Psycholinguistic and educational implications of deafness

John D. Bonvillian, Veda R. Charrow, Keith E. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The linguistic abilities, cognitive abilities, and educational achievements of the deaf are reviewed. The evidence reviewed indicates three conclusions about the abilities of deaf persons relative to hearing persons: (1) The deaf are not deficient in intellectual competence, thus weaker skills in English and lower educational achievement require other explanations; (2) despite marked deficiencies in using and processing English,a great number of deaf persons can communicate effectively in sign language; (3) similar linguistic abilities underlie effective use of sign language and spoken language, a conclusion supported by analyses of both sign language structure and the acquisition of sign language by young deaf children. Increased use of sign language in educating the deaf is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-345
Number of pages25
JournalHuman Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1973

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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