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15 Principles for Reading to Deaf Children Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

How to read to deaf children

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


The ultimate author­ities in reading to deaf children are deaf adults. Compar­ative studies of deaf children with hearing parents and deaf children with deaf parents show that deaf children with deaf parents are superior in academic achiev­ement, reading and writing, and social develo­pment (Ewoldt, Hoffme­ister, & Israelite, 1992). Hearing parents and teachers can learn from the read aloud strategies used by deaf parents. The following 15 principles have been identified based on research that examined deaf parents and deaf teachers reading to deaf children.

The Principles

1. Deaf readers translate stories using American Sign Language.
2. Deaf readers keep both languages visible (ASL and English).
3. Deaf readers are not constr­ained by the text.
4. Deaf readers re-read stories on a storyt­elling to story reading continuum.
5. Deaf readers follow the child's lead.
6. Deaf readers make what is implied explicit.
7. Deaf readers adjust sign placement to fit the story.
8. Deaf readers adjust signing style to fit the story.
9. Deaf readers connect concepts in the story to the real world.
10. Deaf readers use attention mainte­nance strate­gies.
11. Deaf readers use eye gaze to elicit partic­ipa­tion.
12. Deaf readers engage in role play to extend concepts.
13. Deaf readers use ASL variations to sign repetitive English phrases.
14. Deaf readers provide a positive and reinfo­rcing enviro­nment.
15. Deaf readers expect the child to become literate.
"The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to childr­en."­
National Academy of Education Commission on Reading 1985