Distinguishing between language difference and language disorder in deaf children who use signed language

joanna Hoskin, Hilary Dumbrill, Wolfgang Mann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper provides an overview of the use of dynamic assessment (DA) with deaf children who use signed language. It starts with background information about deaf children, including their language learning experiences, the Deaf community, and the community language culture. This provides the context for why the use of DA is important for this group of children. In order to link these background topics for a clinical or educational setting, a practitioner’s dilemma when assessing a deaf child’s language is described next. A brief overview of dynamic assessment and its history is then given. Two case studies provide examples which link theories with practical application of the DA processes. The paper concludes with a summary of the next steps needed to share DA techniques and ensure deaf children’s language is assessed within the context of their individual language learning environments. This includes taking account of the skills of the child’s communication partners, their competence in using mediated learning techniques with the child, and the child’s individual ability to benefit from intervention and demonstrate changes in their language use. This collaborative work on DA between researchers and practitioners provides a model for the iterative process of everyday practice, informing the evidence seeking process via research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference proceedings for The Annual Kurultai of the Endangered Cultural Heritage – AKECH, 3rd edition
Publication statusSubmitted - 1 Jan 2021

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