In this paper I would like to introduce the concept of Deaf cyberspace in relation to situated learning within the field of Deaf education. Given that online Deaf communities are formed within text-based and sign-based video virtual spaces and, since cyberspace is a cultural space, Deaf cyberspace can be used appropriately for Deaf students’ learning. It can form a bilingual context that can help Deaf students’ learning. Based on recent research in Deaf cyberspace, this paper will outline how Deaf cyberspace can become a part of Deaf bilingual education. Specifically, I will address the issue of language acquisition through online interactions either in written form (e.g., English) or sign language (e.g., British Sign Language). For doing so, I will present some of the features that characterise Deaf cyberspace and which enable situated learning to occur for Deaf bilingual acquisition. Accordingly, I will point the influence of online negotiations among non-native and native users (Deaf and hearing) into students' language learning based on recent research in writen and signed languages.
|Keywords:||Deaf Cyberspace, Situated Learning, Deaf Education, Bilingualism, Sign Language, Written Language|
Phd Student, Centre for Deaf Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
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