Special Education 428

EDSP 428: Language Development and Literacy for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Prerequisites: EDSP 426 and 2.5 GPA

Credit Hours: (3)

Study of the complex nature of language acquisition and literacy in deaf/hard of hearing students, and techniques for enhancing language and the teaching of reading and writing to this population.  Examines current theories and practices in reading and language arts instruction for hearing as well as deaf/hard of hearing children. Presents methods for assessing reading, writing, and language problems in deaf/hard of hearing children, making adaptations and modifications to curriculum, integrating technology, and including parents in the instructional process.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course is designed for prospective teachers and other professionals serving deaf/hard of hearing students in PreK-12 settings. It examines the complex nature of language acquisition and literacy.  It includes comprehension strategies, techniques to instill appreciation of literature, strategies to foster independent reading and strategies for modification and adaptation of curriculum. It covers the effect hearing impairment has on both language and literacy development.

1. Complex nature of language acquisition

        a.  Knowledge of pragmatics, semantics, and syntax and their interaction

        b. Cultural and linguistic variations in language development and discourse

        c.  Figurative language

2. Normal development of reading, spelling and written expression

        a.  Phonemic awareness / phonological awareness

        b. Phonics and orthographic instruction

        c.  Decoding, word recognition skills and vocabulary development

        d.  Fluency

        e.  Comprehension strategies

        f.  Independent reading

        g. Literature appreciation

        h. Research based strategies to promote literacy development

3. Development of reading, spelling, and written expression in deaf/hard of hearing students

        a. Effects of hearing impairment on language and reading development

        b. Language and literacy in early childhood, adolescence and adulthood

        c. Phonemic awareness via Visual Phonics leading to phonological awareness

        d. Decoding, word recognition skills and vocabulary development

        e. Fluency in deaf/hard of hearing readers using an oral approach or manual approach

        f. Comprehension strategies

        g. Independent reading

        h. Literature appreciation

        i.  Research based instructional strategies to promote literacy development

        j.  Lesson plan development that promotes literacy and integrates technology


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instructional strategies include, but are not limited to:  lecture, videos and other audiovisual materials, student participation and discussion, cooperative learning, student projects, presentations, guest speakers, outside readings, internet use, and field trips.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1b / Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills and 1c / Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) / Council on Education of the Deaf (CED) Knowledge and Skills Standards, and the Virginia Department of Education teacher licensure competencies. Code for CEC/CED Standards: CC = Common Core and DH = Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Code for VADOE Standards: VHI = Virginia’s Hearing Impairments PreK-12 and VPS = Virginia’s Professional Studies.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the complex nature of language acquisition and reading including phonemic awareness, concept of print, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension strategies. (VPS5)

2. Demonstrate the ability to incorporate a variety of writing strategies and to foster appreciation of a variety of literature and independent reading. (VPS5)

3. Demonstrate understanding of speech and language development and the effects of disabling conditions and cultural diversity on typical language development. (VHI6a)

4. Demonstrate knowledge of cognitive and language development of individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.  (DH2K1)  

5. Demonstrate knowledge of the influence of cultural identity and language on all developmental domains.  (DH3K2)

6. Demonstrate understanding of the effects of hearing impairments and cultural diversity on language development. (VHI5b)

7. Provide activities to promote print literacy and content area reading and writing through instruction via spoken language and /or the signed language indigenous to the Deaf community. (DH4S2)

8. Demonstrate understanding of the development of language/literacy skills. (VHI4d)

9. Use strategies to support and enhance communication skills of individuals with exceptional learning needs. (CC6S1)

10. Prepare lesson plans incorporating appropriate task analysis leading to effective instruction using organized materials that promote learning. (CC7S5, CC7S10, CC7S11)

11. Demonstrate knowledge of and proficiency in both spoken and visual communication modes / processes to enable student understanding and clarity of information presented. (DH4S1, DH6K4, VPS2)

12. Select, adapt, and use instructional strategies and materials according to characteristics of the individual with exceptional learning needs and demonstrate knowledge of visual tools and organizers that support content mastery and retention by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. (DH4K1, CC4S3)

13. Apply first and second language teaching strategies to the instruction of the individual.  (DH4S3)

14. Provide access to incidental language experiences.  (DH5S2)

15. Demonstrate knowledge of the components of linguistic and non-linguistic communication.  (DH6K1)

16. Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of early intervention to language development.  (DH6K2)

17. Demonstrate knowledge of the effects of sensory input and cultural diversity on the development of language and learning and the production and reception of speech.  (DH6K3, VHI6d)

18. Demonstrate knowledge of the current theories of the development of spoken language and signed languages.  (DH6K5)

19. Apply strategies to facilitate cognitive and communicative development. (DH6S1)

20. Facilitate independent communication in all contexts.  (DH6S3)

21. Implement strategies for developing spoken language in orally communicating students and sign language proficiency in signing students.  (DH6S5)

22. Collect and analyze spoken, signed, or written communication samples. (DH8S3)

23. Incorporate technology in planning and managing the teaching and learning environment. (CC7K4, VHI4e)


Assessment Measures

1. Class participation

2. Key NCATE Assessment:  “Develop and present lesson plans incorporating the critical attributes of effective teaching and assessment.”

3. Class presentations to assess understanding of course content

4. Collect, transcribe and analyze a language sample from a deaf/hard of hearing student

5. Exams

6. Individual and group projects assessing a variety of course standards

7. Observation reports of itinerant shadowing


Other Course Information

Graduate Credit: This course is dually listed with EDSP 528.  To receive graduate credit, graduate students must complete a credible literature review of evidenced based practices used with deaf and hard of hearing students and develop a plan for implementation in their educational placement.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

Revised 2013

Revised April, 2009