Despite more widespread awareness about bilingualism,
many parents still worry that exposing their child
at an early age to two languages will be confusing and
cause linguistic and cognitive delays (Fish & Morford, 2012).
Again, you might be concerned about how your child will learn bilingual (two languages, ASL and English). You can start with ASL and it will blossom the language part of the brain. Eventually, your child will start developing bilingual with secondary language (English). This part of the website will share different information of bilingual language development.
What ASL/English Bilingual Early Education can look like?
California School for the Deaf, Fremont showed one of their early childhood education doing different activities to support their ASL and English.
What the Eyes Reveal About the Brain?
Gallaudet University BL2 in 2014 researched the auditory tissue development and learned that learning sign language do not have impact on shrinking the auditory tissue as many believed. Many thought auditory tissue only learning language through hearing. The discovery was that tissue is looking for patterns in either hearing or visual to support language development.
History of ASL/English Bilingualism
It is recently that studying of the bilingualism of deaf people has started. The ASL/English bilingualism currently in the deaf community is a system of minority language bilingualism. The community members learn and use both the minority language (sign language) and the majority language in its written form. They also might learn the spoken aspect.
The discussion of ASL/English bilingual instruction for deaf students has been presented in the 1970s. However, it has not started until the late 1980s and early 1990s that schools began implementing this type of instruction, and researchers began examining the relationship between the two languages.
Many deaf children in the world still do not receive a bilingual upbring from their earliest years on (Grosjean, 2010). Many Deaf adults grew up without having been given a chance to master both ASL and English. It is so vital for deaf children to be able to grow up mastering both ASL and English.
Summary of the hypothesis by Cummins (1978) and why Deaf children can be success in bilingual (ASL and English).
Rights for the Deaf Children and Families
Children acquire two languages as easily as one, become more aware of how language works through learning two languages, and profit in non-linguistic domains as well (vl2.gallaudet.edu, 2012).
Visual Language & Visual Learning (VL2) wrote research brief in June, 2012
"The Benefits of Bilingualism: Impacts on Language and Cognitive Development"