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Deafness/Hearing Impairments (updated June 2003)

What teaching strategies can be used with students who are deaf or hard of hearing?

The debate over the best way to teach a child with a hearing loss to communicate has raged since the 1500s (Winefield, 1987). Although this debate continues today, there is a growing number of individuals who recognize that no one system of communication is right for all children. The choice of a communication system must be made on an individual basis, taking into consideration the characteristics of the child, the resources available, and the commitment of an individual family to a communication method. Additional ERIC digests explore each of these options in depth. As an orientation, the following definitions are useful:

  • The Auditory-Verbal philosophy is a set of guiding principles for early intervention that are used to support the development of residual (remaining) hearing and speech and that focus on a strong development of listening skills (see ERIC EC Digest E552).
  • The Auditory-Oral philosophy is a set of principles that are used to develop spoken language and listening skills at all ages and that may incorporate visual methods of teaching these (see ERIC EC Digest E551).
  • Cued Speech is a sound-based system of hand cues that supplement speechreading (see ERIC EC Digest E555).
  • English-Based Sign Systems are those systems that use signs from ASL plus invented signs along with prefixes and suffixes to represent the English language in signed form (see ERIC EC Digest E556).
  • The Bilingual-Bicultural philosophy stresses the importance of early development of ASL, which has a grammar different from spoken or signed English, as the deaf child's natural language, using ASL as a bridge into English as a second language (see ERIC EC Digest E553).
  • Total Communication (see ERIC EC Digest E559) refers to a philosophy of using the system most needed by the child at any given time. Total Communication usually involves simultaneous use of speech and sign and is the most commonly used form of instruction (Schildroth & Hotto, 1993).
Other factors complicate the picture of which system should be used to teach children who are deaf and hard of hearing to communicate.
  • Cochlear implants are computerized devices implanted into the cochlea of individuals who are deaf, which influence the ability to develop speech and listening skills (see ERIC EC Digest E554). They are supported by the various oral philosophies.
  • Attendance at a residential school (see ERIC EC Digest E558) is considered a key component in the success of a child whose family has chosen the Bilingual-Bicultural approach to education.
  • The presence of additional learning disorders (see ERIC EC Digest E553) may also affect a child's progress in any method or philosophy; therefore, this challenging-to-test population must be assessed adequately (see ERIC EC Digest E550). (From ERIC EC Digest E549, Educating Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: An Overview)

Following are links to related ERIC Digests, minibibliographies, frequently asked questions (FAQs), Internet resources, and Internet discussion groups, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

  • In microfiche collections worldwide; to find your nearest ERIC Resource Collection, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm.
  • For a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com, service@edrs.com, or 1.800.443.ERIC. (no longer available)

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used

deafness OR hearing impairments OR partial hearing


teaching methods OR instructional effectiveness OR classroom techniques OR educational strategies

ED438668 EC307690
Teaching Students Who Are Hard of Hearing. NETAC Teacher Tipsheet.
Battat, Brenda
Available from: Northeast Technical Assistance Center, Rochester Institute of Technology, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, 52 Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, NY 14623-5604. Tel: 716-475-6433 (Voice/TTY); Fax: 716-475-7660; e-mail: netac@rit.edu; Web site: http://netac.rit.edu. For full text: http://www.netac.rit.edu/publication/tipsheet/teaching.html.
EDRS Price: MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (052)
Geographic Source: U.S.; New York
Journal Announcement: RIEAUG2000R
This tipsheet provides information on the incidence of students with hearing impairments or deafness enrolled in postsecondary education institutions. It discusses the special needs of student with hearing impairments and warning signs of hearing loss. Tips are provided for instructors, including: (1) repeat or rephrase questions/comments from the class before responding; (2) face the class and speak naturally at a moderate pace; (3) avoid the temptation to pick up the pace when time is short; (4) do not speak when writing on the blackboard; (5) lecture from the front of the room; (6) point out who is speaking in group discussions; (7) keep beards and mustaches trimmed; (8) discuss concerns about the student's ability to hear privately; (9) provide handouts such as a syllabus, lesson plans, and assignments; (10) write announcements and assignments on the board; (11) always use captioned films and videos or provide a written transcript; (12) help find seating near the front if requested by the student; (13) arrange for a written test instead of an oral test; (14) be familiar with interpreters and how to work with them in class; and (15) provide copies of your class notes if a notetaker is not available.
Descriptors: *Academic Access to Education; *Accommodations (Disabilities); *Classroom Communication; *Classroom Environment; *Classroom Techniques; *Deafness; Helping Relationship; Higher Education; Notetaking; Teacher Student Relationship; Teaching Methods

