Barbara R. Schirmer and Cheri Williams
The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the research on approaches to reading instruction with deaf students. Although the body of research literature on the reading processes of deaf students consistently generates implications for instruction, relatively few studies have investigated instructional interventions with deaf readers. Brief descriptions of the research published before 2000 are offered in this chapter, except in cases of early seminal studies and lone studies in major areas, as a foundation for understanding the current research that is described in greater detail. The chapter concludes with a discussion of implications for future research on instructional approaches that could serve to inform teacher practice.
Jenny L. Singleton and Samuel J. Supalla
This chapter reviews published or known assessments of children’s language proficiency across a number of the world’s signed languages, including American Sign Language, British Sign Language, Australian Sign Language, Sign Language of the Netherlands, and German Sign Language. Critical issues in sign language assessment are also discussed, with special attention to possible threats to test reliability and validity. For example, test examiners may doubt the authenticity of the elicited language sample from a deaf, signing child, or test developers may question whether an adaptation of a spoken-language test is appropriate for use with deaf, signing children. The authors conclude that there remains a critical need in many countries for commercially available, and easy to administer, signed language proficiency assessments for use in research and education settings with deaf and hearing individuals.
Ed Baines and Peter Blatchford
This chapter examines the role of school playground games in children’s development. Games and play take place in a range of settings, both in and outside of the home, in gardens, parks, on the streets, designated playgrounds, or other locations. They also take place and are often studied on the school playground and this will be the main context in which the role of games and other playground activities will be discussed here. The school playground is a useful research site because it is one of the few locations where children interact in a relatively safe environment, free of adult control, and when their play, games, and social relations are more their own. There is an appreciation by many researchers that much can be learned about children from studying their behavior and experiences whilst engaged in play and games (see Blatchford & Sharp, 1994; Pellegrini, 2005; Pellegrini & Blatchford, 2000; Smith, 1994; Sutton-Smith, 1982). Although playground activities express something about the individual child, individuals on the playground are situated and live their lives in complex social structures. Social structures involve and are expressed through, for example, play, games, even hanging around, and the study of playground activity can help with the understanding of peer relations in terms of friendship, peer groups, and social status. A key message in this chapter therefore is that if we want to find out about children’s social and psychological development, including their relationships with peers and the acquisition of social and cognitive skills, then we need to study how these arise out of the everyday reality of children’s playful activities and interactions with others in everyday contexts.
The chapter draws mainly on psychological research on games and social activities that children participate in during middle childhood and to some extent adolescence. There are five main sections which cover the following issues: the current status and context of play outside and inside school; definitions of games and perspectives on their role in development; how games and social activities change with development during and beyond middle childhood, how this varies by sex, and how games are learned from other children; the role playground games have in supporting peer relationships and the development of social-cognitive skills; the role of games in relation to learning and engagement in the classroom, school belonging, and adjustment.
For illustration, we draw on several of our own research projects, in particular the Nuffield Foundation-funded national surveys of recess (or breaktime as it is called in the UK) in schools (conducted in 1995 and 2006) and pupil views on recess and social life outside of school (Blatchford & Baines, 2006; Blatchford & Sumpner, 1996), and a Spencer Foundation-funded project on playground activities and peer relations in UK and US schools (Baines & Blatchford, 2009; Blatchford, Baines & Pellegrini, 2003; Pellegrini, Kato, Blatchford & Baines, 2002; Pellegrini, Blatchford, Kato & Baines, 2004). Reported data will come in the main from the UK part of this project, including unreported data from a three-year follow up, unless otherwise stated. We will refer to these as the ‘Nuffield’ and ‘Spencer’ projects, respectively.
Sue Archbold and Alexandra Wheeler
Cochlear implants have now become a routine intervention for profoundly deaf children in many countries, providing useful hearing and changing the educational options and communication choices for many. With increasing newborn hearing screening and the introduction of technology earlier than ever into family life, the experiences of families with deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) children are changing in many respects, yet in some respects the issues remain the same. For the first time, we have families that must make decisions about their child’s future in this technology-driven era. We also have large groups of young people who, for the first time, have grown up with an implant, and other young people who are choosing implants for themselves. There has been great controversy about cochlear implantation over the years, and concerns that young people with implants will have greater socioemotional difficulties than before. This chapter explores the issues surrounding cochlear implantation and families, including what we know of parental perceptions about decision making, and the expectations and outcomes from implantation, particularly educational outcomes. It also explores the current research on young people with implantation and what they themselves are telling us about life after childhood implantation.
