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Deaf Minority Students: Communication Development in Trilingual/Tricultural Children CDS 531 Special Topic Presentation Spring 2004 Tara Jane Schoop.

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Presentation on theme: "Deaf Minority Students: Communication Development in Trilingual/Tricultural Children CDS 531 Special Topic Presentation Spring 2004 Tara Jane Schoop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Deaf Minority Students: Communication Development in Trilingual/Tricultural Children CDS 531 Special Topic Presentation Spring 2004 Tara Jane Schoop

2 Research Questions How do deaf minority children acquire language and develop communication skills? What can we do as educators to help children and families face language barriers and cultural barriers?

3 Language Acquisition For the normal child… Language is not taught, it is acquired We acquire language through… Interactions with caregivers Meaningful experiences Repetition over time

4 Second Language Learners Best way to learn a second language is the same way you learned the first Interactions with people you care about Meaningful experiences If learned in an educational setting you probably wont be as fluent Example: six weeks in Mexico is more valuable than six months in Spanish class Easier to learn a second language if you are fluent in the first

5 D/HH Second Language Learners Make up over 40% of the D/HH school aged population Less likely to be successful in school than a child facing either of these characteristics alone More likely to be labeled LD or MR

6 Communication Mode Majority of programs for D/HH use sign and speech Therefore, families need to become trilingual English Spanish Sign Language

7 Early Identification and Amplification Challenges Hispanic children are usually identified after critical language acquisition period Not until they come to U.S. May not understand doctors, or be able to convey concerns Doctors may assume a developmental delay Cant pay for services Lack of hearing aid usage in native country

8 Strategies for working with families: Empowering parents Provide a linguistically and culturally appropriate professional Provide an interpreter and translate printed information Dont require the family to use English Work with family strengths (large support system, strong religious faith) Provide support groups and/or parent education groups Provide transportation and child care

9 Strategies for the classroom Set high expectations Promote collaboration and cooperation Promote good self esteem Encourage parent and community involvement (diverse role models) Use multicultural literature and materials Use a variety of assessment/evaluation methods Provide leadership opportunities

10 Model Program Kathee Christensen 1985 Conceptual Sign Language as a Bridge Between English and Spanish Why it works… Iconic Kinesthetic reinforcement Not syntax-bound Why it doesnt work… Fingerspelling Idioms

11 Conceptual Sign Language Acquisition (Christensen, 1986) Trilingual televised series to teach Hispanic families conceptual sign language Results: Parents who watched the most learned the most 86.7% of participants improved their conceptual sign language skills Some improved their English through incidental learning

12 So What? What we can learn from the study Parents are motivated to help their children and will do what they feel is best for their children If provided with a televised series, at no charge, in the home, parents will watch it and learn from it Next Question If we had provided a televised series that taught them English, would the results be any different?

13 References Christensen, K. M. (2000). Emerging literacy in bilingual/multicultural education of children who are deaf: A communication-based perspective. In K. M. Christensen (Eds.), Deaf plus: A multicultural perspective (pp ). San Diego: Dawn Sign Press. Christensen, K. M. (1990). Thinking about thinking: A discussion of the development and language in deaf children. American Annals of the Deaf, 135(3), Christensen, K. M. (1986). Conceptual sign language acquisition by Spanish-speaking parents of hearing impaired children. American Annals of the Deaf, 131(4), Christensen, K. M. (1985). Conceptual sign language as a bridge between English and Spanish. American Annals of the Deaf, 130(3), Deaf Education Website and Resource. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2004, from:

14 References Continued Gallaudet University. (n.d.). Preparing teachers for deaf students from linguistically diverse families. Retrieved February 23, 2004, from the Deaf Education Web site: Gerner de Garcia, B. (2000). Meeting the needs of Hispanic/Latino deaf students. In K. M. Christensen (Eds.), Deaf plus: A multicultural perspective (pp ). San Diego: Dawn Sign Press. MacNeil, B. (1990). Educational needs for multicultural hearing-impaired students in the public school system. American Annals of the Deaf, 135(2), University of Illinois, Champaign, Early Childhood Research Institute. (1997). Creating a multicultural school climate for deaf children and their families. Retrieved February 23, 2004, from the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Web site: Walker-Vann, C. (1998). Profiling Hispanic deaf students: A first step toward solving the greater problems. American Annals of the Deaf, 143(1),


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