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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter the communicative foundations for language development in general and those for deaf children in particular are explored. Special attention is paid to the importance of access to language, availability of language (in terms of quantity and quality of language contacts and language users), individual processing capacities, and time course (in terms of windows of opportunity). Subsequently, implications for the choices parents have in communicating with their young deaf child will be outlined and ways will be discussed how these choices may be informed at an individual level (psychoeducation, assessment) and how they may be monitored (process and outcomes) and, if necessary, adapted. In this respect the chapter builds upon the need for flexibility in language policy in deaf education as advocated in Knoors and Marschark (2012).

Keywords: communicative foundations, language development, access, availability, deaf

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