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author brenda stephenson the university of tennessee
Author: Brenda StephensonThe University of Tennessee
  • Date submitted to –

March 6, 2006

  • To contact the author for permission to use this PowerPoint, please e-mail:
  • To use this PowerPoint presentation in its entirety, please give credit to the author.
language acquisition in children who are deaf and hard of hearing

Language Acquisition in Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Contributed by Brenda Stephenson

The University of Tennessee

language has form
Language has FORM

Chomsky stated that” language is a system of rules that in some explicit and well defined way assigns structural descriptions to sentences.”

Bloom and Lahey stated that language is,” the code whereby ideas about the world are represented through a conventional system of arbitrary signals for communication.”

language involves representation
Language involves Representation
  • Enactive representation: we enact or re-enact an object or event
  • Iconic representation: use of visual organization to present a concept or category
  • Symbolic representation: languages include symbols that users manipulate meaning in a systematic, rule-governed way
the elements of language form content and use
The Elements of Language: Form, Content and Use
  • Bloom and Lahey (1978)
  • Form is the surface structure of language:
    • Phonology
    • Morphology
    • Syntax
  • Content refers to what we know about the world and how we describe it
    • Semantics
  • Use refers to the way language functions as a social mediator
    • Pragmatics
principles of language instruction
Multiple Influences Principle

Meaning and Ideational Principle

Categorization Principle

Relationships Principle

Systematic Rules Principle

Socialization Principle

Integration Principle

Principles of Language Instruction
stages of language development

Respond by crying

Sensitive to loud noises

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Respond by crying

Sensitive to lights, shadows and smells

Stages of Language Development
prelinguistic stage
Prelinguistic Stage
  • Brain research shows that during the baby’s first year, sensory input shapes the brain’s organization
  • Hearing infants are sensitive to auditory
  • Infants with hearing loss are sensitive to visual input and touch
typical sequence of normal language development
Typical Sequence of normal language development
  • 0-6 early prelinguistic
  • 6-12 later prelinguistic
  • 12-18 single sign/word
  • 18-24 early word combinations
  • 24-26 multiword combinations
  • 3-4 yrs multiword combinations
  • 5 yrs adult-like language
  • Hearing adults modify their speech patterns to maintain child’s attention
  • Attributes of ASL motherese
    • Signs closer to infant
    • Oriented full palm facing infant
    • Full-face visibility
    • Directed eye gaze
stages of vocal development
Stages of vocal development
  • 0-1 Phonation Same
  • 2-3 GOO Same
  • 4-6 Expansion Same
  • 6-7 Babbling Different
single word single sign
Single Word/Single Sign
  • Deaf and hearing infants who had access to linguistic information communicate in similar ways
  • Important characteristic is that the words must cause change…ex. Milk, blanket, car…not tree or chair
the pointing gesture
The Pointing Gesture
  • First pointing gesture is redundant
  • Second pointing gesture is nonredundant
  • Hearing and deaf children develop it at the same time
  • Fingerspelling is a natural part of communicating with children
  • Deaf children are able to recognize fingerspelled words without knowing the printed letters
  • All spelling test should be fingerspelled…not signed
development of vocabulary
Development of Vocabulary
  • 18 months hearing children have about fifty words
  • Deaf children fall progressively behind in vocabulary
  • Three categories
    • Novel mappers
    • Rapid word learners
    • Slow word learners
early word combinations
Early Word Combinations
  • Both deaf and hearing children use 2 word combinations by age 2
  • Play seems to encourage the development of communication
  • Symbolic substitution: use one object for another
  • Sequenced symbolic: engaging in 2 actions related in time
multiword combinations
Multiword Combinations
  • Hearing children use uninflected verbs and no determiners (Baby fall down)
  • 18mo.-3 yrs: hearing develop the negation system, determiner and question system
  • Overgenerlization occurs (I runned fast)
  • Deaf do not do this…limited input, structures are taught in isolation, only certain structures are taught.
early semantic development
Early Semantic Development
  • High degree of relationship between symbolic play and language development
  • What does this say to us about teaching and classroom structure?
early pragmatic development
Early Pragmatic Development
  • Hearing children reach conversational maturity by about 8-10 yrs of age
  • Requests for clarification and confirmatory responses are delayed in deaf (Lack of opportunity to communicate with fluent users)
factors contributing to language acquisition
Factors Contributing to Language Acquisition
  • Early exposure to language
  • Mother-child interactions
  • Language input