Early Literacy Development – Essay Example

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The paper “ Early Literacy Development” is a   forceful variant of essays on education. Globally, deafness is a mysterious disability because of the low incidence and prevalence associated with deafness. The victims may be able to hear small bits of sound but may not be able to process into anything meaningful. Hearing impairment comes along with other health complications such as retardation, delayed speech, and learning difficulties. Education for the deaf has followed a curriculum developed by hearing educators who discouraged visual, body signals, and rallied for spoken and text-based literacy (Barnard & Glynn, 2003, p.   54).

Other forms of literacy such as the American Sign Language (ASL) have recently been integrated into the curriculum. The literacy levels of the deaf have constantly remained much lower than the normal hearing. There has been no clear-cut about which level the deaf should precede in education alongside the hearing children. It seems less expensive to integrate them into the hearing student classes and also provides them with the normal models of speech and language. On the other hand, deaf students appear to do well in the segregated environment and receive the education that perfectly suits their abilities.

The students can get specially trained teachers and special facilities. There are different strategies in place for teaching the deaf. Sign language has been used for decades as a first language and the language of reading and writing as the second language. Bi-lingual education has also been used as a mode of communication. Sign language is a very important language in the lives of most deaf people and varies from each other just as the spoken language does. Literacy skills of the hearing impaired students can be enhanced through sign language and spoken based methods.

The integration of teaching spoken language should not compromise the sign language as their first language. These languages represent two different cultures as well as an alternative way of thinking and perceiving the world. These help the children to have bicultural and multilingual advantages that are good for their existence and integration into society. The spoken language relies on the Childs ability to hear and the use of written information from various sources. The spoken language skills are multidimensional, and this means they may not be able to comprehend all forms of written scripts (Brueggemann, 2004, p.   43).

Though it is hard for anyone to be literate in all fields, everyone not sparing the deaf should access the written form of knowledge. Deaf people or hard hearing students lack access to the written resources and opportunities to participate in the meaningful discussion of the information. It is very expensive and not economically feasible to provide visual materials that have the same information as written materials. Hiring interpreters to translate the written form of information to the deaf is very expensive. Patterns of reading developmentSign language is the preferred language in many instances.

The sign language is easier to understand as it only focuses on the subject words in the sentence. Other learning methods such as the Signed Exact English require a prior understanding of English grammar which naturally born deaf students lack. Pidgin Sign English relies upon the common understanding of hand and body gestures. American Sign Language (ASL) stresses the main objects in the sentence that are very brief and concise (Easterbrooks & Beal-Alvarez, 2013, p.   32).

Facial expressions allow the person to communicate clearly, this clearly shows the deaf can show their emotions ad thoughts more clearly than with the sign language.      

References

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Brueggemann, B. J. (2004). Literacy and deaf people: Cultural and contextual perspectives. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Easterbrooks, S. R., & Beal-Alvarez, J. (2013). Literacy instruction for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

French, M. M. (1999). Starting with assessment: A developmental approach to deaf children's literacy. Washington, DC: Pre-College National Mission Programs, Gallaudet University.

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Ontario Literacy Coalition, & Ontario. (1997). Anglophone and deaf literacy field development projects, 1996-97. Toronto: Literacy and Basic Skills Section, Ministry of Education, and Training.

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Schirmer, B. R. (1994). Language and literacy development in children who are deaf. New York: Merrill.

Spencer, P. E., & Marschark, M. (2010). Evidence-based practice in educating deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stewart, D. A., & Clarke, B. R. (2003). Literacy and your deaf child: What every parent should know. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Volkmar, F. R. (2013). Encyclopedia of autism spectrum disorders. New York, NY: Springer.

Weisel, A., & International Congress on Education of the Deaf. (1998). Issues unresolved: New perspectives on language and deaf education. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

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