3
   

A puzzler from my kids: how do deaf people learn to read?

 
 
DrewDad
 
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 10:43 am
Yaya and Keetah are learning to read using the phonics method. They learn the sounds of the letters, learn to blend the sounds, and then can read.

So they posed me this question: Do deaf children go to school? How do they learn to read if they can't hear the sounds?

Well of course deaf children go to school, and of course they learn to read.

The stumper for me is describing to the girls the learning process. Do deaf children have to learn every word as a sight word?

Sight reading is much faster than phonic reading, but you can't learn new words "on the fly". (Jerry Pournelle has some rants about this on the web; go look them up if you want to hear the pros and cons of sight reading and phonics.) How much does sight reading affect deaf children?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 7,832 • Replies: 26
No top replies

 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 12:05 pm
There are various methods; here is just one:

Teaching Reading to the Deaf
Using Pattern Books

http://specialneedsparenting.suite101.com/article.cfm/teaching_reading_to_the_deaf_
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 12:18 pm
@contrex,
Well, that appears to teach sight reading, "fluency" as they call it, through repetition.

"This pattern of letters means 'dog'. This pattern of letters means 'bone'."

It's a very different cognitive process from learning the sounds of the words.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 12:35 pm
@DrewDad,
I took about three different classes on this one subject -- teaching reading to Deaf kids -- and there isn't a simple answer.

I'm not completely up-to-date but when I was getting my master's, there was quite a lot of controversy on how to best do it.

One method that was new at the time -- and I haven't really followed up with it -- was making a written version of ASL, that could then transition to English. That is, they'd learn to read ASL (written version) and then learn English as a second language.

Sight reading is the most common way, yes, with lots of different ways to teach that. One I liked was to use overheads and then sign a story standing next to them -- it was a way to link meaning to the words that were on the wall (only a sentence or two at a time).

Anyway, it's hard!
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 12:45 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
Anyway, it's hard!

I bet, considering the work it takes to teach a hearing child to read.

I imagine the difficulties continue, because every new word in their vocabulary has to be memorized.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 01:15 pm
@DrewDad,
I think that phonemes can be learned (just not phonetically!) -- the parts of words that go together in different ways. Once that is mastered, then it is easier to learn longer words, too.

It was a good question and good insight on your kids' part to realize the difficulty. I do know lots of deaf adults who have been deaf all their lives and are great readers/ writers -- so it's definitely doable, just hard.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 01:42 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
it's definitely doable, just hard.

Right. I got that; I'm just interested in the different cognitive processes.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 01:47 pm
@DrewDad,
bookmark
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 02:34 pm
@sozobe,
Thinking about this some more.

Teaching it by sight reading must be incredibly difficult. Pictures will do for lots of nouns, and simple actions, but there must be a huge chance of misinterpretation, especially for complex concepts.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 02:43 pm
@DrewDad,
Trying to remember some stuff from grad school days -- looked up Ben Bahan and Sam Suppala, who I remembered as having good ideas on the subject.

Sam Suppala was the written-version-of-ASL guy, found this:

http://www.signbank.org/signpuddle/index.html#sgn-US

More here:

http://deafness.about.com/od/literacy/a/deafliteracy.htm
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 02:51 pm
I was hearing impaired and dyslexic, but i honestly don't remember enough about it to comment, although i am following along with interest. My grandfather very patiently taught me to read in the summer before my fourth birthday, so that was long enough ago that i just don't remember. I do recall that i knew many, many words from reading which i had never heard spoken. In the novel How Green Was My Valley, the main character, the boy Huw (pronounced "Hugh") was reading aloud from Shakespeare in class one day, and reaching the word "misled," pronounces it as though it were spelled "mizzled." The teacher (a right awkward bastard) then ridicules him before the class, and Huw replies: "I can't be blamed for having read more words than i've ever heard spoken."
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 03:00 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

"I can't be blamed for having read more words than i've ever heard spoken."


My name isn't Huw, but I can definately relate. In fact, I've got a set of 8 audio cassettes designed as a pronunciation guide. As a matter of fact, if anyone I know still has a cassette player and the cost of packaging and postage, . . . .
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 03:16 pm
Wow. I guessed that there were severe barriers, but I totally underestimated the problems.

http://gri.gallaudet.edu/Literacy/

Quote:
For the 17-year-olds and the 18-year-olds in the deaf and hard of hearing student norming sample, the median Reading Comprehension subtest score corresponds to about a 4.0 grade level for hearing students. That means that half of the deaf and hard of hearing students at that age scored above the typical hearing student at the beginning of fourth grade, and half scored below. The "median" is the 50th percentile, and is one of the ways to express an average, or typical, score. (A "mean" score, or arithmetic average, is not the same as the median.)
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 03:19 pm
http://gri.gallaudet.edu/~catraxle/INTELLEC.html#readiness

Quote:
Although there is little empirical information about deaf and hard of hearing youngsters as thinkers and learners, Vess and Douglas (1995) make the point that:

". . . hearing loss apparently alters their [deaf and hard of hearing children's] learning style so that they often depend on experiential/visual learning modalities. Further, because these children have no undistorted access to the flow of language and information in the environment, they quite reasonably can demonstrate gaps in vocabulary, language, and conceptual knowledge, especially understanding and using abstract concepts" (Vess & Douglas, 1995, p. 1127).

