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:
- Home and community linguistic environment in which the child lives
- Parents’ goal for child and their attitude toward Spanish and English
- Range of expressive and receptive language skills child demonstrates in both Spanish and English
- Degree and nature of child’s hearing loss
-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 and/or system of the caretaker
- Amount of exposure to sign language and/or systems
- Degree of usable aided hearing ability
- Language and/or system demonstrated to be most effective for learning
-Other Linguistic Considerations For Assessment: (Gerner de Garcia, 1993)
- Evaluators should be trilingual or assisted by others--Knowledge of all three languages (Spanish, English, signed language) should be available during procedures
- Dialectal differences exist in Spanish language--Alternative vocabulary terms should be offered to children during testing
- First step in the assessment process is to determine the dominant language--This lang. should be used for all assessments conducted in the future (audiological, psychological, language, and academic)
- Tendency for some to suppress knowledge of Spanish in formal testing situations--Viewed as language of the home, not school
- Quality of translations among assessment instruments varies considerably
- Neither Spanish language norms or deaf norms developed for non-Spanish-speaking-deaf are applicable
- Use of videotaped observations in a variety of communication contexts can more effectively identify strengths and patterns of communication abilities (MacNeil, 1990)
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.
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.