Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaching Deaf Students to Read

A novel teaching method appears to dramatically raise the reading levels of deaf students. With a phonic scripted reading curriculum called Direct Instruction, DePaul University Education professor Beverly Trezek found students gained qs much as two-and-a-half grade levels on standardized tests. Adding an instructional tool called Visual Phonics to the mix helped even more when used at the Illinois School for the Deaf. Visual Phonics lets teachers use hand gestures and written symbols along with visual and tactile methods of instruction that encourages students to visualize sounds. Trezek is co-author of Reading and Deafness: Theory, Research and Practice. You can read more about her work in the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.