can see, Ms. Janes right hand was fingerspelling the end of boo, with o while her left hand was just beginning the b part of boo. When Ms. Jane was discussing with Ann the rules for using the rice container activity, Ms. Jane said, Its okay to have a little rice spilled over on the mat, but you have to make sure to put the rice back in the box when youre done. In that sentence, she emphasizes the mouthing of, and the fingerspelled word, BACK, fingerspelling in a direction from the mat to the container. Photos of the sequence is displayed in Figure 4.31.

Figure 4.31. Ms. Jane mouthing and fingerspelling BACK to Ann. Another example of mouthing in ASL included Charlie telling Ms. Karen about how fast his train will go, and at the same time, Bree was trying to sit on Ms. Karens lap. Ms. Karen was listening to Charlie intently (without breaking eye gaze) and simultaneously catching on and easing Bree into her lap. Her hands were not free, but she wanted to maintain the conversation by back channeling with her mouth, saying, FAST. Post-interview and video checks with Ms. Karen confirmed this interpretation of

220 the exchange. Figure 4.32 depicts Charlie signing FAST and Ms. Karen mouthing FAST with Bree sitting down in Ms. Karens lap simultaneously.

Figure 4.32. Ms. Karen mouthing FAST non-manually. A photograph of the video from this angle does not show Ms. Kare ns mouthing clearly. However, her mouth is open and she is mouthing the AS part of FAST in the photograph above.

221 Initialized signs. Initialized signs derive from English orthography via fingerspelling, but the representation is greatly reduced (Pad den & Ramsey, 1998, p. 34). The first handshape representing the initial letter of the English word is incorporated in the sign, which Padden considers as a form of fingerspelling (2006). Initialized signs were used very infrequently by the teachers and students in this study. Often one initialized sign, for example, doctor would be used multiple times by several students and both teachers, and each one counted as one initialized sign in this data analysis of 260 extended discourse interactions. Table 4.19 displays the initialized signs used by the students and teachers. As the table below displays, not all of the students were captured using initialized signs in the 260 extended discourse interactions analyzed in this study. Of those captured, the participants tended to repeat those signs throughout the extended discourse interactions, increasing the frequency count. For instance, Issac signed DOCTOR three times in his interactions. In all, students used initialized signs 17 times, and both teachers used a total of 17 initialized signs as well, for a total of 34 initialized signs in 260 extended discourse interactions. After a thorough investigation of the data set, it appeared neither teacher used initialized signs intentionally to introduce English letters and concepts to the students. They did use some initialized signs accepted by the sign language community at the time of data collection, such as D for doctor, L for lunch, and W for weather. In post-data analysis interviews with both teachers, I asked them, by fingerspelling the last word, What is your sign for doctor? What is your sign for calendar? What is your sign for room? Ms. Karen immediately responded with a smirk, and inferred correctly, I

222 used initialized signs for that back then? No, I dont use these signs anymore. Ive been learning tremendously about ASL, ASL rules, and structure in the last decade. Plus the internet has been a lifesaver. I frequently watch how other impeccably fluent ASL signers sign many concepts, and I learn from them. I am constantly trying to improve and refine my ASL signing, so no, I dont use those initialized signs anymore. Ms. Jane responded very similarly as well, saying, I cant believe I used those signs before. Amazing how weve changed since then. Table 4.19 Participants Use of Initialized Signs During 260 Extended Discourse Interactions

Participant

Initialized Sign

Bree (2) Dex (1) Don (1) Issac (3) Jean*29 (8) Katie (2) Ms. Jane (9) Ms. Karen (8)

LITTLE, DOCTOR DOCTOR DOCTOR DOCTOR DOCTOR, ROOM, IS, ARE DOCTOR ROOM, DOCTOR, WEATHER, AREA JUST, DOCTOR, CALENDAR

English-influenced signing. Signing with the influence of the majority language English is an understandably emotionally charged topic among some members of the

223 Deaf community, mainly because of the historical context in which signing in Englishlike order with invented signs to represent certain words in English that are not present in ASL (and other ways to minimize features of American Sign Language and impose English language expectations and syntax) were invented and used in classrooms with deaf children in the 1970s and 1980s. This approach was implemented by school administrators and used by teachers to experiment on deaf children in educational settings to see if their English literacy skills would improve. During this experimental phase, ASL was usually strictly forbidden from classes and relegated to the playground and/or to the dormitories. The practice has lost steam due to several factors, one due to research showing that teachers who try to deliver English-influenced signing messages to students, often turns out to be incorrectly constructed English sentences, and some with a completely different meaning (Johnson & Erting, 1989). However, the practice of using English influenced signing is still prevalent today in some residential schools and mainstream programs. It should be noted that English influenced signing, by design, exclude or disrupt the normal phonological, morphological and syntactic structures of ASL in order to achieve the intended goal of linking fingerspelling or signing to English (Humphries & MacDougall, 1999, p. 85). The intention of identifying phrases or sentences produced under influence of English in this study is not to promote or condemn the teaching strategy of using English influenced signing, but to document the context in which the teachers in this study chose to use English influenced signing. One way to distinguish signing influenced by English from ASL is the use of invented English-based signs for prepositions (IN, ON, TO, and fingerspelling AT), articles (THE), and auxillary
29

Asterisks by childs name indicates the child has proficient ASL skills. Italics indicate emerging ASL skills, and regular font indicates developing ASL skills.

224 verbs (IS, contraction of IS, fingerspelling BE). As noted below, English influenced signing was frequently used by one teacher during story sharing. Table 4.20 displays a full list of the phrases in the data that were influenced by the English language. Table 4.20 Participants Use of English Influenced Signing During 260 Extended Discourse Interactions

Participant

English Influenced Signing

Ann* (1) Jean*30 (2)

THINGS IN BOAT* THE RESTAURANT IS CLOSED31 WE ARE CLOSED PLEASE COME AGAIN TOMORROW 32

Ms. Jane (23)

FATHER BEARS CHAIR* MOTHER BEARS CHAIR* BABY BEARS CHAIR* SOMETHING SLEPT IN MY BED* GOLDILOCKS SLEPT IN BABY BEARS BED* MAD A-T- GOLDILOCKS* REMEMBER STORY ABOUT* (2) CAN RIDE ON SHARK RIDE IN THAT BOAT CHRISTMAS CAN B-E- MANY COLORS (YOU) TIRED TO READ BOOKS

30 31

Asterisk by childs name indicates the child has profi cient ASL skills. Those words were on a sign for a pretend play area representing a restaurant. 32 Those words were on a sign for a pretend play area representing a restaurant.

225 WILL NOT EAT SOME CHEESE* WILL EAT SOME WHAT?* GET HURT WRITE ON OTHER PAPER TO ONE SPECIFIC MAN WHO RESPONSIBLE* WORK IN HOSPITAL* ON FLOOR*33 NOT USE YOUR SHOES* MOM WHAT(index finger crossing passive palm) SHE (index) DO?* PLAY D-O-U-G-H I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN Ms. Karen (2) JUST(initialized sign) ONE MONKEY FALL* MANY HOUSES MADE FROM WOOD*

Out of the 28 sentences in English influenced signing above, 17 were story book related. English influenced signing appears to be a particular technique used frequently (23 out of 28) by one teacher, so this may not be a prevalent technique used to link ASL and English for the other teacher and students in the class. When free choice ended, Jean went up to Ms. Karen and asked her to put up a poster with the following phrases, Sorry, we are closed. Please come back tomorrow. on one side, and the other side said, This restaurant is closed. in the area designed for students to pretend play restaurant-related tasks.

226 Ms. Karen: (points to and underlining the English print the poster) What does this say? Jean: The restaurant is closed. English influenced signing

Ms. Karen: Good (flips poster to the other side) What about this? Jean: Sorry, we are closed. Please come back tomorrow. English influenced signing Ms. Karen: Which one do you prefer? Jean: (points to Sorry, we are closed. side) (Figure 4.33 illustrates Jean and Ms. Karens discussion.) In the picture below, Jean is signing is in the sentence The restaurant is closed. Ms. Karen did not point to the to -be present simple tense verbs: is and are. Nor did she emphasize that Jean should sign the words one by one in English order. Jean signed the sentence in English word order independently, with invented signs representing English words (which is not a part of American Sign Language). Jean signed the sentence without any direct order from the teacher to sign in English other than Ms. Karens probing question, What does this say? and p ointing to the nouns on each side of the poster. It is important to note that we do not know how the teachers introduced the poster to the class: Did they sign each word one by one, on each side of the poster prior to this activity? This may have prompted Jean to respond using Englishbased signing to Ms. Karens inquiry.

33

Asterisks by sentences indicate book-related sentences.

227

Figure 4.33. Ms. Karen indexing to English print and Jean signing is. Tracing English letters. Teachers in this study of 260 extended discourse interactions did not depict English letters through tracing on various surfaces. Often, when the teachers were asked how to write certain letters of an English word, they were observed to reach for a writing instrument to: 1) write the word clearly; 2) trace the word in dotted lines for the students to complete; or 3) write the beginning or ending letter(s) of the word and/or phrase so the student can complete it. There were two instances of depiction of English letters by indexing/tracing happened in signing space (rather than on a surface) in 260 extended discourse interactions. Ms. Jane was teaching Cam how to spell her family last name, and when Ms. Jane fingerspelled the letter I, Cam displayed a puzzled expression. Ms. Jane

228 immediately started to depict the letter i, by drawing in the air with her index finger a dot on top and a vertical line underneath, while facing Cam (see Figure 4.34). That was the only occurrence where a participant depicted English through tracing in 260 extended discourse interactions.

