The nature and efficiency of the word reading strategies of orally raised deaf students

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The main objective of this study was to unveil similarities and differences in the word reading strategies of orally raised individuals with prelingual deafness and hearing individuals. Relevant data were gathered by a computerized research paradigm asking participants to make rapid same/different judgments for words. There were three distinct study conditions: (a) a visual condition manipulating the visual-perceptional properties of the target word pairs, (b) a phonological condition manipulating their phonological properties, and (c) a control condition. Participants were 31 high school and postgraduate students with prelingual deafness and 59 hearing students (the control group). Analysis of response latencies and accuracy in the three study conditions suggests that the word reading strategies the groups relied upon to process the stimulus materials were of the same nature. Evidence further suggests that prelingual deafness does not undermine the efficiency with which readers use these strategies. To gain a broader understanding of the obtained evidence, participants' performance in the word processing experiment was correlated with their phonemic awareness - the hypothesized hallmark of proficient word reading - and their reading comprehension skills. Findings are discussed with reference to a reading theory that assigns phonology a central role in proficient word reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-361
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Speech and Hearing


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