• Question: I’m interested in the effect of sign language on English language and literacy skills in hearing, and in bilingualism in general and its effect on literacy.

    Asked by gertzerl17 to Sarah, Rebecca, Mark, Katie, Jessie, Courtenay on 27 Feb 2018.
    • Photo: Mark Mon-Williams

      Mark Mon-Williams answered on 27 Feb 2018:

      These are really interesting questions! I tend to think in terms of information – so sign language MIGHT provide additional information that could aid literacy etc. An interesting research question!

    • Photo: Rebecca Merkley

      Rebecca Merkley answered on 27 Feb 2018:

      There is a lot of mixed evidence about the effects of bilingualism on literacy. This is a gross oversimplification, but I think the general picture is that learning a second language seems to cause some delays in early vocabulary and literacy. But, bilingual children seem to eventually ‘catch up’ to their monolingual peers.

    • Photo: Katie Gilligan

      Katie Gilligan answered on 27 Feb 2018:

      I think Roberto Filipi is doing lots of work on the effects of bilingualism on cognition in general- and it seems to be beneficial to cognition more generally! https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roberto_Filippi

    • Photo: Sarah McGeown

      Sarah McGeown answered on 27 Feb 2018:

      There are a number of researchers in the UK conducting research in this area – Claudine Bowyer Crane and Lynne Duncan spring to mind.