Figure 4.34. Ms. Jane demonstrating the dot above the i.

229 The other instance of depiction of English letters was when Charlie depicted the letter S on his shirt. For the full discour se that took place, see page 137 in this chapter. Figure 4.35 displays a photo of Ms. Karen watching Charlie depict the letter S on his shirt.

Figure 4.35. Charlie depicts the letter s on his shirt to Ms. Karen.

Summary This chapter has examined extended discourse by Deaf teachers speaking American Sign Language in a bilingual preschool for deaf children. The guiding questions for the analysis of the data included:

230 1. What is the context in which extended discourse is used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf preschool students in an ASL/English bilingual classroom? 2. What are the linguistic features of extended discourse used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf students in an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom? The analysis of the videotaped naturalistic classroom interaction, teacher interviews, and classroom artifacts showed the context in which extended discourse is used, and the linguistic features within extended discourse. The fact that, even though I narrow my focus within each of the two general questions above, the findings are broad and meant to guide future inquiry in future studies. Of all of the activities combined, extended discourse occurs the most during story sharing, circle time (where students sit in a semi-circle on the floor), and free choice. Extended discourse occurred the least during snack time, transition, and free reading, however, it was argued these three settings also had less than optimal filming conditions. It was also argued that during snack time both teachers would be serving drinks, food, and doing preparation work or chatting with the video camera handlers, drastically cutting down on potential extended discourse opportunities. The second sub-question revealed that explanatory talk was the most prevalent type of extended discourse for both teachers and the students. A side-by-side comparison of both teachers and the types of extended discourse they chose with their students revealed very similar tendencies to use explanatory discourse. However, Ms. Karen used more pretend talk than Ms. Jane, who instead used more narrative talk but very little

231 science-process talk. Ms. Karen used the most science-process talk during this study. The results were also very similar for the students. All of them used explanatory talk the majority of the time and science-process talk the least. The third sub-question asked about characteristics that facilitate extended discourse. The teachers and students all had very similar number of turns in their extended discourse interactions. Six turns were most commonly associated with extended discourse interactions. Three turns is also closely associated with classroom discourse, usually when the teachers initiate a question, students give an answer, and the teacher evaluates the answer as suggested by Mehan (1979). Another characteristic of extended discourse is the teachers tendency to initiate extended discourse interactions more than the students. When analyzing each extended discourse interaction for dominance, the teachers participated in mostly balanced extended discourse interactions, like the rest of the students except two, who had more non-dominant talk. Both teachers had similar amounts of dominant talk. However, Ms. Jane participated in more non-dominant talk than Ms. Karen. Ms. Janes technique on drawing out expressive language skills included kimping. The students with high ASL skills had the most balanced interactions and the lowest number of non-dominant interactions. The students with low ASL skills participated in the most non-dominant talk and participated in the least amount of balanced interactions. In the past, researchers tended to analyze findings by comparing deaf children with Deaf parents and deaf children with hearing parents. In this study, the deaf students parental hearing status was compared with students fr equency in extending discourse with the teachers. The results were slightly mixed, with three out of eight children with

232 at least one deaf parent participating in the lowest number of extended discourses. A more recent approach (late 1990s and early 2000) compares findings with ASL competence, not parental hearing status. In this study, the findings were much more revealing. The proficient ASL students participated in the most extended discourse interactions. The students with developing ASL skills participated in a moderate amount of extended discourse interactions, and the students with emerging ASL skills participated in the least amount of extended discourse interactions. These findings mirror other more recent studies of ASL competence and literacy skills (Hoffmeister, 2000; Kuntze, 2004). The second broad research question was about the linguistic features of extended discourse. The first sub-question asked about sentence types used during extended discourse interactions. Wh-questions were the most prevalent, along with affirmative sentences and yes-no questions. Rhetorical questions, conditionals, and relative clauses were not used often in the randomly selected 260 extended discourse interactions (out of 1,005). The second sub-question asked about ASL-English links between the two languages in the classroom. Fingerspelling and indexing to literacy-related print were very popular ASL-English linking strategies for the participants. Descriptive examples from the videotaped data were provided to support the quantitative data presented. Selected quotations from teacher interviews were also included that shed light on the quantitative findings. The quantitative and qualitative data presented here revealed the contextual and linguistic features of extended discourse in American Sign Language, and in a bilingual Deaf preschool classroom. Several themes emerged as a result of the data analysis. These themes include:

233 1) classroom activities that foster extended discourse; 2) use of various types of extended discourse; 3) extended discourse turn-taking within large-group, small-group, and with individual students; 4) extent of extended discourse interactions; 5) sentence types that foster extended discourse; 6) ASL-English links techniques that foster extended discourse; and, 7) language competence at preschool. In this chapter, the themes were supported by the data. In the last chapter, these themes will be explained and as the findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and pedagogical issues that were raised in the review of the literature.

234 CHAPTER V IMPLICATIONS Overview In this chapter, the study is reviewed and the findings for both research questions are summarized. Next, the findings are discussed according to the themes that emerged from the analysis. In this discussion, the findings are supported by research on non-deaf students and Deaf students as links are made to the theoretical issues that were raised in the review of the literature. Implications for educational practice are presented next followed by suggestions for future research. The chapter ends with concluding remarks. Study Review and Summary A mixed methods approach incorporating ethnographic (Spradley, 1979) and focused coding (Charmaz, 2006) techniques were used to examine and describe extended discourse as they were situated within everyday life in a bilingual preschool for deaf children. More specifically, this study targeted the nature of extended discourse, the ways the Deaf teachers cognitively challenged their students through extending their discourse and linked the discourse to literacy. While cognitively challenging talk and extended discourse in early childhood classrooms has been studied on non-deaf populations has been the topic of much research in recent years, very little work has been done in classrooms that reflect the language and culture of Deaf people. In recent years, a body of research has begun to emerge that has focused on the transmission of literacy through ASL by Deaf people (Bailes, Erting, Erting, & Thumann-Prezioso, 2009; Erting, 2002; Grate, 2007; Kuntze, 2004; Ramsey & Padden, 1998; Singleton & Morgan, 2006; Smith & Ramsey, 2004). The ethnographic and the quantitative aspect of focused coding

235 perspective taken in this study provided a lens through which to understand extended discourse within a culturally Deaf, bilingually preschool for Deaf children. The analysis of extended discourse between native Deaf teachers and their deaf students was guided by the following broad research questions: 1. What is the context in which extended discourse is used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf preschool students in an ASL/English bilingual classroom? 2. What are the linguistic features of extended discourse used by Deaf, ASL native teachers with deaf students in an ASL/English bilingual preschool classroom? The data were drawn from multiple sources and included videotaped naturalistic preschool classroom interaction, interviews with the teachers, paper artifacts from the classroom, and student records. The participants included two Deaf teachers, a Deaf teacher aide, 12 deaf preschool students. The data from all sources were analyzed using ethnographic methods described by Spradley (1979) and focused coding for frequency counts (Charmaz, 2006) to identify the categories of extended discourse within the context of natural preschool classroom interaction between teachers and students. The themes of the findings that emerged from the analysis of the research questions will be summarized alongside the implications of the findings in the following section. The themes that emerged during data analysis include answers to these subquestions: 1) classroom activities that foster extended discourse; 2) use of various types of extended discourse; 3) extended discourse turn-taking within large-group, small-group, and with individual students;

236

4) extent of extended discourse interactions; 5) sentence types that foster extended discourse; 6) ASL-English links techniques that foster extended discourse; and, 7) language competence at preschool. The themes were supported by data findings as reported in Chapter IV. These themes will be explained and discussed in terms of theoretical and pedagogical issues that were raised in the review of the literature. Preschool Activities that Foster Extended Discourse The analysis revealed story sharing had the most extended discourse interactions between teachers and students, especially in small groups. Pretend talk and circle time were almost equally as rich in extended discourse interactions. Content areas such as science, math, and art in this study had heavy emphasis on hands-on activities, designed to accommodate the preschool students short attention spans and high interest in exploration using their senses such as seeing and feeling (and tasting and smelling when appropriate). While hands-on activities benefit the students fine motor skills, they unintentionally reduce their ability to speak amongst themselves during certain activities, because ASL requires the use of hands and eyes. It is possible deaf children who do not have a fully developed linguistic repertoire at their disposal might be less inclined to use language while being surrounded by hands-on activities at an early age. Deaf children who come from Deaf families may acquire Deaf cultural practices of signing with one hand (or none, as there are some non-manual markers that require simply the use of the face and/or arms/body). Teachers can create lessons or learning opportunities on how to

