ACHIEVEMENTS IN READING AND WRITING AMONG DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING CHILDREN: THE IMPACT OF LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY ON LITERACY ABILITIES
University of the Free State, Department of SASL & Deaf Studies, Faculty of Humanities (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:A human language is a social tool that enables humans to interact, communicate, and gain knowledge about other cultures. Many hearing children are born into a language-rich environment and can communicate in their native language(s) by age five. By contrast, most deaf-or-hard-of-hearing children (DHH) enter a world where language access is significantly less specific. Unlike hearing children, who acquire their parents' language, most DHH children are born without access to a natural language (whether signed or spoken). Concentrating on academic outcomes for DHH learners, it has been reported that the average reading level of a DHH graduate is equivalent to that of a fourth-grade learner. Despite extensive research conducted on a global level, the difficulty persists.
Additionally, DHH learners struggle with writing in a second language (i.e., English). Language development is critical for reading and writing; however, most DHH learners are born into hearing families with little or no language input (i.e., 90–96% of DHH children have hearing parents). As a result, DHH learners' language and literacy skills are impacted (i.e., reading and writing). This paper will investigate the factors contributing to the successful development of reading and writing skills in DHH children. From the preceding, there are three objectives: The article begins with a discussion of the theoretical foundations for successful language and literacy development among DHH children. Second, it examines the reading and spelling difficulties of DHH children, and third, it discusses the challenges teachers and DHH learners face, by highlighting the obstacles to Deaf education in South Africa.
Keywords: Deaf-and-hard-of-hearing children, reading and writing, language proficiency, literacy abilities.