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Teaching Deaf Children How to Read Research Paper


Abstract

As time goes by, a typical hearing-impaired student demonstrates a mounting gap in language growth, understanding and constructing intricate sentences, and experience hardship in forming ideas as judged against students with standard hearing. In most cases, a hearing-impaired child pretends to comprehend issues thus reducing the learning chances for the student to a bare minimum.

This calls for the facilitative stratagems for deaf students to incorporate diverse facets of communication. This is compounded by the fact that deafness is not a visible disability. This means that it is possible for teachers to fail to acknowledge the disability and treat him/her as an ordinary student. Since deafness varies in degree, it becomes hard to implement an effective method of teaching deaf students.

While one strategy might work effectively for one student, the same strategy might fail to work for a different student. This research paper introduces the reader into understanding the steps taken in teaching a hearing-impaired child.

The paper also discusses the manipulatives used in the process and examines if deaf children can learn phonics. The reason of the study is to examine how parents and teachers of deaf children approach the issue. The paper also seeks to examine if the strategies used in teaching hearing-impaired students are effective.

Introduction

As time goes by, a typical hearing-impaired student demonstrates a mounting gap in language growth, understanding and constructing intricate sentences, and experience hardship in forming ideas as judged against students with standard hearing. In most cases, a hearing-impaired child pretends to comprehend issues thus reducing the learning chances for the student to a bare minimum.

This calls for the facilitative stratagems for deaf students to incorporate diverse facets of communication. This is compounded by the fact that deafness is not a visible disability. This means that it is possible for teachers to fail to acknowledge the disability and treat him/her as an ordinary student.

Since deafness varies in degree, it becomes hard to implement an effective method of teaching deaf students. While one strategy might work effectively for one student, the same strategy might fail to work for a different student. (Keller, 2005)

The success of the program therefore depends on the degree of deafness and the environmental preparation of the student. This research paper introduces the reader into understanding the steps taken in teaching a hearing-impaired child. The paper also discusses the manipulatives used in the process and examines if deaf children can learn phonics.

The reason of the study is to examine how parents and teachers of deaf children approach the issue. The paper also seeks to examine if the strategies used in teaching hearing-impaired students are effective.

The main sources of data used in the research are mainly secondary i.e. electronic media and online libraries. The report also relies in some part on primary data gotten from interviewing parents of deaf children and their teachers. (Dark, 2010)

Approaching Hearing Impairment

The approach toward which parents and guardians approach the hearing impairment in a child is as important as the steps taken in teaching the deaf child. When parents first learn that their young child is not hearing, they should note this fact and immediately notify a pediatrician. The pediatrician examines the child further and refers the case to an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist.

The ENT specialist commonly known as otolaryngologist proceeds to appraise the evidence presented by the parents and the pediatrician. The ENT specialist examines the inner and outer ear structure or refers the case to an audiologist for more complicated cases. During the testing process, the audiologist takes time to examine the history of the child.

The child is then taken to a soundproof facility where their response to an audiometer is assessed. All this is done to gauge the degree of deafness for the child in question. During this process, some deafness levels can be corrected through the fitting of hearing aids. In the severe cases, the parents are required to locate schools that particularly deal with deaf children.

The most important thing about the appraisal process is that a parent and the teachers get to know the most effective method of teaching the deaf child by following the degree of deafness for the child. This then makes the testing and evaluation of the child a strategic part of the teaching process. (Newman, 1998)

Once a family realizes that their child has a hearing impairment, they are usually at a loss as to the best communication decision to use. Different professionals are then brought into the picture to propose the best options and their approach. In most cases, families pass on the mantle of making of important decisions to these professionals.

It is however important for families to realize that there are no best options for an individual child. This calls for the family to give the first priority to the interest of the child against their morals, ideas, aspirations, financial ability, and their standard of living.

Any method used in teaching the child therefore requires the participation of the family, dedication, and cautious supervision. It is important for families to realize that the success of any chosen model of depends on the love that they show on the child.

A family should therefore do thorough research to familiarize itself with the various modes of teaching used for their hearing-impaired child. (Lynn, 2008)

The Teaching Process

According to Schwartz (1996), the steps taken in teaching deaf students largely depend on some basic approaches. These approaches are classified in to five categories namely:

  1. the Auditory Verbal Approach (AVA)
  2. the Bilingual-Bicultural (Bi-Bi) Approach
  3. Use of Phonics (Cued Speech)
  4. The Verbal Approach
  5. Overall Communiqué

The Auditory Verbal Approach (AVA)

Almost all children with hearing impairment possess a level of hearing capability that can be enlarged to give them the ability to listen and talk. The Auditory-Verbal Approach is mainly used in achieving this important task. This step relies heavily on the attendance record of the student and their approach to communiqué and societal improvement.

Another principle that the AVA rests on is that the hearing-impaired child can be taught to listen, process language, and learn how to converse. This is only possible with the help of the regular Auditory Verbal therapy involving both the parent and the involved child. In order for this to be effective, it should be individualized, be personal and involve both analytical and rigid processes.

The other principle that the AVA depends on is the availability of counseling and support programs to help the student participate in communal gatherings, society, and the normal learning classrooms and behavior. The A-V approach requires a range of 6-18 months to gauge its success.

This is accomplished by analyzing the objective and procedures used by the parent in the normal daily activities for the child. In order for it to be effective, the A-V team incorporates the services of an otolaryngologist, an audiologist, social development worker, professional psychotherapist, a speech-language pathologist, and a school representative. (Schwartz, 1996, p. 90)

The Bilingual and Bicultural Approach

The Bi-Bi employs the use of the American Sign Language (ASL) in the class setting and tutors English as a secondary language through interpretation and script. This step involves instructing the students and parents in the hearing-impairment background. This is done through examining the record, principles, traditions, and achievements of the hearing-impaired society.

