Presentation on theme: "10 Things You Should Know about the Language/Communication Needs of Students with Hearing Loss Dr. Susan Easterbrooks Professor, GSU Dr. Nanci Scheetz."— Presentation transcript:
10 Things You Should Know about the Language/Communication Needs of Students with Hearing Loss Dr. Susan Easterbrooks Professor, GSU Dr. Nanci Scheetz Professor, VSU
Helen Keller, who was both deaf and blind, was once asked which was her more challenging handicap. She replied that deafness was a greater challenge because, while blindness separated her from things, deafness separated her from people. The reason deafness separates someone from other is that it is primarily a challenge of communication.
I. A hearing loss is a challenge to ones ability to communicate. Without the ability to communicate freely and easily, an individual finds challenges in: –Learning basic world knowledge (No Honey, thats not a jumping dog. Its a kangaroo!) –Learning the social expectations of the world (Say thank you to the nice grocery store man.) –Learning vocabulary (Put your shoes on. Turn on the light. Hold on.) –Learning to read (Circle the one that sounds like bear. –Taking part in classroom activities
II. The teachers job is to make sure that the student has communication access. There are 3 ways a child with a hearing loss can have access to classroom information if he or she has limited communication skills. –Provide the information through use of an interpreter who can put the information in the childs language. –Provide the information in a visual manner that makes the concepts obvious. –Provide an accessible form of communication himself or herself.
III. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is very clear about what teachers have to do regarding communication access. IDEA - Section (a)(2)(iv) The IEP (Individual Education Program) Team shall consider the communication needs of the child, and in the case of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, consider the childs language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communications with peers and professional personnel in the childs language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the childs language and communication mode.
This means that the team must know what the childs communication mode, language, and academic level are. Mode refers to language in visual form or spoken form. Language refers to the language of the school, the language of the home, and/or American Sign Language. Academic level refers to the difference between Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills and Cognitive- Academic Language Proficiency.
IV. Language may be imparted via two modes: visual and spoken. We can represent English in spoken form –The Three Bears We can also represent English in visual form. Source:
V. We are dealing with two or more languages when working with a child who is deaf. The language of the school –In the U.S. and Canada, this is usually English American Sign Language –This is a unique language that is very different from English in its grammatical structure The language of the home –Any of the spoken or signed languages of the world –OR –Home signs
Understanding which language the child needs (English or ASL) in which mode (spoken or visual) will help you determine if you need an interpreter in your classroom. This will allow you to provide the information through use of an interpreter who can put the information in the childs language.
VI. The demands of academic level language are much greater than the demands for interpersonal/social language. Hey man, hows it going is a whole lot easier to learn and understand than Summarize and then critique the first five elements of Hirams postulations. It takes only a couple of years to learn Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills. Many children with hearing loss are severely lacking in Cognitive-Academic Language Proficiency.
What does this mean for the teacher who has a child with a hearing loss in his or her classroom? Source support/cummin.htm It means that until the student has age- and placement-appropriate language, the teacher must provide cognitively undemanding tasks OR context-embedded tasks if she or he expects the child to master the information. A student whose language Skills are at the BICS level cannot process cognitively demanding, decontextualized Information easily. This will allow you to Provide an accessible form of communication yourself.
VII. When an interpreter is not appropriate, and when you are unable to communicate in the childs mode, language, or level yourself, then you must provide the information in a visual manner that makes the concepts obvious. There are many ways to enhance your communication so that information is comprehensible to the student.
VIII. Demonstrate as much as possible. When giving oral directions, demonstrate what you are asking the student to do. DHH children often miss the key points of oral directions. –Provide actual examples of what the end product of an activity would look like. –Work through an example with the student. When teaching, use experiments, demonstrations, and simulations, or role play to explain information. –Use science experiments where possible. –Act out events in history
IX. Use visual organizers to help show the relationships among concepts. –Cell charts –Thematic maps –Decision trees –Human interaction outlines –Hierarchical or sorting trees –Telescoping circles –Venn diagrams –Compare contrast maps –Concept maps –Feedback loops –Bubble maps –Brace maps –Flow charts Examples of organizers include but are not limited to:
X. Take all aspects of communication into consideration in the classroom. Be sure to signal topic changes. Deaf students often lose what you are saying when you change the subject or move on to a tangential subject. Provide a listing of all key concepts. Work with the teacher of the deaf to understand the individual students communication challenges and needs. Work with the teacher to implement testing accommodations identified in the students IEP. Preteach key vocabulary, and agree upon signs for words that have no signs.
Make sure the student learns reading comprehension strategies to apply to the textbook in your class. Reword, rephrase, or paraphrase what you have said when the student appears lost. Provide a notetaker. Remember that it is hard for the student who has communication challenges to keep up with everything going on in the classroom. Alternate tasks to give the student a break from having to focus so intently. These are just a few. Work with the teacher of the deaf to develop a list of additional considerations tailored specifically to the student in your class.
References and Resources Bullard, C.(2003). The itinerant teachers handbook. Hillsboro, OR: Butte Publications, Inc. Easterbrooks, S., & Baker, S. (2004). Language learning in children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Luetke-Stahlman, B. (1999). Language across the curriculum: When students are deaf and hard of hearing. Hillsboro, OR: Butte Publications, Inc.