EDUDEAF: Reading to Deaf Children

Key Words: Deaf Education Information, Deafness and related issues, Deaf Education

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Subj: Reading Positions
Date: 96-12-30 12:01:57 EST
From: CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU (Cathy Brandt)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

On Mon, 30 Dec 1996 10:33:39 -0500 Steve and Jamie Berke said:
>When I think about it, it must be hard for a deaf child when reading a print book - "do I look at the book, or do I look at my parent's signs?" Even if the book is right in front of both the parent & child, it is physically difficult to look at both signs and print simultaneously, I think.>

Yes, it is. This is a "skill" I teach my children. They all now do it effortlessly. When another child or I am reading a text they simply place their finger on the text, watch the signer and then shift back and forth between the print and the signs. They always know where we are and are ready to look back over something or move on to the next paragraph etc.

This is CLASSROOM reading, however. I don't know that I'd necessarily opt for this method with a child in a home setting and especially one who is not keen on reading.

To determine the physical setting I'd begin with the PURPOSE of why reading is occurring. If it is for the personal pleasure of the child, to acquaint him/her with good stories/literature I would have the child hold the book while the parent signed. Reading is about more than just decoding print. Having the child become involved in the story, thinking about what is happening, about who the characters are etc is just as critical as decoding the words.

With reluctant readers I would get them hooked on this part of reading before I would have them read the text for themselves.

If the purpose of reading with the child is homework or building the child's actual reading of print ability then I would have the child read and sign the story. I'd encourage him/her to stop periodically and discuss what has been read.

If the purpose of reading is to learn new information such as in a science or social studies text then I would have the child read silently to himself/ herself. If reading to find information is a new or difficult task I'd point out that in this paragraph is information about jobs people do. I'd then ask the specific question of the child and have them read the text.

If they "can't find it" then I'd start with key words. "Look for a word that means ______." If the question is a "what do ____ do" type of question I'd encourage the child to look for all of the verbs in the paragraph and then determine which ones would fit the question.

Reading is about PURPOSE and REASON. I think each purpose determines much of the method, the setting, the amount of interaction etc. Reading for fun can be done in the bean bag or on the bed. Reading for information might occur at a desk or table where one can take notes. Creating physical environments which aid in the task are beneficial.

We have a big arm chair in our classroom (from my Gram's house) that the kids love to sit in and read. Somehow three of them can manage to get situated in there and still be able to read and sign to one another.

When we have a guest reader each week he sits on the arm of the chair (bad example, eh?) and I sit in the chair. He reads. I sign. When we finish two pages we show pictures. Perhaps having mom read and dad sign or the other way around might be another way to try reading time. If you want your child to do more of the actual reading then perhaps after you have signed it he/she can read/sign it to you.

Just more thoughts

Cathy

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Subj: Reading Position
Date: 97-01-01 12:00:33 EST
From: cng@THERIVER.COM (Cindy Neuroth-Gimbrone)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

It seems to me a little bit ago, some parents had asked about the logistics of reading to a deaf child. Cathy make some good suggestions for the instructional setting and the purpose of reading. I'd like to add a comment or two simply on the logistics of managing the visual attention of the child. These are some general suggestions, choose what is comfortable to you:

1. Show pictures to the child before you read the associated text. For example, the picture book "Good Night Moon" - show the first picture of the great green room to the child before you read the sentence.

2. If you are signing, some parents/teachers manage to sign on the pictures in a book.

3. Set the book aside and tell the story yourself. After you've told the story, look at the book together. Children, both deaf and hearing enjoy this strategy a great deal. Don't be afraid, children are the best audience and they love you - what more can you ask for? :-)

These suggestions may seems a little awkward at first, but with some practice, you can be successful at it!

Here are some resources if you are so inclined to read into some of these suggestions further:

Hope this is helpful - have a great day!

Cindy

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Subj: Re: Reading Position
Date: 97-01-02 08:10:24 EST
From: semesky@EROLS.COM (Linda Semesky)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)

To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

At 10:01 AM 1/1/97 -0600, you wrote:
>Happy New Year!
It seems to me a little bit ago, some parents had asked about the logistics of reading to a deaf child.>

I too am late responding to this post. The reading position that has worked best for me is to sit facing Alex, hold the book as high as I can under my chin in a fashion that still allows me to read the book to him upside down and still sign the words. Now, needless to say, this requires the ability to read well upside down which can be readily acquired. As a matter of fact, as a kid (I know you all will think I'm nuts now) I used to get bored reading books so I'd stand on my head on the sofa and turn the book upside down and read it that way. Made for much more interesting reading. Anyway, the whole point is that with this approach the child can see the words, your mouth and your signs all very close together. You can point at the words as you sign them too. The hardest part is keeping the book in place with your hands occupied with signing. There are all sorts of innovative ways, or you can even enlist the aid of the child.

Just my experience.

Linda S

Uploaded by: B.J. Lawrence/ Kent State University/ Deaf Education Major