Deaf Families with Children who have Cochlear Implants: Perspectives and Beliefs on Bilingualism in American Sign Language




Mitchiner, Julie Cantrell

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study examines Deaf parents with children who have cochlear implants on their beliefs and perspectives of bilingualism in American Sign Language and English using complementary mixed methods through surveys and follow-up interviews. Seventeen families participated in the survey and eight families continued their participation in semi-formal follow-up interviews. Findings show a majority of the Deaf families in the study exhibit positive beliefs and perspectives towards using both English and ASL for their children with cochlear implants and set high expectations for their children to become equally fluent in both languages, including English. However, American Sign Language is perceived to be essential for effective communication among families as well as for developing a strong identity as a Deaf person and a foundation for learning English. Parents' beliefs and perspectives towards both languages may stem from their own experiences being Deaf and being bilingual. They value both languages as part of their children's lives for social, academic, and cognitive gains.



Bilingual education, Education, Beliefs, Bilingualism, Cochlear Implants, Deaf, Families, Perspectives