237 communicate with one hand occupied, or both, so opportunities to extend discourse are not limited by assuming one cannot communicate with one hand occupied. Since extended discourse interaction frequencies were low during content areas or activities that require manipulation of objects, it may seem preschool teachers need to consciously break down the full day schedule to alternate between language-rich activities and hands-on activities to ensure not too much emphasis is placed on hands-on activities throughout the day. To be clear, I am not suggesting removing hands-on activities from the preschool curriculum, but for program administrators and teachers to consciously and critically think about the role of hands-on activities and how teachers can regulate and promote hands-on activities and, yet extend discourse at the same time. This may require creative approaches, such as having a brief, small-group extended discourse discussion about the hands-on activity about to be undertaken, then distributing the materials, and the teachers making time to ask each student questions about their handiwork throughout the activity, and having all the materials removed to briefly discuss as a small group, their experiences with the materials. During interviews with each teacher, both commented that hands-on activities were crucial in developing students fine-motor skills, creative play, and socialization skills (ability to share), but also acknowledged the importance of language-rich activities. Ms. Karen commented that now, with technology, she has been incorporating the use of videotaping her preschool students on a weekly basis, having her students re-tell the storybook stories learned in class. She found this very beneficial in assessing their language development throughout the year. When asked if she would have used technology, had it been available during the time of data collection, she exclaimed, she

238 exclaimed, Of course, I would have done that. Chi ldren gravitate towards technology. They love seeing themselves on video. Ms. Jane agreed, and added, SmartBoard is also an excellent way to incorporate ASL and English literacy skills. Preschool students are able to click on, drag, and move English letters and words on the board to the right places. Technology is very captivating that age, and allows for much more connections between ASL and English at an early age. Since many preschool activities often involve manipulation of objects in the surroundings, and ASL requires the use of hands, is it possible the role of hands-on activities with manipulative objects needs to be taken into careful consideration for the cognitive and language development of the deaf child. A preschool classroom tends to be structured around learning centers such as playing with sand in a sandbox, kneading dough, and painting; one may wonder what this means for language users who use their hands to sign as opposed to those who play with sand and speak at the same time. Again, I am not suggesting that hands-on activities be drastically minimized or removed from the preschool curriculum; I acknowledge the crucial importance of hands-on activities in facilitating exploration, fine-motor skills, promoting creative play, and socialization among preschool children. I also want to acknowledge one limitation of this study, which is a case study of two teachers and one classroom. It is also possible the teachers in this certain study structured their preschool days with heavy emphasis on hands-on activities, unlike other preschool classrooms. One piece of evidence that may support that claim is that structured pretend play only occurred twice in thirteen mornings. In interviews with both teachers, they responded that they often implemented pretend play and story sharing in the afternoons because the students were calmer after lunch and recess, and those activities would lead to nap time

239 for the students. In the mornings, the teachers preferred to allow the students to play with manipulative objects, Karen said, to satisfy their curiosity so they will be more relaxed and pay attention later in the day. With the knowledge that extended discourse during preschool is essential for later literacy and academics, Deaf bilingual preschools may need to be more conscious about the amount of time spent on fine motor activities versus language-related activities such as pretend play and story sharing. The finding in this study that extended discourse occurs more frequently during activities not including manipulative objects need to be taken into consideration when teachers plan and design a language-rich preschool curriculum for deaf children. As for class size, Dickinson and Tabors argued in their HSSLLD study that large group activities were detrimental for opportunities to extend discourse, especially in classes consisting of 20 - 25 students. The HSSLLD study found small-group activities were positively correlated with the students scores on a receptive language test, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test - Revised (PPVT-R) (Smith, 2001). They also found that long stretches of talk between teacher and child during large group activities were negatively correlated with extended discourse (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001). One result in this study appears to support that argument: Large group story sharing only achieved 50 extended discourse interactions in 84 minutes when compared to small group story sharing with 127 instances of extended discourse interactions in 120 minutes. In all of the large group activities in this study, whenever the teachers used group-gaze (an eye contact technique used by skilled Deaf teachers, identified by Mather, 1987) to ask questions to the entire class, most of the students were paying attention, and a few would participate. However, whenever the teacher used individual-gaze (Mather, 1987) to ask

240 one student a question, the rest were likely to tune out (an argument also advanced by Dickinson and Tabors). One may wonder if all students were equally exposed to extended discourse interactions between the teacher and individual students in large group activities. Another activity that deserves a mention here is the time of the day when students gather to eat. Even though snack time garnered a low number of 43 extended discourse interactions in 130 minutes, based on observation, both teachers were more circulatory than stationary. The HSSLLD study defined teacher mobility during mealtimes such as snack and lunch, as teacher circulating, where the teacher was in the classroom with the children but was walking around, attending to the childrens needs (p. 209, Cote, 2001). Teacher stationary was defined as when the teacher was present and seated at the childrens table during mealtime. These mealtimes were characterized by a small teacher-student ratio (p. 209, Cote, 2001). Cafeterias were not included in their study because in cafeterias, teachers were usually responsible for a large group of students. Based on their analysis of teacher mobility during small group mealtimes, the HSSLLD study found that stationary teachers were engaged in significantly more extended discourse than circulatory teachers. They also found that the amount of child talk during both settings were the same, however, in settings where teachers were circulatory, the children would often talk amongst themselves, using non-extended discourse. Their findings suggest that children tend to use extended discourse during discussions with teachers but not with other students. Ultimately, snack time and meal time deserves a closer examination regarding the number of extended discourses when the teachers are mobile and when they are stationary.

241 The HSSLLD study found that teachers who were stationary and sat with the students throughout snack time resulted in increased extended discourse and use of rare words (Cote, 2001). When the HSSLLD study compared the frequency of rare words (considered to be cognitively challenging for preschoolers) during meal times to other activities such as free play, large group activities, and book reading, meal time came in second after large group activities. The HSSLLD study suggests that childrens vocabularies can be enhanced during mealtime at least as well if not better than in classroom settings that have traditionally been geared toward childrens vocabulary and language development (that is, book reading) (p. 217, Cote, 2001). Another important finding of the HSSLLD study was that adults did not need to be giving children direct explanations and narratives but rather that children can benefit from hearing discussions, requesting explanations or narratives, and adding their contributions to the discussion whenever appropriate (Beals, 2001, p. 90). In this scenario, deaf children would benefit from seeing (rather than hearing) discussions among adults. The importance of adults sitting down with children and talking amongst themselves in childrens visual field seems to be an area of emphasis in the HSSLLD study. Similarly, the findings of the Hart and Risley study (1996, 1999) showed that adults did not need to talk to the children directly but to each other. This contributed to a language-rich environment and indirectly fostered the childrens cognitive and language development. Unfortunately, deaf children in non-signing homes and schools are often cut off from overhearing the dramas of everyday life, many are limited in their communication to what they receive face to face. Their linguistic diet is meager (Wood & Wood,

242 1997, p. 348). The importance of a visually accessible, rich language environment where parents and teachers are present, conversing among themselves and with children during meal times supports the importance of having preschool teachers participate in snack time with students. The teachers can talk to each other, at least, and the students would be able to watch and participate in the conversations whenever they liked. As stated in Chapter IV, both teachers said they could not sit down with the students during snack time because often they needed to prepare for the next activity. When I asked if she had ideas on how teachers would be more likely sit down with students during snack time, Ms. Karen said, I would have separate rooms for each activity throughout the day. Then during the day, all I would have to do is lead them from the first activity to the next and to the next without worrying about space and worrying about when and how to clean up and set up the next activity. She continued: I really liked this class design at [name of a different school]. I thought it was very effective. In one very large room, the three year olds were confined to the northeast corner, the four year olds would be in the northwest corner, and the five year olds would get the southwest corner. There were shelves and dividers separating all of those classrooms. In the middle would be a large table so everyone can sit together and eat snack together. This table would also be used for different activities during the day that involved all preschool students. I thought that was very beneficial for the students language development because the younger, less competent ones would be chatting with the older, more linguistically competent ones. And, I could have an opportunity to interact with students from other classrooms. And, my students could talk with other teachers.

243 Its nice, because often in a regular [deaf] preschool you would have 4 -5 students all day with you. They would not have opportunities to see other students or teachers, except during lunch or recess. So this set up was very beneficial for all of us. Also, we had a separate nap room for all preschoolers. This nap room would be dark, plain and relaxing, and only one teacher would need to supervise this room, freeing up the other teachers to do preparation work, which allowed us to sit down more with the students during snack time. The classroom design described by Ms. Karen suggests a language-rich environment, commensurate wit h Vygotskys sociocultural theory, where the cognitive and language development of a child is facilitated by interaction with more competent language users. This is made especially true when deaf preschool students are usually confined in classes of four to five students with one teacher throughout the day (Padden & Ramsey, 1998). Also, if the school administrators and teachers are aware of how important snack/meal times are for extended discourse interactions, changes in the preschool curriculum and classroom design may increase opportunities for children to extend discourse that may not require fiscal support when approached creatively (e.g., mobile walls). School reform, such as in the case of promoting more language-rich activities and interaction between classes, often rely on local and state budget support as well as grant opportunities (Hubbard, Mehan, & Stein, 2006). The finding by the HSSLLD study that stationary teachers participate in more extended discourse during snack time seems to apply to small group work as well. Based on observation of the participants in this study, when the teachers sat down and participated in a small group activity with the students, students would be more likely to

