Language Assessment for the Deaf/HI Child

Key Words: Instructional Strategies, Language, K-12

Jennifer Woolensack

Kent State University

McAnally, P. L., Rose, S., & Quigley, S. (1987). Structured and combined approaches to teaching language. Language Learning Practices with Deaf Children, 5, 110-138.


According to the chapter "Structured and combined approaches to teaching language," from the book Language Learning Practices with Deaf Children, there are many different techniques in assessing language. First of all, according to McAnally, rose and Quigley, there are two major approaches to language development: the natural approach and the structured approach (1987). Today, it seems that most programs use a combination of the two. The chapter shows the features of both the natural approach and the structured approach, and also presents language curricula used in deaf education today. Such curricula reviewed are the Fitzgerald Key, The Apple Tree, and the Rhode Island Curriculum.

Before explaining the structures of each curriculum, the chapter notes that providing teacher modeling and metalinguistic forms helps the child to acquire normal language skills. McAnally, Rose and Quigley explain that the Fitzgerald Key has been the most enduring method for language teaching to deaf children (1987). This form of curriculum displays syntactic relationships, provides comprehension, and production of English. The second curriculum, The Apple Tree program, does its teaching through natural occurrences, which provides vocabulary skills. The last presented curriculum is the Rhode Island Curriculum. This form also uses natural events, curricular topics, and academic areas of study to develop language within the framework of grammar (McAnally, Rose & Quigley, 1987). This curriculum spans a range from early exposure in the environment through many different transformation levels.

After explaining the three different curriculum forms, the chapter then gave some other forms of curriculum used in deaf education. Such programs as the TSA Syntax Program, Lessons in Syntax, the Reading Milestones, and the Syntactic Structure series were explained. Some instructional strategies that are applicable to the combined or structured approach were also given. Models like the Correct-Incorrect Model, Completion Model, Replacement Model, Combination Model, Scrambled Sentences, and the Revision Model were all expressed. According to McAnally, Rose and Quigley, no one instructional strategy provides the "key" to language learning with deaf children. They merely provide methods of instruction, drill, and practice.

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Uploaded by: Jessica Soltesz, Kent State University, Deaf Education Major