EJ619775 EC626598
Visual Teaching Strategies for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
Luckner, John; Bowen, Sandra; Carter, Kathy
TEACHING Exceptional Children; v33 n3 p38-44 Jan-Feb 2001
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (055); JOURNAL ARTICLES (080)
Journal Announcement: CIJJUL2001
This article explains visual teaching strategies appropriate for use with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It describes some general visual teaching strategies, discusses how to develop and use graphic organizers, provides a sample unit and lesson using graphic organizers, and offers examples of visual materials to use with all students.
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques; Deafness; Elementary Secondary Education; *Hearing Impairments; Partial Hearing; *Teaching Methods; *Visual Learning
Identifiers: *Graphic Organizers

EJ575291 EC620082
In the Mainstream: Adaptations for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
Luckner, John; Denzin, Pete
Perspectives in Education and Deafness; v17 n1 p8-11 Sep-Oct 1998
ISSN: ISSN-1051-6204
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (055); JOURNAL ARTICLES (080)
Journal Announcement: CIJJUL1999
Discusses the need to provide specific adaptations in instruction and assessments to students who are deaf or hard of hearing in general education classrooms. It provides a list of adaptations used in general education classrooms and includes adaptations for the environment, input, output, social, behavioral, evaluation, and grading.
Descriptors: Access to Education; *Classroom Environment; Classroom Techniques; *Deafness; Elementary Secondary Education; Grading; *Hearing Impairments; Inclusive Schools; Peer Relationship; Social Development; Student Behavior; Student Evaluation; Teaching Methods
Identifiers: *Academic Accommodations (Disabilities); *Testing Accommodations (Disabilities)

ED438664 EC307686
Working with Students Who Are Late-Deafened. NETAC Teacher Tipsheet.
Clark, Mary
Available from: Northeast Technical Assistance Center, Rochester Institute of Technology, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, 52 Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, NY 14623-5604. Tel: 716-475-6433 (Voice/TTY); Fax: 716-475-7660; e-mail: netac@rit.edu; Web site: http://netac.rit.edu. For full text: http://www.netac.rit.edu/publication/tipsheet/lated.deaf.htm
EDRS Price: MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (052)
Geographic Source: U.S.; New York
Journal Announcement: RIEAUG2000
This tipsheet provides suggestions to help teachers work more effectively with students who are late-deafened. Suggestions include: (1) allow time for the student to introduce himself and discuss possible needs; (2) learn the basics of CART (Computer-Aided Realtime Translation) and other communication options; (3) learn the basics of using interpreters and those interpreting methods that may be used by students with late-deafness; (4) learn the basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; (5) ask the student to help with notetaking; (6) be aware of environmental issues; (7) repeat questions and answers; (8) remember that English is the primary language of the student who is late-deafened; (9) regulate cross-talk; (10) identify speakers so that the student knows who is speaking and the CART person can also type in that information; (11) provide access for out-of-classroom activities; (12) look directly at the student who is late-deafened when speaking; (13) enunciate clearly and try to speak at a normal pace; (14) provide visual aids whenever possible; (15) if possible, allow time after class for the student to ask questions privately; and (16) take advantage of the disability service coordinators or other resources.
Descriptors: *Academic Accommodations (Disabilities); Access to Education; Augmentative and Alternative Communication; *Classroom Communication; Classroom Environment; *Classroom Techniques; *Deafness; Helping Relationship; Higher Education; *Notetaking; Teacher Student Relationship; *Teaching Methods ED449617 EC308223
Foreign Language Instruction: Tips for Accommodating Hard-of-Hearing and Deaf Students.
Davis, Cheryl D.
Available from: Web site: http://www.wou.edu/nwoc/forlang.
EDRS Price: MF01/PC03 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Oregon
Journal Announcement: RIEJUL2001
This training module presents information, both specific and general, about including postsecondary students with deafness and hearing impairments in foreign language classes. First, a variety of reasons for making sure that students with hearing impairments are not excluded from foreign languages are covered, including the need for improving attitudes toward language learning, improving English skills, and encouraging a heightened understanding of different cultures. Next, communication and language issues are discussed in the module. The following four sections cover specific tips for professors, students, interpreters, and service coordinators. Professors are urged to avoid drawing attention to the individual, turn off the overhead when not using it, allow extra time to view overheads, attend to proper visual set-up, repeat questions and comments from other students, avoid facing away from the class, avoid talking while the class is retrieving materials, ensure optimum seating, avoid last minute announcements, communicate openly with the student and interpreter, call on the student, focus on what the student can do, and set up a positive language experience. Finally, the module lists resources that will benefit instructors, interpreters, and students, including videos, CD-ROM materials, and agencies providing support in multicultural settings.
Descriptors: *Academic Accommodations (Disabilities); *Deafness; *Hearing Impairments; *Interpreters; Second Language Instruction; Second Language Learning; *Second Language Programs; Second Languages; Teacher Student Relationship; Teaching Methods

