A Naturalistic Study of Collaborative Play Transformations of Preschoolers with Hearing Impairments

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Through collaborative play activities, preschoolers create fantasy-type enactments by using abstract transformations and verbal metacommunications. This naturalistic study examines the classroom collaborative play activities of nine preschoolers who are hearing-impaired, are language-delayed, and do not use sign language. Results demonstrate that these children construct collaborative play episodes which incorporate role, action, and object transformations, and use a nonverbal metacommunication system to convey information about these transformations to their play partners. The findings suggest that the preschoolers in this study might also be dependent on the play environment and the objects available in that environment to plan and coordinate their pretend play enactments.

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