Many parents of deaf children ask how to do “language practice” at home, as advised by language teachers and educators. Reading is one way, and another is to talk with your child, in their favoured communication mode.
Recently, the IDK team saw a great example of “language practice” online, written by a hard-of-hearing visiting teacher of deaf/hard-of-hearing students in the US. Her approach is simple and practical, but it’s effective.
Here’s what makes this lesson ‘work’:
- Natural conversation is engendered through the planned activity
- The student is involved in both the activity and the conversation
- The activity is shared with a teacher, mentor and social guide
- The activity is multi-sensory (tasting, naming sensations, writing)
- Past learning (chocolate squares, here) form a base for new learning
- Writing reinforces the student’s learning, and is a basis for discussion
Parents, carers and teachers can use this angle with children in their care. It only takes a few minutes and can be done wherever the carer and child are.
With Irish children now abandoning books for TVs & PC games in bedrooms, the value of time spent every day reading and writing, is even more clear.
Libraries also make great (free) social trips for families, as South Dublin County Council conveys in its Facebook campaign to improve child literacy.
As that American car-sticker asks, “Have you talked with your child today?”
- Deaf Children: Early Language Teaching At Home
- Communication Development: Linking Items To Words
- Early Reading Skills For Lifelong Literacy
- Digital Readers (eReaders) Improve Child Literacy