EJ627953 EC627556
Improving Classroom Acoustics: Utilizing Hearing-Assistive Technology and Communication Strategies in the Educational Setting.
Crandell, Carl C.; Smaldino, Joseph J.
Volta Review; v101 n5 p47-62 Nov 1999
ISSN: ISSN-0042-8639
Language: English
Document Type: GUIDES (055); JOURNAL ARTICLES (080)
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC2001
This article examines acoustical, technological, and rehabilitative solutions for improving classroom acoustics and speech perception in classroom settings. These procedures include: physical acoustical modifications of the room, personal hearing aids, hearing-assistive technologies, modifications in speaker-listener distance, optimizing visual communication, clear speech procedures, and strategies for improving listening.
Descriptors: *Acoustical Environment; Acoustics; Classroom Design; *Classroom Environment; *Classroom Techniques; Elementary Secondary Education; *Hearing Aids; *Hearing Impairments; Listening Skills; Noise (Sound)

EJ542749 EC616222
Learning Sign Language: A Whole Language Approach.
Burch, Daniel D.; Teller, Henry
Perspectives in Education and Deafness, v14 n3 p4-6 Jan-Feb 1996
ISSN: 1051-6204
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); TEACHING GUIDE (052)
Journal Announcement: CIJSEP97
Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Applies principles of whole-language instruction to the teaching of sign language skills. Emphasis is on the holistic use of sign language in natural communicative situations. Some materials for this approach to sign language instruction are suggested.
Descriptors: *Communication Skills; *Deafness; Educational Principles; Elementary Secondary Education; Experiential Learning; *Language Acquisition; *Sign Language; *Teaching Methods; *Whole Language Approach

EJ544410 EC616250
Math: New Teaching for an Old Challenge.
Christopherson, Stephanie
Perspectives in Education and Deafness, v15 n3 p4-6 Jan-Feb 1997
ISSN: 1051-6204
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJOCT97
Discusses difficulties students with hearing impairments have in math computation and in solving problems with verbal cues. Programs and texts are described that teach math visually and kinesthetically and encourage students to find different approaches to the same problem. An illustration of a mathematical concept is included.
Descriptors: Elementary Education; *Hearing Impairments; Intermediate Grades; *Kinesthetic Methods; *Mathematical Concepts; *Mathematics Instruction; Problem Solving; Teaching Methods; *Textbooks; *Visual Aids