During this stage, children acquire a well-built visual language to equip them with the essential judgment and erudition skills. This enables them to develop a vigorous self-esteem through associating with other hearing-impaired folks. English is taught as a second language because ASL is a very different language. ASL has a different sentence structure, language rules, and semantics and unlike English, it is continually developing.

ASL is a quick, well-organized and inclusive language that allows children to acquire linguistic rudiments during the crucial development years. If implemented well, this step enables students to perform better both socially and academically as compared to other deaf students who forego this step. (Schwartz, 1996, p. 123)

Cued Speech

Cued Speech or the use of phonics is a teaching system where letters or letter groups are represented by the speech sound they make. A good example is where eight hand shapes placed together represent clusters of consonant noise while four locations at the face represent sets of vowel sounds. When they are combined, these signs show the exact articulation of each syllable in linked dialogue.

This results in a visible, understandable interpretation of language. Since consonants may resemble when they are shaped with the lips, the use of different hand shapes accurately denotes them. The trained recipient is also able to recognize the exact consonant-vowel grouping by merely watching the hand shape at any facial location.

Since the handshapes and the facial locations denote a group of consonant or syllables, the student must identify the exact phoneme by lip-reading. This means that cued speech is not a new language but rather a system of clarifying phonemes in the cue that they are represented.

This enhances the normal development of the deaf child’s indigenous family language through a recognizable phonetic advance to talking, analysis, meaning, and articulation. (Schwartz, 1996, p. 201)

Oral Approach

This is a step of learning where a deaf student is required to use only speech during personal communication, and desist from the use of any form of sign language. This is based on the belief that image strategies block hearing skills. Several philosophies are considered in the application of this step of learning.

In reality, a multisensory approach permits audible range, sight, and the feel of things to teach kids how to comprehend and create words. The unisensory technique depends on residual hearing without necessarily incorporating the advantage of lip reading.

This step of learning puts emphasis on the need for the hearing–impaired student to perform well in academics and integrate at a maximum level with his/her hearing colleagues. Since talking is meant to be heard and not seen, deaf children are only able to learn about 30% by mastering lip reading. This calls for the use of other methods like the use of phonics to complete the remaining information.

While writing language is a form of presenting speech patterns to the deaf, it is incapable of instructing them how to talk since tone and the talking rhythm can only be processed through hearing. This makes the use of oral hearing unsuitable for a profoundly (90-120 db) deaf child. (Schwartz, 1996, p. 246)

Total Communication

The total communication model seeks to teach the hearing-impaired using a manual sign system. This mode of learning uses manually coded English (MCE) that magnifies residual hearing while using speech and speech reading. MCE requires much time to grasp and this might place unwanted demands on the memory. Total communication programs may incorporate diverse strategies in clusters or individually to teach the deaf.

This might incorporate the use of codes, demonstrations, speech, magnification, and fingers spelling. The parents are taught on how to introduce the learned signs and gestures to go hand in hand with speech. This step of learning is based on the knowledge that language can be seen and gestured just as it is spoken and heard. (Schwartz, 1996, p. 298)

Determining the step that is to be taken in teaching the deaf child largely depends on certain things. These include the degree of deafness, the family wants, choices, gifts, finances, and the eventual goal of the chosen approach. It is therefore important to carefully study and research on any chosen method in order to ensure its effectiveness.

Regardless of the chosen model, any deaf child needs to receive some basic learning in a normal education facility. Their performance is then used a basis for recommendation into special institutions. If used in the right manner, any step chosen to teach a deaf child can be successful. If introduced earlier on in life, children can effectively learn how to use phonics or cued speech.

It is however important to note that the success of any chosen method of learning depends largely on the commitment and willingness of the concerned parties. Before taking any decisive steps on the right model for teaching the deaf, it is important to first subject the child to a series of tests to test their degree of deafness.

This guides the parent and the teacher on the right model of educating their child. (National Association of the Deaf, n.d)

Conclusion

Confronting any level of deafness can be an agonizing and intricate affair for any family. However, this important step allows parents and educators to determine the right step to take in educating the child. Any step taken directly influences and dictates the child’s societal and education prospect. By following the right directions and manipulatives, any chosen approach has the potential to yield positive results.

The use of cued language or phonics has greatly helped hearing-impaired students to understand phonemes in the cue that they are represented. The success with which the use of phonics has manifested itself shows that the deaf children have the potential of performing even better than how their normal peers perform.

However, this relies heavily on the ability to choose the right approach and the educators experience in employing all the manipulatives involved in the process.

References

Dark, J. (2010) Educating the Deaf Child. Web.

Keller, E. (2005) Strategies for Teaching Students with Hearing Impairments. Web.

Lynn, M. (2008) Inclusion and hearing Loss. Tips for Teaching a Student with a Hearing Loss. Web.

National Association of the Deaf. (n.d) . Web.

Newman, R. (1998) Degrees of Deafness: From Discovery to Education. Web.

Schwartz, S. (1996) Choices in deafness: A parent’s guide to communication options, 12, 90-300. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.

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IvyPanda. (2019, August 13). Teaching Deaf Children How to Read. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/teaching-deaf-children-how-to-read/

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"Teaching Deaf Children How to Read." IvyPanda, 13 Aug. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/teaching-deaf-children-how-to-read/.

1. IvyPanda. "Teaching Deaf Children How to Read." August 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/teaching-deaf-children-how-to-read/.


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IvyPanda. "Teaching Deaf Children How to Read." August 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/teaching-deaf-children-how-to-read/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Teaching Deaf Children How to Read." August 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/teaching-deaf-children-how-to-read/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Teaching Deaf Children How to Read'. 13 August.

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