Advances in the Spoken-Language Development of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children

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Throughout history there have been efforts to help deaf children develop spoken language through which they could have full access to the hearing world. These efforts, although pursued seriously and with great care, frequently proved fruitless, and often only resulted in passionate arguments over the efficacy of particular approaches. Although some deaf children did develop spoken language, there was little evidence to suggest that this development had been facilitated by any particular education approach, and moreover, many, even most deaf children—especially those with profound loss—never develop spoken language at all. Recent technological advances, however, have led to more positive expectations for deaf children's acquisition of spoken language: Innovative testing procedures for hearing allow for early identification of loss that leads to intervention services during the first weeks and months of life. Programmable hearing aids allow more children to make use of residual hearing abilities. Children with the most profound losses are able to reap greater benefits from cochlear-implant technologies. At the same time, there have been great advances in research into the processes of deaf children's language development and the outcomes they experience. As a result, we are, for the first time, accruing a sufficient base of evidence and information to allow reliable predictions about children's progress that will, in turn, lead to further advances. The contributors to this volume are recognized leaders in this research, and here they present the latest information on both the new world evolving for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and the improved expectations for their acquisition of spoken language. Chapters cover topics such as the significance of early vocalizations, the uses and potential of technological advances, and the cognitive processes related to spoken language. The contributors provide objective information from children in a variety of programming: using signs; using speech only; using cued speech, and cutting-edge information on the language development of children using cochlear implants and the innovations in service provision.
Along with its companion volume, Advances in Sign-Language Development of Deaf Children, this book will provide a deep and broad picture of what is known about deaf children's language development in a variety of situations and contexts. From this base of information, progress in research and its application will accelerate, and barriers to deaf children's full participation in the world around them will continue to be overcome.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Linda Jacobs-Condit, AuD, CCC-A(George Washington University)
Description: This book, part of the series Perspectives on Deafness, is a compilation of contributions by recognized leaders in the field, providing broad information about deaf children's language development.
Purpose: According to the editors, this book was developed to tell two stories: an overview of the origins, progress, and future of research about spoken language development in deaf and hard-of-hearing children; and the current state-of-the-art in the field regardless of one's interest in spoken language vs. sign language. Given the recent technological advances in identifying and remediating deafness and/or hearing loss in children, there are greater more positive outcomes for these children.
Audience: The editors state that this book was written for parents, educators, linguists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Their objectives are to provide information about state-of-the-art research in language development so that parents can make more informed choices, and professionals will be in a better position to support them and their children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The editors have extensive experience with the use of spoken and sign language by children. Spencer, now retired from the social work program at Gallaudet University, is currently teaching research at Texas A&M University. Marschark is a professor in the department of research at the NTID and in the department of psychology at the University of Aberdeen. He has served as a journal editor and has published several books on raising and educating deaf children.
Features: This book includes a historical/theoretical introduction to language development in children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, followed by information on early language development, basic processes and supports for spoken language development. Oller focuses on early vocalizations while Masataka provides a cross-cultural and biological look at innate communication processes and their interaction with communicative experiences. Ackley and Decker incorporate an update on current and emerging technologies that identify and specify hearing loss in infants and children. Blamey, Sarant and Paatsch offer examples of continuing difficulties in the assessment of children's speech perception abilities. Subsequent chapters present data from studies of intervention methods being used to support deaf children's spoken language development. Geers presents a comprehensive summary of research findings supporting the significantly higher speech and spoken language skills acquired by children using cochlear implants compared to their peers who were not implanted. Yoshinago-Itano summarizes her longitudinal study of children with hearing loss in the Colorado population study. According to the editors, this book lacks specific chapters on current methodology in training speech and auditory skills due to the lack of research-based data. Other topics not included relate to characteristics of spoken language in hard-of-hearing children.
Assessment: The editors have compiled a book that includes state-of-the-art approaches to the identification and remediation of deafness or hearing loss in children, as well as broad approaches to their acquisition of language — either oral/spoken or sign.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195179873
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Series: Perspectives on Deafness Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Texas A & M University

National Technical Institute for the Deaf

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Table of Contents

1 Spoken language development of deaf and hard-of-hearing children : historical and theoretical perspectives 3
2 Vocal language development in deaf infants : new challenges 22
3 Development of communicative behavior as a precursor of spoken language in hearing infants, with implications for deaf and hard-of-hearing infants 42
4 Audiological advancement and the acquisition of spoken language in deaf children 64
5 Relationships among speech perception and language measures in hard-of-hearing children 85
6 The oral methods and spoken language acquisition 103
7 Family-centered practice in early intervention for oral language development : philosophy, methods, and results 136
8 Speech production and spoken language development of children using "total communication" 166
9 The effect of cued speech on the development of spoken language 193
10 A computer-animated tutor for language learning : research and applications 212
11 Spoken language in children with cochlear implants 244
12 The process and early outcomes of cochlear implantation by three years of age 271
13 Early identification, communication modality, and the development of speech and spoken language skills : patterns and considerations 298
14 Working memory capacity, verbal rehearsal speed, and scanning in deaf children with cochlear implants 328
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