Communication Choices and Outcomes During the Early Years:: An Assessment and Evidence-based Approach
A longstanding debate attempts to identify the best approach to language learning for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Empirical evidence has not provided an answer. Each communication approach has been demonstrated to work with some children; it then becomes the responsibility of an early interventionist or educator to participate in the selection of an approach that supports the development of effective and age-appropriate communication and language for the individual child. This chapter describes the language approaches available to children with hearing loss. Historical approaches and recent adaptations are presented according to the modality or modes that are used. An extensive review of procedures, old and new, dedicated to the use of objective and prescriptive procedures to select an approach is discussed. A recent movement to use evidence-based practices (EBP) to document developmental outcomes of children is described, along with the challenges associated with implementing this practice.
Michael S. Stinson
This chapter considers six key educational technologies that are used with deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students: (1) television and in-class captioning, (2) interactive whiteboards, (3) tablet PCs, (4) World Wide Web, (5) sign language and bilingual media, and (6) handheld technologies. In regard to television captioning, neither a slower rate of displaying captions nor less linguistic complexity consistently enhances performance. In addition, classroom-captioning services appear to produce either equal or increased student performance compared to interpreting services. Although interactive whiteboards appear to have considerable education potential, reports of the use of these whiteboards with DHH students have been descriptions of experiences instead of empirical research. Tablet PCs appear to have potential in educating DHH students, however, studies that include more than a few students and thorough objective measurement are needed to provide reliable findings. Web-based instruction can promote the learning of content by DHH students when the material engages them, and web-based instruction through online learning provides a means for direct, asynchronous, text-based communication between DHH and hearing students. Many, if not most, DHH people usually carry with them a handheld technology, primarily for communication purposes.
Des Power and Greg Leigh
In this chapter “curriculum” is taken to refer to all of the arrangements that are made for student learning—planned and unintended—not just the documents that outline content, objectives, and procedures (the syllabus). For students who are deaf or hard of hearing, aspects of the curriculum will be determined by how deafness is defined, what is valued, and perceptions of what a “deaf life” may mean. In particular, issues such as the developers’ perspectives on deafness (“sociocultural” or “medical”), program location (regular or separate school), methods of communication (auditory-oral only, sign language, or some combination), and the likely nature of post-school life for deaf people (engagement with the Deaf community) will be critical in determining curriculum content and outcomes. This chapter considers these issues and argues that the curriculum development process should consider the full range of possible social, cultural, and communicative contexts for deaf learners in establishing objectives and learning experiences for them. The determination of curriculum objectives for deaf and hard hard-of of-hearing students is also influenced by the often-noted difficulties they have with the language of education. The chapter considers “curriculum areas” such as mathematics, science, and social studies and recent developments in the use of multi-media applications from the particular perspective of deaf learners. The role of “Deaf Studies” in school curricula is also canvassed, as are the implications for deaf students of their placement in regular or separate educational settings. Finally, assessment of curriculum outcomes is considered, both within the school setting and for deaf students’ participation in state and national testing regimes.
Jan van Dijk, Catherine Nelson, Albert Postma, and Rick van Dijk
The population of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) and have additional disabilities is a large and diverse one. The additional disabilities may be relatively mild (e.g., learning disability), but others are more severe. The emphasis of this chapter is on the latter group. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may also have intellectual disabilities (ID), autism, or they may be deafblind. Their disabilities can be due to many factors including genetic syndromes; problems that occur before, during, or slightly after birth; or infections such as meningitis or injuries such as traumatic brain injury that are acquired later in life. The purposes of this chapter are to (a) delineate and describe several of the major causative factors, and (b) present important evidence-based practices that have the potential to enhance the communication, education, and quality of life of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and have additional severe disabilities.
H-Dirksen L. Bauman and Joseph J. Murray
This article provides an overview of the field of Deaf Studies, as it has emerged in the latter part of the 20th century, and then provides a new rhetorical frame for future directions that this field may take in the 21st century. Historically, Deaf Studies and Deaf communities have been put on the defensive, as they have been constructed within frames of “deafness as lack” and “disability.” Within these constructions, attempts to rid society of deafness have been conducted as “progress,” whether through 19th- and early 20th-century eugenics, or contemporary medical interventions and denial of signed languages in deaf education. The result has been a precipitous decline in the usage of sign language among deaf children at a time when, ironically, research shows cognitive benefits of sign language for hearing children. A vigorous response to the human right of sign language education for deaf children can best be found in reframing deafness, not as a lack, but as a form of human diversity capable of making vital contributions to the greater good of society. We refer to this notion as the opposite of hearing loss: Deaf-gain. This article explores the cognitive, creative, and cultural aspects of Deaf-gain, with specific examples, from discoveries about the human capacity for language, advances in visual learning, and creative insights into architecture, literature, and collectivist cultural patterns. In the end, deaf people may be seen through a lens of human diversity and, therefore, worth valuing as they are, without recourse to ‘normalization.’