EJ555468 EC617663
The Use Of Sign Language and Sign Systems in Facilitating the Language Acquisition and Communication of Deaf Students.
Coryell, Judith; Holcomb, Thomas K.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v28 n4 p384-94 Oct 1997
ISSN: 0161-1461
Language: English Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080)
Journal Announcement: CIJMAY98
Historical and current trends, practices, and perspectives regarding manual communication in educating deaf children are discussed, including Manually Coded English systems and American Sign Language. Issues concerning choice of sign language/systems and instructional strategies that support sign usage (such as Total Communication, Simultaneous Communication, and Bilingual Education) are addressed.
Descriptors: *American Sign Language; Bilingual Education; *Deafness; Educational Practices; Educational Trends; Elementary Secondary Education; *Language Acquisition; *Manual Communication; Sign Language; Teaching Methods; Total Communication; Trend Analysis

ED394264 EC304784
Teaching Sign Language to Children with Behavior Disorders Utilizing Direct Instruction.
Jitendra, Asha; And Others
Apr 1996
12p.; Paper presented at the Annual International Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children (74th, Orlando, FL, April 1-5, 1996).
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Pennsylvania
Journal Announcement: RIESEP96
This paper describes the planning and implementation of an instructional unit to teach the basics of American Sign Language to a class of nine elementary-aged male students with serious emotional disturbances (including one with a severe hearing impairment) in a laboratory school. The systematic instructional approach, direct instruction, was used. Direct instruction utilizes a mastery learning paradigm, a structured teacher-directed approach, careful monitoring of student performance, and provision of immediate and corrective feedback. Instructional planning involved pretesting of hand proficiency, selection of specific signs, and development of instructional objectives and detailed lesson plans. Implementation consisted of daily half-hour lessons over a 3-week period, each of which involved review, statement of objectives, direct instruction, practice, and feedback. Evaluation indicated that 5 of the 6 students who completed the posttest surpassed the mastery criterion of 24 signs out of the 42 signs taught, with students gaining an average of 34 new signs. Evidence of intrinsic motivation in learning and using sign language was seen. Most students spontaneously initiated conversation with the hearing-impaired student. Lesson topics, a sample lesson plan, and the assessment story are attached.
Descriptors: *American Sign Language; Behavior Disorders; *Communication Skills; Educational Principles; Elementary Education; *Emotional Disturbances; *Hearing Impairments; *Instructional Development; Instructional Effectiveness; Lesson Plans; Multiple Disabilities; Nonverbal Communication; Social Integration; Special Schools; *Teaching Methods
Identifiers: *Direct Instruction

ED409666 EC305708
Rethinking the Education of Deaf Students: Theory and Practice from a Teacher's Perspective.
Livingston, Sue
1997; 180p.; Foreword by James E. Tucker.
ISBN: 0-435-07236-6
Available From: Heinemann, 361 Hanover Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801-3912.
Document Not Available from EDRS.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; New Hampshire
Journal Announcement: RIEDEC97
Target Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
This book asserts that deaf students should be treated no differently from non-deaf students and that American Sign Language (ASL) and English can coexist in the classroom, embedded in the content being taught. It stresses that language acquisition, whether oral or manual, as well as the learning of reading and writing or subject content, are all motivated by meaning and urges the full use of ASL. The book explains the theory behind this approach, describes field-tested teaching strategies, and offers many examples of students' work and lesson plans. Chapter 1 considers what has gone wrong in the education of deaf students and why. Chapter 2 is on developing competency in ASL as a first language through natural meaning-based communication activities. Chapter 3, on reading, discusses reading aloud, interpreting text into ASL to facilitate comprehension, and reading assessment. The fourth chapter discusses facilitative contexts for the teaching of writing, writing assessment, and dialogue journals. The fifth chapter offers strategies for integrating signing, reading, and writing into the subject areas. The concluding chapter describes the evolution of this teaching methodology. Appendices list suggested books for young beginning readers, older beginning readers and adult inexperienced readers, and also provide lists of wordless picture books, and model essays and collections for teaching writing.
Descriptors: *American Sign Language; *Deafness; *Educational Philosophy; Educational Principles; Elementary Secondary Education; Language Acquisition; *Reading Instruction; Teaching Methods; *Writing Instruction

