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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2011, Article ID 326379, 8 pages
Research Article

“Down the Language Rabbit Hole with Alice”: A Case Study of a Deaf Girl with a Cochlear Implant

1Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Lamar University, P.O. Box 10076, Beaumont, TX 77710, USA
2Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Lamar University, P.O. Box 10076, Beaumont, TX 77710, USA

Received 11 June 2011; Revised 8 August 2011; Accepted 19 August 2011

Academic Editor: Ingeborg Dhooge

Copyright © 2011 Jean F. Andrews and Vickie Dionne. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alice, a deaf girl who was implanted after age three years of age was exposed to four weeks of storybook sessions conducted in American Sign Language (ASL) and speech (English). Two research questions were address: (1) how did she use her sign bimodal/bilingualism, codeswitching, and code mixing during reading activities and (2) what sign bilingual code-switching and code-mixing strategies did she use while attending to stories delivered under two treatments: ASL only and speech only. Retelling scores were collected to determine the type and frequency of her codeswitching/codemixing strategies between both languages after Alice was read to a story in ASL and in spoken English. Qualitative descriptive methods were utilized. Teacher, clinician and student transcripts of the reading and retelling sessions were recorded. Results showed Alice frequently used codeswitching and codeswitching strategies while retelling the stories retold under both treatments. Alice increased in her speech production retellings of the stories under both the ASL storyreading and spoken English-only reading of the story. The ASL storyreading did not decrease Alice’s retelling scores in spoken English. Professionals are encouraged to consider the benefits of early sign bimodal/bilingualism to enhance the overall speech, language and reading proficiency of deaf children with cochlear implants.