The body plays: symbolic resources in deaf children make-believe

Flavia Faissal de Souza Daniele Nunes Henrique Silva About the authors

Based on the assumptions of historical-cultural perspective of human development, especially Lev Seminovich Vigotski contributions, this paper debates the usages of language resources by preschool aged deaf children in the configuration of symbolic roles exchanged on play. Two investigative episodes recorded on video in a toy-library were used as empirical material. The analysis highlights the process of appropriation of symbolic roles, in which words (LIBRAS) and body (gestures) articulate themselves in order to give meaning to make-believe. In this sense, it is in the play choreography that deaf children make explicit who they are and explain what issue is being played, by setting the roles and the social rules that they will play. As a conceptual conclusion, one may say that body is a fundamental linguistic component in the constitution of senses and meanings produced in playful activity, promoting possibilities of subjective expression to the child who plays.

Deafness child; play; sign language


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