244 initiate conversations, possibly leading to extended discourse with the teachers. Teachers themselves would initiate conversations with students, asking about their work. When teachers chose to circulate, they would attend to more disciplinary issues, clean up after the students, or prepare the next activity. Further research into mobile vs. stationary teachers during small group work is warranted. Pretend play is another language-rich area that deserves closer examination. While opportunities to pretend play in this study were limited (only two structured pretend play activities occurred, for a total of 24 minutes). During that 24 minutes, 16 extended discourse interactions were documented. Both teachers agreed that pretend play created plenty of opportunities for cognitively challenging discourse among the students and teachers. In the HSSLLD study, pretend talk used by preschool children is correlated with their ability to generate high scores on language and literacy skill tests at kindergarten (Katz, 2001). Thus, further study is warranted where the data is rich of examples of pretend play. Preschool activities that foster extended discourse interactions include story sharing, pretend play, circle time, and snack time. Small group activities seem to open up more opportunities for teachers to extend discourse with students. It is also suggested by the HSSLLD study and this study that teachers who remain seated with students during snack time and small group activities may create more opportunities for extended discourse interactions between teachers and students. Types of Extended Discourse The results of this study revealed that the majority of extended discourse interactions were explanatory talk. One paramount cultural value of the Deaf community

245 is information sharing (C. Erting, 1980). This may explain why explanatory talk by Deaf teachers with preschool students occurs more frequently than other types of extended discourse. Researchers have demonstrated that Deaf teachers in ASL classrooms tend to use a combination of narrative and explanatory discourse to develop the language skills of the deaf students in their classrooms (Bailes, 1999, 2001; Mather, 1987, 1989; Ramsey, 1997; Smith & Ramsey, 2004; Whitesell, 1991). In the HSSLLD study, a positive and significant relationship between narrative and explanatory talk during mealtime at home and later literacy was established. A question arises: How will deaf children gain access to narrative and explanatory talk at home prior to enrolling in preschool if their parents have little or no competency in ASL? With limited access to discussion among adults in their household, do the children arrive at preschool ready to learn academic concepts and skills expected of preschoolers? By arriving at preschool with limited language repertoire, they are already at a significant disadvantage. This may be one reason why deaf students struggle with later academic skills. A language-rich preschool curriculum and setting may help compensate for the impoverished language conditions at home (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001). Another discovery during the analysis revealed that one of the teachers participated in more narrative talk and the other teacher participated in more pretend talk with their students. This variation may support the concept of team teaching. Teachers are individuals with varying skills. The preschool students in this study were exposed to two linguistically skilled Deaf adults who were more inclined to use different types of extended discourse. Both teachers did not use science process talk as often as the other types of extended discourse. This may be affected by the days of the week the research

246 team attended the school to collect data. Science was offered on only Thursdays and Fridays, and the team collected data on these days only five times out of 13 mornings. However, research exploring the discourse of science within deaf classrooms and at home have shown students receive insufficient exposure and discourse practice (Bagga-Gupta, 1999; Lane-Outlaw, 2009; Molander, Halldn, & Norell, 2001), similarly for non-deaf students in the HSSLLD study (Snow & Kurland, 1996; Tabors, Roach, & Snow, 2001). This finding should be taken into consideration, possibly by giving more support for science curriculum and activities in teacher preparation programs and inservice workshops for employed teachers, especially in the area of extending science-process discourse. Extended Discourse and Turns Data analysis revealed two prevalent turn-taking sequences while teachers and students extend discourse. The most prevalent was six or more turns. Based on observation of the data, six or more turns tended to occur mostly in one-on-one situations and occasionally during small group activities. It does appear that the more turns for each conversation partner, the likeliness the discourse will be identified as an extended discourse interaction, rather than immediate, concrete talk. Based on this finding, teachers should be encouraged to talk longer with their students during one-on-one situations or small group settings. The second prevalent number of turn-taking during extended discourse interactions in this study amounted to three turns. Based on observation, it appears that this occurs mostly during large group activities. Three turns closely resembles Mehans analysis of inquiry, respond, and evaluate (IRE) format typically associated with teacher

247 talk (1979). Effectiveness of the IRE approach has generally been negative, and typically used by teachers to maintain the attention of a large group of students at once (Cazden, 1988; Mehan, 1979; Tharp & Gallimore, 1988, 1991). Wood and Wood (1997) explain that teacher power is often displayed through the frequent use of two-choice questions which typically results in three conversational turns: Did you buy new shoes? (p. 349). Predictably, only one word from the student is needed to answer the question. That question would meet the criteria for extended discourse because it involves actions done in the past, however, Wood and Wood argue that these kinds of questions and constructions are not as cognitively and linguistically demanding as questions that allow for a range of answers rather than simply two choices. A closer examination of cognitive complexity in extended discourse with three turns is needed. Extent of Extended Discourse Interactions Analysis of the data revealed similar results among both teachers and students regarding the extent of their dominance in extended discourse interactions. Ms. Karen and Ms. Jane had similar number of balanced extended discourse interactions, however, Ms. Jane had more non-dominant extended discourse interactions (11% compared to Ms. Karens 1%). A closer examination of Ms. Janes non-dominant interactions revealed Ms. Janes tendency to use the kimping strategy with students. When ASL-speaking teachers kimp, they tend to step into the role of a puzzled person and ask nave questions with appropriate (nonlinguistic) facial expressions (Smith & Ramsey, 2004, p. 56). During the post-interview with Ms. Jane, I asked about the kimping strategy and her rationale for using that certain strategy with her preschool students. Ms. Jane responded: I feel its important to encourage students to think and talk more. By role playing

248 someone who doesnt know the answer or doesnt know how to do this or that, I encourage my students to teach me. This requires them to think about what theyre going to say and how theyre going to say it. They really enjoy teaching their teacher. Its very empowering for them. She cautions, When I was a new teacher, I sometimes over did it and my students would notice. It took me time to finally find the right balance (of kimping), making it believable enough to keep my students engaged. During the collection of the data in this study, it was Ms. Janes ninth year of teaching and Ms. Karens second year of teaching. When Ms. Karen was asked why she thought she did not use the kimping strategy as often as Ms. Jane, she responded: Oh, Ms. Jane had way more experience as a preschool teacher than I did during that time. Even though we were team teaching, I was really learning a lot from her. Kimping is a technique acquired with years of preschool teaching experience. I do it all the time now with my students. I continued, asking her if she thought team teaching was an effective tool for pairing experienced teachers with inexperienced ones, and she answered: Oh, yes. Definitely. It was really, really helpful for me. Without her, I would have questioned myself all the time, wondering if what I was doing was right, or if I should do something else. With her, it was very nice to have a colleague always giving feedback. I also introduced new ideas and activities to the students that Ms. Jane learned from. We had a very mutual, collaborative relationship. I cant say that this will happen for everyone else, but my experience team teaching was very positive, especially as a new teacher at that time.

249 Task persistence was another discourse strategy Ms. Jane and Ms. Karen used frequently during their extended discourse interactions. Kluwin (1983) explains that the deaf teachers in his study would continue to ask questions beyond four turns, which would more likely result in a correct response from the student. Hearing teachers in his study would give the answer after only a few attempts to elicit the correct answer from their students. The deaf teachers in his study also would alter the form of their questions or statements to the student rather than rank-shifting (p. 291) the question or statement downward, which is what hearing teachers in his study would do after failing to get the right answer. Smith and Ramsey (2004) found similar results in their study of discourse practices of a Deaf teacher, indicative of a high level of persistence in attempts to get and keep students involved in instructional conversation (p. 54). It is possible extended discourse interactions may require teachers with a high-degree of task persistence in their conversations with their students. Sentence Types that Foster Extended Discourse Predictably, there were 401 instances of wh-questions in the 260 extended discourse interactions in this study, the most of all sentence types investigated. Research has shown wh-questions to be most effective in fostering cognitive and linguistic development in non-deaf and deaf classrooms (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1996; Kretschmer, 1997; Wood & Wood, 1997). Affirmative sentences came in second with 363 occurrences. Hart and Risley (1996, 1999) found that parents who used more affirmative sentences with or around children, those children would achieve high academic and literacy skills. Commands were only used 26 times in 260 extended discourse interactions. Hart and Risley found that parents who used mostly commands

250 frequently with or around their children, those children would also struggle academically in school. It is intriguing to find complex sentence types such as rhetorical questions, conditionals, and relative clauses were not used often by the teachers in the study. While the students may not have mastered those types of sentences yet, that does not explain why the teachers did not use these sentence types during extended discourse interactions. There are several possible explanations for this. One, the teachers in this study appeared to have high task persistence, perhaps avoiding the use of rhetorical questions and conditionals in answering the questions they wanted their students to answer on their own. Relative clauses may give too much information, equivalent to rank-shifting downwards on their attempts in retrieving the correct answers from their students. Another possible explanation is that extended discourse interactions do not tend to include these types of sentences. They may appear more in non-extended discourse interactions, or the teachers simply did not incorporate these sentence types in their conversations with their students. The findings of this study suggest that wh-questions seem to be a pivotal part of extended discourse interactions, and this finding is supported by deaf and non-deaf studies (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1996, 1999; Kretschmer, 1997; Wood & Wood, 1997). ASL-English Links This study explored five potential ways the teachers and students could link ASL and English concepts during extended discourse. The five strategies were, in order of frequency (most to least): 1) fingerspelling (54%);

251 2) literacy-related indexing (37%); 3) mouthing (6%); 4) initialized signs (3%) ; 5) English influenced signing (2%), and 6) tracing English letters (.02%). Fingerspelling garnered the majority of ASL-English linking in the 260 extended discourse interactions analyzed in this study. Fingerspelling is a relatively new area of research in the sign language field, and apparently an unique linguistic feature used mainly by sign language speakers in the United States as opposed to other countries (Padden, 2006). Padden estimated that Deaf adults use fingerspelling 18% of the time in their conversations, with some fingerspelling as much as 30% of the time to 12% of the time (2006). There are different types of fingerspelling for different purposes. Humphries and MacDougall (1998) in their study of ASL-English interaction in classrooms, found several techniques Deaf teachers use to link both languages: fingerspelling; initialized signs; chaining (where a word might be fingerspelled, then the word is pointed out on the blackboard and fingerspelled again); compounding techniques, where ASL words are combined to describe a word in English (e.g., SLEEP-THROUGH-WINTER to describe hibernate); use of size and shape specifiers to describe concepts (e.g., armadillo); and, strong facial markings prior to introducing a new word.