0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 03:21 pm
@DrewDad,
Yep. "Fourth-grade reading level" was kind of the rallying cry when I was in grad school. (We wanted to smash that.) Still hasn't really changed though, looks like.

One of the complications is that deaf children frequently do not have enough exposure to language -- any language -- to build up the neural pathways necessary to become fluent. That translates to reading, too, but is a separate thing. (Deaf children of deaf parents typically read at a much higher level than their peers who have hearing parents -- the variable is usually their general language capability/ skill rather than how they were taught reading per se.)
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 03:23 pm
@sozobe,
Do hearing parents not try to communicate with their deaf children, or are they just not fluent in non-hearing communications themselves?
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 03:34 pm
@DrewDad,
A bit of each. Hearing parents often don't realize that their kids are deaf until a certain amount of time has passed. The more time that is, the more of a problem it presents. If they're deaf, and not getting any accessible language, that causes linguistic issues down the line.

Then, hearing parents frequently try other stuff before learning ASL -- if they ever get there. It's one of my biggest complaints about cochlear implants. They do sometimes work -- but they often don't. And kids who were implanted but don't get benefits from them have a double whammy because the fact that the cochlear implants didn't work usually takes a while to become apparent. They need to train for years before the payoff. If there is no payoff, they've wasted years of linguistic exposure, really crucial years. (Parents who get their kids cochlear implants very rarely learn ASL/ teach their kids ASL while they're waiting for that payoff.)

When hearing parents DO learn ASL, it often is still not the same language environment as when Deaf parents are using ASL. They're almost always less-fluent, and usually use it much less (to communicate with the child directly, for example, instead of all the time/ with each other. Incidental learning -- seeing/ hearing other people talk to each other -- is a big part of language acquisition.)
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 03:38 pm
I've been musing about this, reading along.

I can relate to (too, two) Set and his story about Huw. I've certainly read (red) , and understood more (moore) words than I even know (no) how to say.
I've read words and understood their meaning, even with saying them, or hearing anyone else ever say them.

I (eye, aye) never gave any thought as to whether (wheather) other people learned reading by phonetics. I dunno....seems if someone showed you a red pillow with fringe, and another red pillow with fringe, you'd still be able to tell them apart, even if you didn't see them for a year.

The word "them" will always look like the word "them" won't it? It doesn't seem like something you'd forget, especially when the word is almost always surrounded by other words you've seen, that give it context.

I do remember in first grade, in reading class, wondering why some kids were always messing up words. In truth, I thought they were faking it, for what reason I don't know.
I remember my mother showing me flash cards with words. Not for long, but for a couple of weeks with some words, I did have some confusion about....
namely, their, there and they're.

I remember her showing me the word "heir", and relating it to "their", as in belonging....there had the word "here" in it, here and there, and telling me what a contraction was. What was the big deal? It wasn't.

I never confused a hare with a hair, because a hare had fur.


0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 04:01 pm
@sozobe,
That's just sad. I'm a big proponent of signing to infants, as I'm sure you know. Infants unable to speak can make themselves understood through signing.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 04:03 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
When hearing parents DO learn ASL, it often is still not the same language environment as when Deaf parents are using ASL. They're almost always less-fluent, and usually use it much less (to communicate with the child directly, for example, instead of all the time/ with each other. Incidental learning -- seeing/ hearing other people talk to each other -- is a big part of language acquisition.)

I wouldn't have thought of that. Well, didn't think of that. When we did signs with our kids it was only during direct communications....
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Kid wouldn't fight, died of injuries - Discussion by gungasnake
Public school zero tolerance policies. - Question by boomerang
Dismantling the DC voucher program - Discussion by gungasnake
Adventures in Special Education - Discussion by littlek
home schooling - Discussion by dancerdoll
Can I get into an Ivy League? - Question by the-lazy-snail
Let's start an education forum - Discussion by cicerone imposter
Educational resources on the cheap - Discussion by gungasnake
 
  1. Forums
  2. » A puzzler from my kids: how do deaf people learn to read?
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/23/2024 at 04:41:13