EJ544400 EC616240
A Helpful Checklist for Schools and Students.
Luetke-Stahlman, Barbara
Perspectives in Education and Deafness, v15 n1 p16-17 Sep 1996
ISSN: 1051-6204
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJOCT97
Target Audience: Practitioners; Students
Presents a checklist for evaluating program modifications for students with hearing impairments in general education settings. The checklist evaluates mode/flow of communication (including provision of appropriate interpreting services), school environment, support structure, instructional formats, mediated/scaffolded instruction, lesson planning, language behaviors, materials, and testing/grading.
Descriptors: Check Lists; Deaf Interpreting; *Educational Environment; Elementary Secondary Education; *Hearing Impairments; *Inclusive Schools; Measures (Individuals); *Media Adaptation; *Program Evaluation; Student Evaluation; *Student Placement; Teaching Methods
Identifiers: Mediated Learning Experience

EJ502951 EC610896
Classrooms, Communication, and Social Competence.
Luetke-Stahlman, Barbara
Perspectives in Education and Deafness, v13 n4 p12-16 Mar-Apr 1995
ISSN: 1051-6204
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJSEP95
Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Problems faced by deaf students developing social skills are discussed, and suggestions are provided for what teachers can do to specifically cultivate these skills. Teacher modeling, cooperative learning, and the integration of social skills lessons into other class lessons and activities are recommended, with sample activities and references to recent research provided.
Descriptors: *Classroom Communication; *Classroom Techniques; *Deafness; Elementary Secondary Education; Interpersonal Communication; *Interpersonal Competence; *Peer Relationship; Social Development; Socialization; Teaching Methods

ED390185 EC304449
Mediated Learning Experience and Deaf Learners.
Martin, David S.
Mar 1995
22p.; Paper presented at the International Congress on Education of the Deaf (18th, Tel Aviv, Israel, July 16-20, 1995).
EDRS Price - MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; District of Columbia
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY96
A classroom cognitive intervention model for adolescents and adults who are deaf is described. The model provides mediated learning experiences whereby a person assists the learner in interpreting experience and learning problem-solving strategies. The program, entitled instrumental enrichment (IE), is based on the following principles: IE uses a metacognitive approach in which students are given repeated opportunities to reflect on their own thinking processes; IE develops the prerequisites for learning; IE recognizes that representational and symbolic levels of thinking are appropriate expectations; IE provides a mechanism for transfer of cognitive skills by students to real-life and curricular situations; and IE postulates that it is never too late in the individual's life for modifying cognitive structure. Nine studies on the use of IE with learners who are deaf/hearing impaired are discussed. Studies indicate that students measurably improved in skills of reading comprehension, mathematical computation, problem-solving, and abstract thinking.
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning; Cognitive Development; *Cognitive Restructuring; *Deafness; Elementary Secondary Education; *Hearing Impairments; Intervention; *Learning Strategies; Mediation Theory; Metacognition; *Problem Solving; *Teaching Methods; Teaching Models; Thinking Skills Identifiers: *Instrumental Enrichment

EJ529372 EC614325
Creating the "Write" Environment for Young Deaf Children.
Saunders, Jacalyn
CAEDHH Journal/La Revue ACESM, v22 n1 p35-44 1996
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJAN97
Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
This article offers guidelines to help young children who are deaf move through six developmental stages of learning to write: (1) observing writing; (2) scribbling and drawing; (3) communicating writing to others; (4) requesting assistance in writing; (5) copying writing; and (6) beginning to write independently.
Descriptors: Classroom Environment; *Classroom Techniques; *Deafness; *Developmental Stages; Handwriting; Primary Education; *Teaching Methods; *Writing Instruction; *Writing Processes; Writing Readiness; Writing Skills Descriptors: *Deafness; Elementary Secondary Education; *Metacognition; *Reading Instruction; *Reading Strategies; Teaching Methods

Available from your local bookstore or library:
The Cued Speech Resource Book: for Parents of Deaf Children. R. Orin Cornett and Mary Elsie Daisey. National Cued Speech Association. 23970 Hermitage Road, Cleveland, OH 44122-4008. http://www.cuedspeech.org.

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