Krister Schönströms avhandling "Tvåspråkighet hos döva skolelever: Processbarhet i svenska och narrativ struktur i svenska och svenskt teckenspråk" behandlar döva specialskoleelevers tvåspråkiga utveckling. Särskilt intresserar sig avhandlingen för hur elevernas svenska och teckenspråk utvecklas i skolåldern.
This dissertation examines the language proficiency of school-aged deaf pupils from a bilingual perspective. The first aim of the study is to investigate the Swedish L2 skills of the pupils. This includes testing the validity of the Processability Theory on deaf learners of Swedish as an L2. The second aim is to investigate whether there is a correlation between proficiency in Swedish and Swedish Sign Language (SSL) as suggested in earlier research on deaf bilingualism.
This study is cross-sectional and contains data from 38 pupils (grades 5 and 10) from a school for deaf and hearing-impaired pupils in Sweden. The data consists of retellings of a cartoon in written Swedish and of free stories in SSL.
For the first part of the study, the Swedish data has been analyzed according to Processability Theory (PT). For the second part of the study, narrative structure in both the Swedish and SSL data has been analyzed. As a theoretical framework, Labov's narrative model is applied.
The results show that there is an implicational order in the informants' development of Swedish following the predicted grammatical learning order described by PT. The results therefore suggest that PT is a valid theory also for deaf learners of L2 Swedish. The conclusions regarding SSL proficiency suggest that more research about sign language as such is needed to get a deeper understanding of SSL proficiency. The results show that one narrative component of Labov's model
- Evaluation - is an important component in SSL proficiency. The results from the comparative analysis show that there is a positive statistical correlation between some Swedish and SSL variables used in this study, suggesting that skills in Swedish correlate with skills in SSL. This means that a well-developed sign language is important for the deaf to learn any written language as a second language.