252 Padden (2006) lists a few more types of fingerspelling in her work, including fingerspelled loan signs (also called lexicalized fingerspelling), abbreviated fingerspelling, initialized signs, and sign-fingerspelled pairs. Padden argues that there are different cognitive demands involved in the fingerspelling. The first fingerspelling skill involves understanding how fingerspelling is used in ASL, including what types of words are likely to be fingerspelled. This skill also involves recognizing shapes of fingerspelled words and knowing the meanings of commonly used fingerspelled words, but not necessarily the individual fingerspelled handshapes within a fingerspelled sign (Padden, 2006, p. 195). The second skill, sign fingerspelling is often much har der for the students to decode. Rather than fingerspelling at normal speed, much like when English is spoken as a whole word, sign fingerspelling involves signing each fingerspelled letter, very much like speaking English letter by letter. This second skill is argued by Padden (2006) as a way to link fingerspelled words to English words, which develops when the student starts to acquire English. Based on observation, teachers frequently used the second skill in this study either to introduce new vocabulary (as in the ELE-PH-ANT example) or to test students English knowledge (as in the S -N-A-C-K example). To help clarify the distinction between the first and second fingerspelling skills, when a preschool student from the same school asked me how to spell hurt, I answered, with sign fingerspelling, H-U-R-T. She immediately said, Wrong! with an impish smile. I played along, and asked her how hurt was spelled, and she said H -T! She was right, according to Paddens (2006) observation regarding the first fingerspelling skill. H-T is what hurt looks like when fingerspelled at normal speed. In fact, hurt

253 is called a fingerspelled loan sign, where the number of handshapes are nativized to just two handshapes with an added movement path becoming a sign, rather than a fingerspelled word. Contexts where fingerspelling and sign fingerspelling were used during extended discourse interactions were not examined in this study, however, it is the position of the author that this could be a rich area of investigation. Deaf children in this study accumulated the second highest frequency of literacyrelated indexing, with 113 instances. Fingerspelling came in first with just one more notch, with 114. The teachers used literacy-related indexing 249 times altogether. Meier (2006) in his study of signing childrens articulatory development with signing caretakers found that the first three handshapes used by very young deaf children (between 8 to 17 months old) were open and spread hand, a fist, and an extended index finger. Based on observation, the extended index finger was most commonly used by the students in the study. Some critics of ASL/English bilingual preschool programs claim that these same preschool programs are actually monolingual ASL programs within early childhood programs. Those critics also tend to argue that learning English solely through print is not possible (Mayer & Akamatsu, 1999; Mayer & Wells, 1996). Findings regarding ASL-English links in this study show that not only ASL, but English is promoted and valued by both teachers and students, indicative of a bilingual program devoted to the learning of both ASL and English. While investigating all of these essential connections between ASL and English is beyond the capacity of this study, the teachers in this study linked to the English language most frequently through fingerspelling, using fingerspelling 56% of the time during extended discourse interactions with students. It is

254 the position of the author that the role of fingerspelling in meditating between ASL and English is a compelling one, and needs closer examination. ASL Competence and Extended Discourse Analysis revealed that parental hearing status does not have as strong of an effect on the number of extended discourse interactions their children participate in with teachers. Alternately, the students ASL competence at the start of the a cademic year seems to have a strong effect on their number of extended discourse interactions with their teachers. For instance, one student with Deaf parents34 had atypically delayed signing skills upon arrival, enough for the teachers to call for a meeting with the parents to inquire further about how to help foster the development of his sign language skills. The interviews with the teachers during data collection revealed that both teachers disagreed with the parental philosophy of this certain child. The teachers said that his parents believed that babies and very young toddlers were not really processing language or developing cognitively, so it was pointless to talk directly to them, at least, much later, until they are old enough to talk. The parents applied the same principle to gross motor and fine motor development, saying that their children would walk when they were ready to. This child had one of the lowest participation rate in extended discourse interactions, and the teachers, in their interviews during data collection, and interviews at end of data analysis made the same remarks: They were deeply concerned about his language development, especially since he came from a signing home. One of the teachers said, He spends so much time playing by himself. Hes very baby-like in his approach towards manipulating objects, interaction with other peers and in his discourse. The other teacher said, Its like he lives in his own fantasy world. His parents tell me that he

255 loves watching cartoons and thats the only thing he wants to do when he arrives home from school and the parents enable that behavior. That comment is supported by the data. The amount of pretend talk for this child was higher than other types of discourse, and when compared with the full class, this child had the highest amount of pretend talk. While we do not know the impact of this certain parental philosophy on his academic successes later on in life, we do know his ability to extend discourse during preschool has been severely limited. In contrast, a child in this study35 was in an orphanage until adopted at 4 years old by Deaf, signing parents with multiple older Deaf siblings who were very close to her in age. Student records indicate she did not have sign language exposure until the time of adoption. Her Deaf siblings were much more linguistically competent and took her under their wings, and they became very close. The child was relatively new to preschool, having come straight from the orphanage to the familys home for less than a year and then enrolled in preschool. By the time she arrived preschool, she accumulated enough language to participate in numerous extended discourse interactions. Post-data analysis interviews with the teachers revealed that they thought it was her constant exposure to and interaction with her older Deaf siblings outside of class time that accelerated her language development. Ms. Karen said, [Name of child] was such a head strong child. She was very, very curious and asked endless questions. I think thats what helped her language development too, her personality type compounded with the effect of her older siblings. While we can not determine what exactly accelerated this childs language
34 35

Details changed to protect the individuals in this study. Details changed to protect the individuals in this study.

256 development, it seems her home situation and personality may have had an important impact on her ability to participate in extended discourse frequently in this study. The teaching philosophy of the teachers is crucial for language and cognitive development of preschool students (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001). During post-data collection interviews with both teachers, they mentioned that they mutually agreed to focus on developing the ASL skills of the students who arrived to the class with very little foundation in ASL, and to leave the linguistically adept students to talk among themselves because they required very little supervision with their ability to work quietly, independently, and/or with peers. The implications of this teaching strategy may have had an effect on the number of extended discourse interaction opportunities for the linguistically adept students, and as well as the students with emerging language skills. Taking the findings of this study in consideration, districts, schools, and programs serving deaf populations would be well advised to focus on early identification and creating opportunities for accessible language acquisition and cognitive development for deaf babies and toddlers very early in life, consistently, and regularly. Schools are also advised to provide mentorship programs for parents about the importance of early, natural, and accessible language acquisition and cognitive development, encouraged to take opportunities for themselves and their child(ren) to socialize with more linguistically competent peers and adults, and introduced to extended discourse strategies and techniques prior to arriving at preschool. Emphasis for pre-service and in-service early childhood teachers include understanding the importance of extending discourse with preschool students at an early age. Administrators can support teachers in designing a

257 language-rich curriculum and classroom diagram for preschool. These changes may help close the academic achievement gap that has so long persisted for deaf children. Future Research Considerations While analyzing the findings of this study, numerous questions emerged. This section presents possible future research questions. Contextual questions may include: Immediate vs. nonimmediate talk. In this study, there were 1,005 extended discourse interactions. What is the nature of the remaining discourses? How machapy teachers minimize their occurrences? Or how may teachers convert these discourses to a more cognitively challenging discourse? How different are they compared to extended discourse talk during preschool? Peer extended discourse. Peer to peer extended discourse was intentionally excluded from this study to help make the data analysis more manageable, and according to the Home-School Study, extended discourse between peers was not as significant as teacher and peer extended discourse (Dickinson, 2001b). However, it is the position of the author that extended discourse between peers in ASL/English bilingual classrooms is also a rich area for future investigations. One such follow-up study could analyze the number of initiations not between teacher and student, but also between peers. A study done by McCartney (1984) found childrens initiations of interactions with adults were positively related to language outcomes, while peer to peer initiations were negatively related to childrens language scores. Circulatory vs. stationary teachers. When teachers circulated by walking around the classroom, they would attend to more disciplinary issues, clean up after the students or prepare the next activity. This is also a potential area for further research. Do

