TITLE

Teaching Phonological Awareness With Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

AUTHOR(S)
Narr, Rachel A. Friedman
PUB. DATE
March 2006
SOURCE
Teaching Exceptional Children;Mar/Apr2006, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p53
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Mikela is a deaf itinerant teacher of students who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) within a large urban school district. She has nine students on her case-load, all of whom have moderate to profound hearing losses. The students on Mikela's caseload are included in general education classrooms with interpreters who use American Sign Language (ASL). Seven of her students are kindergarten through fourth grade; two are in sixth grade. Mikela has struggled for many years with the low reading achievement of her students and how to help them access the general education curriculum in reading and language arts. Mikela felt that she balanced her reading instruction by focusing on meaningful reading and writing activities, filling her classroom with authentic literature, and providing specific vocabulary instruction and word identification strategies for students. She also knew phonological awareness, a sensitivity to speech sounds in spoken language, was important for hearing students, but she could not understand how these skills applied to her deaf/hard-of-hearing students. Explicit skills instruction and the contribution of phonics seemed at odds with her reading instruction. However, she continued to tackle problems with improving the consistently low reading and spelling levels of her students. She provided a good language model through ASL and tried to provide her students with rich language input. Due to changes in state standards and the No Child Left Behind Act, Mikela and her students were facing an increasing emphasis in instruction on spoken language skills, specifically phonological awareness and phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is a set of specific skills involving sound identification, sound blending, segmenting, and sound manipulation. These skills seemed virtually inaccessible to her students due to their hearing losses. At the same time, Mikela recognized that these skills might be part of unlocking the print code for DHH students. She set off to explore different avenues of instruction of these skills with her students to see how they worked.
ACCESSION #
20342180

 

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