Writing is a complex cognitive activity requiring the coordination of graphomotor and cognitive-linguistic abilities, as well as knowledge of social, rhetorical, and text production conventions (Singer & Bashir, 2004>). All of these must be managed in the process of learning to write, and ultimately, writing to learn—whether the process is viewed from a cognitive or a sociocultural perspective (Nystrand, 2006). To consider these demands in relation to the deaf writer, a summary and analysis of studies examining written language development and achievement in the deaf population is presented in this chapter. Relationships among spoken and signed language, and reading and writing are identified, and shifts in pedagogical approach are discussed. Issues and shortcomings related to effectively assessing and reporting the quality of written language for purposes of both research and pedagogy are also addressed. The chapter concludes by considering areas for future research including the potential impact of cochlear implantation on written language development.
This chapter reviews research on the development of American Sign Language, mostly in deaf children with deaf parents. It examines what we know about early aspects of development, including babbling, phonological development, early lexical development, gestures and pointing. Morphological development is described for verb agreement, the acquisition of classifiers, and facial grammar. It reviews the development of syntax and spatial mapping. The development of manually-coded English (MCE) systems is also examined, including lexical, grammatical, and morphological development in young children with a hearing loss.
Peter J. Blamey and Julia Z. Sarant
Studies of speech perception, production, phonology, morphology, syntax, and vocabulary for deaf and hard-of-hearing children tend to show a normal sequence of developments at a slower than normal rate. There is a wide range of performance at every age and every degree of hearing loss, although there appears to be a critical level of hearing loss at about 90 dB HL, separating “deaf” from “hard-of-hearing” children. Experimental data show that deaf children who receive cochlear implants within a few years of the onset of deafness perform similarly to hard-of-hearing children. Factors that are most successful in explaining the variability include characteristics of the child’s home and education, intelligence, and age at intervention. These factors can promote or retard language learning regardless of the degree of hearing. There is emerging evidence that neonatal screening, early intervention using language-based methods, modern hearing aids, and cochlear implants are increasing the proportion of children achieving age-appropriate spoken language, however there is still a large proportion of hard-of-hearing children who do not reach this level.
This chapter addresses two main issues. The first concerns the distinctive characteristics of successful communication strategies for young children with significant hearing losses, showing how these differ from successful communication strategies for young hearing children. Studies of parent–toddler communication are reviewed in order to identify features of good practice in the achievement of joint attention and the use of contingent language by the adult that serves to facilitate the young child’s transition into language. The second part of the chapter considers the early use of language by deaf children who are acquiring a sign language—drawing on data from American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL)—and those who are acquiring oral language. The rate of vocabulary development is considered, as well as the form and meaning of early signs and words. Evidence for the existence of specific language impairment in deaf children and its implications are also discussed. The chapter concludes by considering the impact of newborn hearing screening and early cochlear implantation on the development of early language and communication skills.
Research and legislative and policy initiatives have greatly facilitated the provision of services for infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. The expansion of newborn hearing screening programs has resulted in more children enrolled in birth-to-three programs at earlier ages. Results from an increasing number of studies that focus on young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families have contributed to an expanding knowledge base regarding the significance of specific family-involvement variables, the acquisition of language and communication skills, collaboration and partnerships, and program characteristics that impact child and family outcomes. Advances in early identification of hearing loss and improved auditory and visual technologies are challenging the field to provide high quality professionals able to implement comprehensive and effective programs. Expectations for young deaf or hard-of-hearing children and their families have never been higher. Yet challenges remain to ensure that all children achieve linguistic and developmental milestones equal to those of their hearing peers.
Early Language Acquisition and Adult Language Ability:: What Sign Language Reveals About the Critical Period for Language
Rachel I. Mayberry
This chapter examines the critical period for language through the prism of deafness. The first topic is the concept of critical periods, followed by a summary of research investigating age of acquisition effects on the outcome of second-language learning (L2). The phenomenon of late first-language (L1) acquisition among deaf children is then described. The focus of this chapter is on a series of studies that compare and contrast the long-range outcome of L1 and L2 acquisition in relation to age of acquisition. The effects of late L1 acquisition are greater than those for L2 learning. The effects include a compromised ability to process and understand all forms of language. Late L1 acquisition has deleterious effects on the ability to learn other languages and on reading development. The findings come from experiments in American Sign Language (ASL) and English using a variety of psycholinguistic paradigms across levels of linguistic structure and include narrative comprehension and shadowing, sentence shadowing and memory, grammatical judgment, and reading comprehension. How these psycholinguistic phenomena illuminate the critical period for language is then discussed.