258 stationary (teachers who sit down with students) or circulating teachers during various activities throughout the day help foster extended discourse? That finding may help us consider questions such as: What kinds of curricula planning can teachers do to increase opportunities for teacher-student extended discourse? What types of support do teachers need to effectively see through their plans? Large group activities. A possible future follow-up study would include an analysis of the number of turns during large-group activities in this study and comparing the complexity of the content between three conversational turns (often interpreted as an inquiry, respond, and evaluate (IRE) format) and six or more conversational turns. Are extended discourse interactions with the IRE format effective in large group settings? Are the other students paying attention while teachers extend discourse with individual students in large group settings? A follow-up study could include an analysis of all extended discourse interactions in this study involving only three turns for further IRE/F analysis. Another line of inquiry could include an analysis of eye gaze and large group student participation. Eye-gaze is considered to be an effective classroom-control mechanism (Mather, 1989; Smith & Ramsey, 2004). Cognitive complexity. In the preliminary data analysis of this study, the Signs of Literacy team did a review of the literature and came up with different ways to measure the cognitive complexity of the language used by the teachers and students, which was not used in this study. Measuring cognitive complexity of discourse is an approach that could be revealing for analyzing extended discourse and non-extended discourse. Gender. The top five students who were able to extend discourse most frequently were all female. Is there a gender difference in ability to extend discourse? What about

259 the gender of the teachers? Will male students extend discourse more with male teachers? A metadata comparison of extended discourse studies can look at the gender issue more thoroughly. Conversational pace. Another interesting area for analysis would be conversational pace. Teachers in this study were very patient, and allowed plenty of time for students to respond without fear of losing teachers attention to other demands. An analysis of wait time or conversational pauses during extended discourse may reveal some teacher strategies in fostering cognitive development and language processing capacities. This is also known as significant pause (Rowe, 1974). Withitness. The teachers in this study were also skilled at focusing at the task or discourse at hand, yet knowing what was happening elsewhere in the classroom. This is called withitness. This seems to be a crucial aspect of teachers ability to maintain discourse and simultaneously managing the rest of the classroom without an interruption that prevents the teachers to return to the original discourse (Mather, 1990). This may be unique to Deaf teachers in particular because a recent brain imaging study shows that with early auditory deprivation, the visual aspect of the cortex is enhanced (Bavelier, Dye, & Hauser, 2006). Future studies may focus on how teachers are able to visually participate in discourse with students and simultaneously handle interruptions, as well as manage the rest of the classroom. Linguistics-related questions. Other questions related to language and discourse may include: What attention-getting and maintenance strategies do the teachers use while extending discourse with their students? Which para-linguistic features (e.g.,

260 gesture, depiction, and constructed dialogue) are frequently used by teachers during extended discourse? What kinds of discourse markers are used in extended discourse? What is the role of signing space in preschool classrooms? Emmorey (2001) found teachers in upper grades incorporated creative use of signs and space when talking about states of matter (liquid, gas, and solids), much like Erting (2001) and Mather (1990) who noted Deaf preschool teachers would use signs on books or students bodies to encourage continued involvement. Are there metastatements in extended discourse? Metastatements are a technique where the teacher integrates essential information in a closing sentence of a discourse with students (Kluwin, 1983; Sinclair & Coulthard, 1975). If so, what is the nature of metastatements in ASL? Other approaches in analyzing extended discourse holistically could include teacher discourse power and degree of control (Wood & Wood, 1997), speaking rights (Cazden, 1988) and discourse repair techniques used by teachers. Rare words. What are rare words in ASL during preschool? What are common words in ASL? In the HSSLLD study and the study done by Hart and Risley, both found that the use of rare words (words not commonly used at a certain age) were correlated with the quality and complexity of the discourse (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1996, 1999). What is considered a rare word in English may not be a rare word in ASL. While they were able to compare the word choices by the participants in their studies to the Chall and Dale readability formula (Chall & Dale, 1995), there are no resources available yet for common (or rare words) in sign language or in ASL. Studies in this area may contribute to building a corpus of age-appropriate ASL vocabulary.

261 ASL-English links. Are there other examples of ASL-English linking during extended discourse than the ones explored in this study? Since technology has changed very quickly in the past decade, how are teachers integrating ASL-English links in their discourse with current technology available? Sentence types. Since the selections of the 260 extended discourse interactions were randomized, the frequency counts may make it seem some students utilize more sentence types than other students. To remedy that, the remaining 745 extended discourse interactions will need to be transcribed and coded before comparisons can be made across participants. Another line of inquiry could include a closer investigation of ASL sentences and number of turns typically associated with each sentence type. Follow-up study. Another possible area to explore would be by comparing the literacy scores for the students in this study when they graduate from high school with their ASL competence during preschool, like the HSSLLD study did with the monolingual students in their data set. Other studies have shown ASL competence is has a significant correlation with English literacy. Will the ASL competence and/or frequency in extended discourse of the students in this study during preschool predict their reading skills upon graduation from high school? While the findings of this study helps us visualize the nature of extended discourse in an ASL/English bilingual preschool for deaf children, the questions posed earlier indicate there are still critical areas that need to be explored regarding extended discourse in ASL. Important Differences

262 There are several important differences between the HSSLLD study and other studies of non-deaf children and this dissertation study. One difference is the number of participants. In this dissertation study, the teacher/adult-student ratio is lower (3 adults : 12 students) than typical non-deaf preschools (e.g., 2-3 adults : 25 students). Another important difference with the participants is the amount of pre-service teacher preparation the teachers have undergone prior to employment. The teachers in this study spent more years preparing for their fields of study compared to other teachers at non-deaf preschools. Most of the teachers in other non-deaf studies had basic daycare training/certification or a bachelors degree (personal communication, David Dickinson, December 10, 2007). Both teachers in this study have undergraduate and graduate degrees in education or related fields. As raised earlier, most deaf students come from a much more impoverished linguistic environment than any hearing student (Kretschmer, 1997); in fact, about 90% of deaf children are born to hearing, non-signing parents (Mitchell, 2004). The language competence of both non-deaf and deaf preschool students upon enrollment is vastly different. Non-signing parents vary in how they choose to communicate with their deaf child. Some try to learn ASL, some use gestures and some remain with spoken English. Hearing, non-signing parents also differ in their access to and beliefs about the amount of ASL exposure their deaf child should receive. For instance, some parents will obtain ASL-fluent child care workers and seek out events for their deaf child to see and mingle with other children and adults fluent in ASL, and some do not. When deaf children arrive

263 at preschool, their linguistic repertoire may range from nearly non-existent to fluent ASL skills, unlike non-deaf preschoolers from English-speaking homes in other studies. Another vital difference between the students in this study and other non-deaf studies is the number of languages in the preschool classroom. In this study, the preschool classroom is taught by two bilingual adults who alternate between two languages, ASL and print English. The teachers in the bilingual preschool classroom believe deaf students are bilingual in their first language, ASL and their second language, (and first written language) English. Other studies are usually of non-deaf children acquiring one language in two different modalities: spoken English and written English. And if it is a study of a non-deaf bilingual classroom, then the non-deaf students would be acquiring two languages in the same modalities: spoken and written Spanish and English for instance. In the Home-School study, an audiotape recorder was attached to the back of a moving, speaking child, constantly capturing the language spoken to and around this child. A note taker was sitting at the end of the classroom documenting the context of the classroom in timed intervals, so when doing audio analysis of the language spoken, there were notes about the physical environment to refer to. This also meant there were three less researchers in the same room with the children, minimizing the observers paradox, where people might change behavior when they know there are other people in the room observing them. There were also three less bulky video cameras, tripods and cords as well as a TV cart consisting of three small TVs and a machine synchronizing the time codes on all three video cameras.

264 As mentioned in Chapter 2, this is not a replication study of the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development (HSSLLD), but a study inspired by the HSSLLD study. The research questions and methodology in this study and HSSLLD study are distinct. Likewise, there are a number of differences between other studies and this study, however, a case study approach actually allows for greater understanding of the unique complexity of this study. This approach allows us to extend our findings to other similar situations (Mertens, 2010; Stake, 2000) such as other deaf preschool classrooms and non-deaf bilingual preschool classrooms. Post-script: The HSSLLD Study In 2007, The Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development study published a follow-up study. They continued to follow the 42 families beyond their previous preschool - kindergarten study to 10th grade. Their research questions were focused on academic achievement in all subjects, with increased focus on literacy (Snow, Porche, Tabors, & Harris, 2007). They found that there were numerous factors in the academic success (or failure) of a student including academic and emotional support from teachers and parents; motivational and engagement factors; poverty conditions; attending multiple schools, family disruption; social-emotional difficulties; reading support from school and so on. They found that a smaller class size, more student-teacher interaction, and a student-directed learning model are features of successful educational programs (Snow, Porche, Tabors, & Harris, 2007). David Dickinson, the first author of the HSSLLDs publication, Beginning Literacy with Language, edited a second volume of early literacy research (Dickinson & Neuman, 2006), coauthored a comprehensive preschool curriculum in 2007, Opening the

