Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Deaf Blog 27 Feb


 Bilingualism
Am I a bilingual deaf person? I thought this has become a reality for me. But I think the real issue is that I am not a 50-50 bilingual and never will be because English is my first language, and my signing is always at second language level. So what?  Or is it so what!. Actually, I think that when I am signing, as what happening in the SASL class with third years, I found that my language processing was quite different to when I talk in English. In fact, some of the students commented, unprompted on this afterwards. Umm, that had me thinking about what Claudine said the week earlier:  I am not BI bilingual. And this is ok in the same way as English speaking person is rarely a fully bilingual user of two languages, English and Afrikaans.  
And it is for this reason that I think that being bilingual is fine for most people, as long as they are honest with themselves and their respective audiences.  So this fits in with the trans-languaging view of bilingualism, and releases me from the stress and strain to be BI, but I want to be as good as I can be, through the interactions and contact with others to improve my signing as much as possible, as there is room for growth. I wonder what Prof Young thinks about this point, and how this journey evolves?
Similarly, I also wonder what Garcia would say about this. I imagine that she would go along with this point, and I need to read her paper again to build on my understanding of her argument away from equal bilingualism towards dynamic bilingualism. This leads me to the teacher’s and their experiences and where this understanding of bilingualism  is taking them, and are they happy to go along with the ride, or want to get off, or refuse to get on the roller-coaster?  Change is scary!     
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