Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why the Deaf May Have Trouble Reading

A University of New Mexico study suggests that reading difficulties among the deaf do not have to do with "the right way to teach reading when you can’t associate sounds with letters." Instead, researchers say, "We’re finding is that all this time we’ve been ignoring the fact that they’re actually learning a new language.” The study isn't new but it's the first time we've shared the research at You can read the study here and this video report comes from the VOA (Voice of America) and captions are included.


Anonymous said...

Finally!! Why has it taken so long to realize this? I have only been Deaf for 3 years, now, so I have an advantage in English. For many Deaf, it is a real struggle. ESL methods do work, however. ASL needs to be seen for what it is - a DIFFERENT language, and English taught accordingly.

harman said...

Good point. What about other reasons for reading difficulties? I know one family with two deaf children - one reads fine and the other struggles in reading. Could there be other factors? Why do some hearing children have trouble reading in their own language? There are several skills in use when reading. Having an early linguistic competence such as ASL greatly helps a deaf child to read.

Anna Harman

Anonymous said...

Just spent an entire day typing ASL by computer. There is a written system for sign languages, actually since the early '70's. When people say no written system exists, I encourage them to visit ASL Wikipedia Project; shows a sample of what works very, very well. The "script" is called Sign Writing.