A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Use and acquisition of mouth actions in L2 sign language learners
2021. Johanna Mesch, Krister Schönström. Sign Language and Linguistics 4 (1)Article
This article deals with L2 acquisition of a sign language, examining in particular the use and acquisition of non-manual mouth actions performed by L2 learners of Swedish Sign Language. Based on longitudinal data from an L2 learner corpus, we describe the distribution, frequency, and spreading patterns of mouth actions in sixteen L2 learners at two time points. The data are compared with nine signers of an L1 control group.
The results reveal some differences in the use of mouth actions between the groups. The results are specifically related to the category of mouthing borrowed from spoken Swedish. L2 signers show an increased use of mouthing compared to L1 signers. Conversely, L1 signers exhibit an increased use of reduced mouthing compared with L2 signers. We also observe an increase of adverbial mouth gestures within the L2 group. The results are discussed in relation to previous findings, and within the framework of cross-linguistic influence.
Spelling in Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Hearing Children With Sign Language Knowledge
2019. Moa Gärdenfors, Victoria Johansson, Krister Schönström. Frontiers in Psychology 10Article
What do spelling errors look like in children with sign language knowledge but with variation in hearing background, and what strategies do these children rely on when they learn how to spell in written language? Earlier research suggests that the spelling of children with hearing loss is different, because of their lack of hearing, which requires them to rely on other strategies. In this study, we examine whether, and how, different variables such as hearing degree, sign language knowledge and bilingualism may affect the spelling strategies of children with Swedish sign language, Svenskt teckenspråk, (STS) knowledge, and whether these variables can be mirrored in these children’s spelling. The spelling process of nineteen children with STS knowledge (mean age: 10.9) with different hearing degrees, born into deaf families, is described and compared with a group of fourteen hearing children without STS knowledge (mean age: 10.9). Keystroke logging was used to investigate the participants’ writing process. The spelling behavior of the children was further analyzed and categorized into different spelling error categories. The results indicate that many children showed exceptionally few spelling errors compared to earlier studies, that may derive from their early exposure of STS, enabling them to use the fingerspelling strategy. All of the children also demonstrated similar typing skills. The deaf children showed a tendency to rely on a visual strategy during spelling, which may result in incorrect, but visually similar, words, i.e., a type of spelling errors not found in texts by hearing children with STS knowledge. The deaf children also showed direct transfer from STS in their spelling. It was found that hard-of-hearing children together with hearing children of deaf adults (CODAs), both with STS knowledge, used a sounding strategy, rather than a visual strategy. Overall, this study suggests that the ability to hear and to use sign language, together and respectively, play a significant role for the spelling patterns and spelling strategies used by the children with and without hearing loss.
Deaf lecturers’ translanguaging in a higher education setting. A multimodal multilingual perspective
2018. Ingela Holmström, Krister Schönström. Applied Linguistics Review 9 (1), 90-111Article
In a few universities around the world courses are offered where the primary language of instruction is a national sign language. Many of these courses are given by bilingual/multilingual deaf lecturers, skilled in both national sign language(s) and spoken/written language(s). Research on such deaf-led practices in higher education are lacking, and this study will contribute to a greater understanding of these practices. Drawing on ethnographically created data from a higher education setting in Sweden, this case study examines the use of different languages and modalities by three deaf lecturers when teaching deaf and hearing (signing) students in theoretic subjects. The analysis is based on video-recordings of the deaf lecturers during classroom activities at a basic university level in which Swedish Sign Language (SSL) is used as the primary language. The results illustrate how these deaf lecturers creatively use diverse semiotic resources in several modes when teaching deaf and hearing (signing) students, which creates practices of translanguaging. This is illustrated by classroom activities in which the deaf lecturers use different language and modal varieties, including sign languages SSL and ASL as well as Swedish, and English, along with PowerPoint and whiteboard notes. The characteristics of these multimodal-multilingual resources and the usage of them will be closely presented in this article.