Talk: What Language Is Mother Tongue of Deaf Children of Hearing Parents?
Mother tongue is a language spoken in a country or by a certain community in which a child was born (Périer, 1992). It is acquired by a child in a natural way, gradually, without realising the effort connected with the very process (Baker, 2010). As regards hearing children, their mother tongue is a language spoken by their parents (Van den Bogaerde & Baker, 2002). However, in the case of the d/Deaf children of hearing parents, their situation seems to be more complex. Establishing proper communication between hearing parents and their d/Deaf children is not easy. Despite the fact that, like every well-developing child, d/Deaf children of hearing parents in their first year of life participate in all multi-sensory interaction with parents (Bouvet, 1996), there is no language that would enable communication between them (Szczepankowski, 1999a). The presentation illuminates upon differences and similarities between the acquisition of sign language by d/Deaf children of hearing parents and the acquisition of the phonic language by hearing children of hearing parents comparing the two processes and stressing the importance of the fact that hearing parents should use the sign language as a main communication means with their d/Deaf children.