Allen, T. E., Letteri, A., Choi, S. H., & Dang, D. (2014). Early visual language exposure and emergent literacy in preschool deaf children: Findings from a national longitudinal study. American Annals of the Deaf, 159(4), 346-358.
A BRIEF REVIEW is provided of recent research on the impact of early visual language exposure on a variety of developmental outcomes, including literacy, cognition, and social adjustment. This body of work points to the great importance of giving young deaf children early exposure to a visual language as a critical precursor to the acquisition of literacy.Four analyses of data from the Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) Early Education Longitudinal Study are summarized. Each confirms findings from previously published laboratory findings and points to the positive effects of early sign language on, respectively, letter knowledge, social adaptability, sustained visual attention, and cognitive-behavioral milestones necessary for academic success. The article concludes with a consideration of the qualitative similarity hypothesis and a finding that the hypothesis is valid, but only if it can be presented as being modality independent.