How do deaf and HOH children learn as compared to hearing children in the area of language development?

Language Foundations: Marschark, (1993).

  1. Early signing behaviors in deaf infants are similar to babbling behaviors in hearing infants. This behavior lays the foundation for formal communication.
  2. By 7 mos. deaf infants demonstrate that, even though they engage in basic vocalizations, the quality of the vocalization is less complex than hearing infants.
  3. Hearing and deaf toddlers use similar qualitative gestures.
  4. Hearing toddlers use gestures as a supplementary role when verbal language is used.
  5. Deaf children’s gesturing evolves into individualized sign communication. (Stokoe, Casterline & Croneberg, 1965).
  6. Oral and manual communication may become complementary with age in regards to both hearing and deaf children.
Language Acquisition: Marschark, (1993).
  1. Sign language and spoken language are differentially suitable as a means of communicating thought.
  2. The process deaf children language acquisition is assume as the following: This process usually occurs when parents accept gesturing and sign language as the child’s primary communication and accepts and encourages the child to communicate through this process.
  3. Deaf children communicate about different things than do hearing children. This may be due to cultural differences between hearing and deaf individuals.
  4. Sign language and spoken language can become complimentary with age to comprehension in both deaf and hearing children.
Other Sources:

Due to the vastness of this subject area, a list of comprehensive sources including texts and web sites have been provided to the reader for further investigation.
  1. Books:
  2. Web Sites:

This information is important because it assist individuals in understanding and helping deaf children with their knowledge base. When professionals and parents are able to understand how these children respond to language and how to communicate, it can be used to help these children to adapt to the formalized hearing system of literacy. There is also hope that this information will also inspire others to loosen the system of hearing literacy. Perhaps from this information, other forms of literacy could be adapted and used not only with deaf children but hearing children as well. Further research may be involved to help all children with communciation.


Marschark, M. (1993). Psychological development of deaf children , New York: Oxford.

Stokoe, W.C., Casterline, D.C., & Croneberg, C.G. (1965). A dictionary of American Sign Language on linguistic principles. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet College Press.


Deafness: A Personal Account , David Wright, 1991.

Understanding Childhood Deafness , Wilhma Rae Quin, et al, 1996.

Literacy and Deafness: The Development of Reading