Characteristics of d/hh Students
In talking to the hearing impaired teachers at my practicum site, I found many characteristics of deaf speech. Most of the time they only use present tense when they speak. There is no past or future words in their speech, because they have trouble understanding tense. They also tend to use incorrect word order, due to the fact that when we sign to them or them to each other, many words are omitted. They do not know the words need to be added when they speak or write, or they do not even know the words exist. They get no idioms or slang terms in their language, and usually learn these from closed captioned television. The students talk out loud more and make more noise than hearing children because they do not know they are being heard.
Nickle, L. & Vosteen, D., 1996, Teachers of the Deaf, Lincoln Middle School, 1701 Castle Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44113.
I have observed these characteristics of language on numerous occasions. These students are unusually loud in class, but there is no real way of telling them to speak more softly that they can understand. They can not hear how loudly they are speaking, so they do not know how to tone it down. Their word order is something the teachers have been working on with them strenuously, and most of them seem to be improving, although I think the profoundly deaf students will probably never quite get the English order correct.
What are some ways to help them talk less loudly?