265 World of Learning (OWL), and created a new Ed.D. program in early childhood leadership. Dickinson also published numerous chapters and articles describing successful (and not so successful) features of preschool classrooms (Dickinson, 2006; Dickinson, McCabe, & Essex, 2006; Dickinson, St. Pierre, & Pettengill, 2004; Dickinson, Watson, & Farran, 2008). Concluding Remarks This study comes at a time of high interest within the Deaf community in North America and in the fields of Deaf education and ASL linguistics in the research and application of what has been termed academic ASL. The description of ASL in preschool academic settings (traditionally regarded as pre-academic) will benefit the development of assessment tools to evaluate academic ASL usage, contribute to the development of ASL curricula, provide resources for teacher and educational interpreter preparation programs, and contribute to the on-going research on academic registers. Not only is classroom discourse research in Deaf education important for educational reform, research on classroom discourse in ASL can contribute to the literature on spoken classroom discourse. Arriving at preschool, the deaf child with non-signing or parents with limited signing skills will be three years old; three years have already passed without optimal language development. In spite of this discouraging scenario, Tabors, Snow, and Dickinson (2001) found that a high language and literacy environment at home and school was the highest predictor of language and literacy development. However, most importantly, a low language and literacy environment at home and a high language and literacy environment at school came in a close second. This is good news since

266 interventions to improve the quality of preschools may be easier to implement than interventions to change language and literacy practices in low-income homes (Tabors, Snow, & Dickinson, 2001, p. 326). It is important to remember the context is different for deaf children. They do not come from low language and literacy environments at home. Deaf children with nonsigning parents come from a much more impoverished language and literacy environments than hearing children. Hearing children have access to spoken language used by adults in the household, television, and out in the community (playground, food store, the library), while deaf children do not. Wood and Wood (1997) suggest that deaf children are usually exposed to basic, immediate talk rather than cognitively challenging discourse at home and at school. What does this mean for the cognitive development and academic achievement for the deaf child? This means preschool teachers of deaf children have an additional responsibility: developing the language skills of deaf children and simultaneously attempting to extend their discourse to replicate the elements of literacy. L. Erting (2001) analyzed the nature of book sharing by preschool teachers with Deaf students using data from the same collection for this dissertation study. She found Deaf preschool teachers employ specific techniques for story sharing such as maintaining childrens attention, designing the physical arrangement of the students to establish a clear visual field, using a predictable opening routine to capture their attention, and monitoring and maintaining the students attention with their eyes (L. Erting, 2001). The teachers encouraged student participation by involving children individually through questions, around the circle turn-taking strategies, and elaborate role-playing opportunities. This study revealed the importance of having language exposure and

267 practice at a very young age, which helps the children become more competent and cognitively sophisticated classroom participants. In the case of deaf children from nonsigning families, the preschool experience is made even more critical in their language and cognitive development. From this scenario, several questions emerge: Is language competence prior to enrolling in preschool a prerequisite for the child to be able to benefit from extended discourse during preschool? Do the children need at least some language competence before arriving at preschool for extended discourse to contribute to their later literacy and academic achievement or is language development and extended discourse during preschool sufficient to put these students back on the language development track? While the HSSLLD study say language-rich preschools may be able to compensate for the lack of language exposure at home, Hart and Risleys findings say other wise. They assert, based on their findings, that attempts to intervene or compensate for their lack of a language-rich home environment by the time children reach the age of three may be moot (Hart & Risley, 1996, 1999). Hart and Risley (1996) propose that to solve the limitation of language development early in life for children of working class parents is to provide income-graded quality neighborhood child care with enriched linguistic opportunities, parent aides (apprenticeship program), and parent coaching, much like advantaged families who can afford to have a parent stay home, home-based child care, or enrollment in quality day care. For deaf children, local deaf schools and programs will need to invest into establishing state and local level infrastructure for 0-3 programs and services with the goal of enriching the visual language and cognitive development of deaf children, and providing mentors for all parents. The findings in this dissertation study

268 show a clear separation between the more linguistically competent students and the less linguistically competent students in their ability to extend discourse during preschool. According to the annual survey of deaf schools and programs nationwide in 2000-2001, only 29% of the schools and programs use ASL as the primary mode of instruction (Ross & Mitchell, 2004) and that number is further limited by insufficient access to teachers fluent in ASL at the preschool level. Are the academic trajectories of deaf children who arrive at school from homes with a low language and literacy environment, comparable to hearing children who arrive at school from homes with low language and literacy environment? Is developing both language competency and extended discourse skills for deaf students during preschool possible? Or is language competence at preschool a pivotal stepping stone for extended discourse and later literacy achievement? Can preschool teachers develop both the childs language and their ability to extend discourse within a two -year span prior to kindergarten? Since Deaf children come from a much more impoverished language environments, can ASL/English bilingual preschools truly make up for the lost language time at home and in the community? Answering those questions is beyond the capability of this study, however, the findings in this study will help contribute to the foundation for future empirical, longitudinal, and/or correlational studies of extended discourse within preschool settings for bilingual deaf children. Exploring the differences and similarities between studies of monolingual hearing and bilingual Deaf students and the relationship between both oral/signed and written forms of language gives us a better understanding of extended discourse and how it may be framed within ASL/print English bilingual preschools for Deaf children.

269 Given the powerful effect of ASL competence upon the start of preschool year on the participatory rate in extended discourse interactions, the results of this study also suggest the importance of early identification, visual language intervention, and acquisition for deaf infants. The findings revealed by the children in this study indicate that by providing them with rich and engaging language environments during their first five years of life, is the best way to ensure their cognitive development and later academic achievement.

270 Appendix A Background Teacher Interview and Video Journal Baseline Questions Since this is our first formal interview for the project, we would like to start with some background information. Some of the answers to these questions may seem obvious, but we plan to use this videotape to help us transcribe your answers at a later date. Name?

Address?

Phone number?

Email address?

Best way to get in touch with you? Phone? Email?

Are you deaf, hard-of-hearing, or hearing?

Gender: Male/Female

What is your race/ethnicity?

Year of birth?

271 What kind of elementary school(s) did you attend?

Local public school? (If deaf, mainstreamed? With or without support?)

Local private school? (If deaf, mainstreamed? With or without support?)

Residential school for deaf children?

Day school for deaf children?

Special class for deaf children in local public school?

Boarding school- if hearing?

What kind of high school(s) did you attend? (see question 10)

Where did you go to college or university and what degrees did you obtain in what field? Degree University/College A.A. B.S./B.A. M.S./ M.A. Masters + Ph.D. Field Year

272 Why did you decide to become a teacher?

Why did you decide to teach deaf children?

Do you have deaf relatives? Parents? Grandparents (maternal or paternal)? Spouse/ Significant Other? Children? Siblings? Cousins? Uncles? Aunts? Nieces? Nephews? Others? When did you learn to sign? Where? Who taught you? What kind of signing did you learn first? (e.g., SEE, Signed English, ASL)

Have you taken formal courses in sign language? ASL? When? From whom?

What is your native language?

What is your preferred language?

273 How many languages do you know and how do you rate your fluency?

ASL, receptive: ASL, expressive: Spoken English, receptive:

poor poor poor

fair fair fair fair fair fair

good excellent good excellent good excellent good excellent good excellent good excellent

native native native native native native

Spoken English, expressive: poor Written English, reading: Written English, writing: Other languages? poor poor

How many years have you been teaching?

Have you taught hearing children? If so, how many years and what ages? Where?

How many years have you taught deaf children? What ages? Where? How many years at each?

Have you worked in any other position in a school? If so, which positions and which schools? How many years?

How would you describe your philosophy of educating young children? Deaf children?

What are the guiding principles for your classroom? Your teaching?

274 What were your goals for your students this past year?

Video Journal baseline questions

1. What is happening with each child? Tell me a little about each and what your goals are for this semester, this year?

2. What is happening in your department? With your team? With the school?

275 Appendix B Codebook: Categories and Codes And their Operational Definitions

Activity Tier (for Camera A, B and C) Free Choice Students can pick their preferred activity context. Sometimes the teachers set up several activities, however students are free to move from or to another activity as they please. Sometimes students will crowd at one activity, and the teachers will try to encourage them to spread out. Small Group (SG) Structured centers with specific students with a specific amount of time. Teacher can be present and participating in activity. Teachers may flash lights or tell students to move to another group "center". Snack Snack begins when Teacher(s) flash lights or tell students snack or snack time or similar terms. Often Teachers will tell students to clean up their prior activity for snack time. Transition Lights flash and/or teacher calls students to move on to next activity or to line up for departure. Also includes arrivals in the morning and after recess.

276 Large Group (LG) Often called Circle Time by the instructors, this usually happens near the blackboard in the back of the classroom. Frequently includes calendar activity where students learn of todays date. This involves the entire class in a circle. This activity also includes Show and Tell and sometimes an activity where everyone takes a turn to do something. Art: Students use a type of instrument or material to create art work (e.g., painting, drawing, shaping clay, making cardboard buildings). Computer Students are sitting by the computer typing and/or using the mouse. Math Usually involves geometry (rubber band boards; circular, triangular and square blocks; etc). Often overlaps with art (pre-math skills). Pretend Play Student(s) are pretend/role playing characters or objects. Reading Reading silently, reading in pairs, small, or large groups, storytelling from a book, etc. Includes English print. Science Usually involves elements of science (e.g., exploring our five senses; exploring natural earth materials rocks, dirt, sand). Story sharing Telling stories in ASL with or without a book.

