The effect of communication mode on the development of phonemic awareness in prelingually deaf students

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Abstract

Two groups of prelingually deaf children and a hearing control group participated n an experiment examining the effect of communication mode on the development of phonemic awareness. Sixteen of the deaf students (mean grade 6.9) were trained orally, using spoken language as their principal means for communication at home and at school. Another 16 deaf students (mean grade 6.9), all of them deaf children of deaf parents, acquired sign language as their primary language. The mean grade of the hearing control group was 6.5. The performance of the two deaf groups indicates that permanent auditory deprivation leads to substantially reduced phonemic awareness but does not entirely block its development. Contrary to expectation, the development of phonemic awareness in individuals with impaired hearing was not significantly affected by their preferred communication mode. Results further suggested that, for deaf individuals with excellent skills in sign language, the functional impairment caused by prelingual deafness may be restricted to the processing of phonological information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1163
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume40
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1997

Keywords

  • Communication mode
  • Deafness
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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