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Vygotsky, Sign Language, and the Education of Deaf Pupils

Galina Zaitseva, Michael Pursglove and Susan Gregory
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Vol. 4, No. 1 (Winter 1999), pp. 9-15
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42658493
Page Count: 7
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Vygotsky, Sign Language, and the Education of Deaf Pupils
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Abstract

This article considers the impact of Vygotsky on the education of deaf children in Russia and is a translation/adaptation of an article currently being published in Defektologiia. While Vygotsky perceived sign language as limited in some aspects, nevertheless, he always considered that it had a role in the education of deaf pupils. He believed that sign language should not be "treated like an the enemy" and said that "bilingualism of deaf people is an objective reality." However, sign language was banned from Russian schools following a conference decision in 1938. The changing political climate in Russia has lead to the reevaluation of many aspects of life, including approaches to education, and to a reassessment of Vygotsky's ideas and an appreciation of their continuing relevance. Among other things, this has resulted in a reevaluation of the role of sign language for deaf pupils and an emerging interest in sign bilingualism.

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