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27 - Notes on Korean Sign Language

from Part I - Language acquisition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Chungmin Lee
Affiliation:
Seoul National University
Greg B. Simpson
Affiliation:
University of Kansas
Youngjin Kim
Affiliation:
Ajou University, Republic of Korea
Ping Li
Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University
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Summary

Abstract

The current circumstances of deaf education in Korea are very similar to those in the USA of the 1970s, when the study of American Sign Language (ASL) as a first language was in its infancy. A very brief sketch of the historical shifts in the mode of communication in classrooms for deaf children in North America reveals that it followed a course of oral-only options before 1960, through the Total Communication model in the early 1960s, to the ASL-English bilingual-bicultural approaches in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Given the long-standing controversy between the current approach and other approaches, it is worth making a survey of the historical shifts in the mode of communication handling of Korean deaf children in the classroom.

The purpose of this paper is to offer an overview of Korean Sign Language (KSL). The first part starts with a history of sign language in Korea and ends with a review of recent studies on the relationship between Korean literacy and modes of communication such as oralism, Korean Standard Sign Language, and KSL. Second, I present a short review of recent research on the debate about modes of communication with regard to the acquisition of sign language. Third, I give a brief review of distinguished research on the linguistic properties of KSL, followed by a brief outline of the remarkable research on KSL translation systems.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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