277 Writing Students use a type of instrument to create written English forms (e.g., crayons, markers, pencils, paint brush). Often writing and drawing overlap in preschool. Rationale : All activity terms are determined based on36: Frequency of teachers usage (in classroom video or in teacher journals) Frequency used in preschool video logs Terms used in the educational field [Participant Pseudonym] Attendance Tier For each participant, indicate presence and absence with an annotation field. Rationale: To track number of minutes each adult/child is in view of the camera. Participants vary in their attendance which may impact data results Interaction Tier An interaction is a continuous communicative interaction on a same topic between or among two or more interactants consisting of at least two turns. Brief interruptions do not disrupt the flow of the interaction (example: someone sneezes; someone asks a question) An interaction begins when interactant utilizes an attention-getting strategy and/or brings hands up to sign and/or initiates eye contact An interaction ends when interactant brings hands down and/or eye-gaze moves elsewhere and/or conversation does not continue for at least 5 seconds Coding Tier Type of Extended Discourse 37
36

See Table 2 for frequency tracking of activity context terms.

278 Pretend (P) Narrative (N) Explanatory (E) Science Process Talk (S) Interactants Initiator (I/NI): Interactant initiates discourse by utilizing an attention getting strategy, bringing up hands to sign and/or initiates eye contact Extent of Interaction38 Balancing (B): Equal amount of time and interruptions minimal or nonexistent Dominating (D): One participant controls most of the speaking time, and/or interrupts others to control floor time Non-dominating (ND): Participant(s) has very brief speaking time. Participant(s) uses more facial expression and back channeling than signed discourse. Coding Sequence Examples Pretend, Initiator, Participant, Dominant, 6 and more turns P/I/D/6+ Explanatory, Non-initiator, Non-dominant, 4 turns E/NI/ND/4 ASL Glosses
37 38

See Extended Discourse Checklist on page 116 for how one determines type of extended discourse.

Source: Signs of Literacy Video Portfolio.

279 Transcribe every seventh interaction into sign glosses at sentence level for a maximum of ten interactions per teacher per morning (see Hochgesang, 2009 for more information about ASL sentences). Analytical Memo A place to expand on, discuss concepts and patterns that are not included above.

280 Appendix C Transcription Conventions Phonological Level Held signs Pause within utterance Convention Example

Repeated signs

Add [_] (underscore enclosed in brackets) at MOTHER[_] end of gloss Represent brief pauses with no sign or IX(self) CHOOSE# RED mouthing/voicing with # (a single hash mark) attached to previous gloss. Hands down in between signs. Add [+] (the plus symbol enclosed in MOTHER[+] brackets) to end of gloss. Also used to indicate unusual cyclicity (less or more than usual) MOTHER[copy] WANT/ WANT// IX(self) WANT[/] IX(self) WANT IX(toy) IX(self) WANT[//] IX(self) DONT-WANT IX(toy) IX(self) WANT[///] IX(toy) IX(self) WANT WANT

Add [copy] (the word copy enclosed in brackets) to end of gloss Interruption Add / (slash) to end of last gloss before interruption Self-interruption Add // (double slash) to end of last gloss before interruption Retracing without Add [/] (slash enclosed in brackets) to end correction of last gloss before retracing Retracing with Add [//] (double slash enclosed in brackets) correction to end of last gloss before retracing Retracing with Add [///] (triple slash enclosed in brackets) reformulation to end of last gloss before reformulation Trailing off Add (ellipsis) to end of last gloss before trailing off Copied signs Morphological Level ASL glosses Pointing Convention

Example

All capital letters; multi-word glosses must RABBIT be linked with hyphens SEE-YOU-LATER People: Use label IX followed by referent in lowercase letters (except for proper names), enclosed in parentheses Object: Same as above. IX(self) IX(mother) IX(Ann) IX(dog) IX(pig-puzzle-piece)

281 Location: Same as above. Refer to location names in Figure 1. IX(outside) IX(computer-area)

Underlining print English: IX followed IX(book-titleMary-had-aby object/location and exact wording within little-lamb) quotation marks without spacing in IX(sentence-in-book-XXX) lowercase letters (except for proper names) enclosed in parentheses (hyphens between words) Possessives Use the label POSS followed by referent in lowercase letters (except for proper names) enclosed in parentheses (hyphens between words) SELF followed by referent in lowercase letters (except for proper names), enclosed in parentheses (hyphens between words Gloss followed by referent in parentheses POSS(self) POSS(Ann)

Reflexives

SELF(self) SELF(Ms. Jane)

Indicating verbs Depicting verbs

GIVE(Ann) GO(computer-area) Gloss with label DV followed by description DV(bird-sits-on-tree) in parentheses (hyphens between words). DV(tracingAnn) Use quotation marks without spacing when DV(tracing-sun-rays) tracing English letters Gloss with label A followed by the A(work-really-hard) hyphenated words in parentheses Gloss with label FS followed by the FS(Ann) unhyphenated word in parentheses If gloss is different from literal FS(ka(cake)) fingerspelling, literal fingerspelling is documented first, then target fingerspelling is documented next if known If literal fingerspelling is known, but target FS(apl(YYY)) fingerspelling not known, put YYY in internal brackets If sign fingerspelling (with held or pauses in LETTER-B# LETTER-U# between), add LETTER- before the LETTER-G# fingerspelled letter.

Aspect Fingerspelling

Name signs

Gloss researchers names with label NS followed by name in parentheses. Code names of participants are used to protect participants privacy

NS(Carlene) NS(Ann)

282 Mouthing If exaggerated mouthing accompanies sign, label with capitalized M followed by gloss in parentheses. If no accompanying sign, label with lowercase m followed by English word mouthed in parentheses Enclose numerical incorporation gloss in curly brackets Signs not usually initialized are identified with label INT followed by the unhyphenated word in parentheses. M(NO) M(FS(OKAY)) m(no) m(okay)

Numerical Incorporation Initialized signs

{3-WEEKS} INT(RED)

Syntactic Level Topicalization

Conventions Examples The topicalized glosses are enclosed <HOUSE>t RED between less than and greater than and a t at end of the greater than symbol Yes/No Questions The glosses involved in a yes-no question <HOUSE RED>ynq statement are enclosed between less than and greater than symbols with a ynq at the end of the greater than symbol Wh-questions The glosses involved in a wh-question are HOUSE RED enclosed between less than and greater than <WHERE>whq symbols with a whq at end of the greater than symbol The glosses involved in affirmative or <HOUSE RED>y negative sentences are enclosed between <HOUSE RED>n less than and greater than symbols with a n at end of the greater than symbol The glosses involved in a rhetorical question <HOUSE RED>rh YES are enclosed between less than and greater than symbols with a rh at end of the greater than symbol The glosses involved in a command are <HOUSE RED>com enclosed between less than and greater than symbols with a com at end of the greater than symbol The glosses involved in a conditional are <HOUSE RED>cond enclosed between less than and greater than MOVE WILL symbols with a cond at end of the greater than symbol

Affirmative Negative

Rhetorical Question

Command

Conditional

283 Relative clauses The glosses involved in a relative clause are <HOUSE>t <DV(bigenclosed between less than and greater than house-be-at-place) RED> rc symbols with a rc at end of the greater than <IX(self) BUY>y symbol English influenced The English influenced signs are enclosed BIRD <SIT ON signing between less than and greater than symbols TREE>ewo SING with a ewo at end of the greater than symbol Paralinguistic Dimension Gesture Emblem Showing Conventions Gloss with label g followed by concise meaning in parentheses Gloss with label e followed by name of emblem in parentheses Participant has object and holds it up for others to see. Gloss with label show followed by name of object shown in parentheses Examples g(angry-face) e(come-here) show(toy)

Attention getting Gloss with label ags followed by concise strategy meaning in parentheses

ags(wave) ags(tap-Ann) ags(tap-table) ags(flash-lights) ags(stomp-foot) emp(NO)

Emphasis

Gloss with label emp followed by gloss in parentheses Conventions Type in lowercase. Only proper names are capitalized. Use &= (ampersand and equal sign) before the sound Use &=imit: (ampersand, equal sign, imit, and colon) before the sound or mouth imitation

Sound-Based Dimension Spoken English utterances Sound effects Imitations

Examples doggie go away &=cries &=laughs &=imit:baby &=imit:plane

Transcriber Dimension

Conventions

Examples

284 Sign/fingerspelling Add [?] (question mark in WANT APPLE[?] PLEASE is not clear, but brackets) to end of unclear gloss transcriber is fairly confident in the possible gloss Sign/fingerspelling Type best gloss first as gloss, WANT APPLE[=?ONION] WANT is not clear, multiple followed by BLACK[=?SUMMER=?DREAM] possibilities [=?ALTERNATIVE] (equal sign followed by question mark and alternative gloss in brackets) Form is clear, but the sign/fingerspelled item is not understood Sign/fingerspelling is not clear, and transcriber has no idea Gloss each unclear sign as YYY WANT YYY PLEASE (there may be more than one)

Gloss each unclear sign as XXX WANT XXX PLEASE (there may be more than one)

*There is no end-of-sentence punctuation in SOL transcription. Annotation fields within ELAN are utterance-based; so an annotation field signifies end of sentence rather than a period ( . ). See Hochgesang, 2009 for an analysis and argument regarding the decisions of when ASL sentences start and end.

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