Michael S. Stinson and Thomas N Kluwin
The education of the deaf in the United States is every bit as diverse as is American education itself (Moores, 1996, Stewart & Kluwin, 2000). Today, a deaf or hard-of-hearing child could find herself in a public, private, or parochial school, in a residential program, or in a day program. A teacher of the deaf could spend his entire career in one school in a small town or ride the subway in a big city from one school to another. This diversity in part reflects the continuum of types of educational placement available in the United States today. This continuum is important because individual deaf students have different levels of need for support (Schirmer, 2001). The term “deaf ” will be used here to refer to the full range of deaf and hard-of-hearing students who receive special educational services.). This chapter discusses the following four categories of alternative placements: (a) separate schools, (b) resource rooms and separate classes, (c) general education classes, and (d) co-enrollment classes. Two questions that immediately occur regarding these options are: “What are the differences in the experiences of students in these alternative placement types?” “What are the differences in the characteristics and attainments of students in these placement types?” A more complex question isasks “Is it possible to relate these different educational experiences to characteristics and attainments of the students?” That is, do different experiences produce different educational consequences? The second and third sections of this chapter consider the research that best answers these questions. The first section provides background, description, and conceptualization that aids understanding of the research that this chapter reviews and of thinking in the field in regard to alternative types of placement.
Harry Knoors and Mathijs P. J. Vervloed
Many deaf children have multiple disabilities. In this chapter the concept ‘“multiple disabilities’ disabilities” is explained. Subsequently etiology is discussed, followed by information about deafblindness, deafness and autism, and deafness and intellectual disabilities. Educational accommodations, including assessment, access to communication and language (including cochlear implantation), and curricula for deafblind children, are the subject of the remainder of this chapter.
Effective Instruction for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students:: Teaching Strategies, School Settings, and Student Characteristics
Harry Knoors and Daan Hermans
Answering the question of what constitutes qualitatively good instruction for deaf students entails an analysis of what actually defines quality of instruction in education in general; what, in addition, is needed for effective instruction for deaf students; and, finally, to what extent special and regular schools are able to provide quality instruction to deaf students. This chapter explores these issues: What emerges from this exploration is a picture that is, at best, fragmented. Under specific conditions, it seems possible for deaf students to learn as much as their hearing peers, at least in postsecondary education. Whether these conditions are met frequently and in different educational settings is simply unknown. What we do know is that regular and special schools face different challenges in educating deaf students. Teaching mixed-ability groups (with respect to communication, language, literacy, and cognition) certainly is a challenge to teachers in these settings, and this challenge deserves much more attention in teacher training and coaching, since adaptive instruction seems problematic both in regular and in special education. To increase our knowledge about effective instruction for deaf students in different settings and at different education levels, we need more research and more focused research. Preliminary efforts in this direction are discussed in this chapter.
Irit Meir, Wendy Sandler, Carol Padden, and Mark Aronoff
Emerging sign languages may be divided into two types: village sign languages and Deaf community sign languages. Village sign languages develop within small communities or villages where transmission is within and between families. They include languages such as Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL, Israel), Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language (United States), Ban Khor Sign Language (Thailand), Kata Kolok Sign Language (Bali), and Adamarobe Sign Language (Ghana). Deaf community sign languages arise from bringing together unrelated signers of different backgrounds in locations such as cities or schools. In such cases (e.g., Nicaraguan Sign Language and Israeli Sign Language [ISL]), language learning takes place in large measure between peers. We assume that the social conditions under which a language develops interact with the development of its linguistic structure. Emerging sign languages are crucial for developing and evaluating such assumptions. Because of their young age, much is known about the social conditions and histories of their communities, and their linguistic development is observable from very early stages. These factors make emerging sign languages a natural laboratory for studying the development of linguistic structure and its interaction with the nature of the language community.
Susan R. Easterbrooks
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) and No Child Left Behind Act (2001, 2002) require teachers to use evidence-based practices (EBPs) in instruction. This is not an easy task as the evidence base in deaf education tends to be woefully lacking. This chapter begins with a discussion of the challenges that deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) children face in acquiring reading skills, focusing especially on the apparent bifurcation in the population between those with access to sound and those without. Next, it provides a review of the relations between early skills and later reading acquisition, examining those factors that are related to positive literacy outcomes. The field of literacy instruction is changing rapidly, and teachers need guidelines for reviewing the existing knowledge base. The chapter presents a discussion of levels of research effort through which educators may examine the knowledge base. In the absence of clear evidence, educators may choose to investigate practices from the perspective of their relation to correlates of language acquisition. Finally, it identifies curricula accepted for use with hearing children by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) and relates these to our evidence of their use with DHH children. In no other area of deaf education is the challenge to educators more important and complex. We must make the effort to keep abreast of newly identified EBPs as research becomes available.