6. Which language/modality should be used in instructing and assessing these students?

-According to Craig Carlisle Dean (1984), the following should be considered when constructing an appropriate communication program:

-Other important variables according to B. Luetke-Stahlman and F. Weiner (1982):

According to Walter G. Secada (1984), the following chart provides the language/modality options for deaf students from non-English-speaking homes:

Language Options

Modality Options English English & Native Language Native Language
Oral ESL

Bilingual Education Oral Native Language
Oral & Manual Rochester Method, T.C., S.E.E. Projecto Oportunidad Oral/Manual Native Language Mixtures
Manual ASL, Pidgin Sign

ASL & Native Country Sign Lang. Native Country Sign Language

-Other Linguistic Considerations For Assessment: (Gerner de Garcia, 1993)

Application of Information

It is important to examine all the options available to these children because neither heritage or etiology can determine the most effective language and modality for instruction. As educators, we must avoid only adhering to our communication philosophies without exploring other possibilities or resources. We must give the children the opportunity to demonstrate which one is most beneficial to them for developing skills in both social and academic settings.

Additional Resources

Antunez, S. Language development of Hispanic deaf children. Retrieved January 27, 1998 from the World Wide Web: 97c526.htm

-Describes specific problems encountered in language acquisition, communication between parent and child, learning three language simultaneously, and other topics.


Dean, C.C. (1984). The hearing-impaired Hispanic child: Sociolinguistic considerations. In Delgado, G.L. (Ed.), The Hispanic deaf. Washington, DC: Gallaudet College Press.

Gerner de Garcia, B. (1993). Addressing the needs of Hispanic deaf children. In Christensen, K.M., & Delgado, G.L. (Eds.), Multicultural issues in deafness. New York: Longman Publishing.

Luetke-Stahlman, B., & Weiner, F. (1982). Assessing language and/or system preferences of Spanish-deaf preschoolers. American Annals of the Deaf, 127 (6), 789-96.

MacNeil, B. (1990). Educational needs for multicultural hearing-impaired students in the public school system. American Annals of the Deaf, 135 (2), 75-82.

Secada, W.G. (1984). The language of instruction for hearing-impaired students from non-English-speaking homes: A framework for considering alternatives. In Delgado, G.L. (Ed.), The Hispanic deaf. Washington, DC: Gallaudet College Press.