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J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2012 Summer;17(3):291-305. doi: 10.1093/deafed/ens018. Epub 2012 May 9.

Language planning for the 21st century: revisiting bilingual language policy for deaf children.

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Royal Dutch Kentalis, Sint-Michielsgestel, The Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2012 Fall;17(4):535.
  • J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2013 Oct;18(4):563.


For over 25 years in some countries and more recently in others, bilingual education involving sign language and the written/spoken vernacular has been considered an essential educational intervention for deaf children. With the recent growth in universal newborn hearing screening and technological advances such as digital hearing aids and cochlear implants, however, more deaf children than ever before have the potential for acquiring spoken language. As a result, the question arises as to the role of sign language and bilingual education for deaf children, particularly those who are very young. On the basis of recent research and fully recognizing the historical sensitivity of this issue, we suggest that language planning and language policy should be revisited in an effort to ensure that they are appropriate for the increasingly diverse population of deaf children.

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