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Give at least four reasons for the importance of providing clear visual images and messages, using various media and technologies, in teaching young deaf children English/Language Arts. (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for English/Language Arts and Reading; EC - 6th Grade)
Clear visual images and messages allow young deaf children to identify the subject matter with ease. Comprehension of a literary text is reliant on the principal theme or object of concern (Texas Education Agency, 2018). Clear images and messages allow deaf children to know what to expect from an English or Arts passage. Clear messages enable deaf children to make inferences about a subject. Clear images and passages reveal all details and guide the process of inferencing and mastering content. Use of clear pictures and passages reveals connections in text and allows children learners with hearing problems to connect various themes or theories of evidence and understand them better. Clear visual images and messages lead to the wholesome development of a classroom of young children because all students can observe and take-in knowledge. It is of particular importance that the instructor positions himself or herself in such a way that all students can see the visual presentations. Deaf children may not get constructively involved in aspects such as raising concern and interactively asking questions especially the ones who have little understanding of sign language.
Describe three activities you would use to teach a deaf preschool child the link between signed concepts and printed text.
Storytelling is a crucial activity that can be used to teach deaf children the difference between printed texts and signed concepts. A teacher should employ short stories written on sheets of paper with clearly visible wording and some pictures. The written wording would teach the children the printed text while the pictures would enlighten them on the signed concepts which include the emotions in the picture and features that can be deductively reasoned out.
Paired activities are essential in teaching deaf children the difference between printed and signed concepts. Deaf children can be paired with other deaf children and assigned to activities in the classroom. The activities include organizing class materials and structured activities such as role play that involve communication. Printed texts would be provided and the children allowed to read them as they observe the signs made by the teacher. Use of body language entails the signed concepts which can only be learned by observing each other or observing the teacher (Texas Education Agency, 2018).
Printed texts are readily discernible by children in the classroom with minimal guidance. However, some signed concepts practical approaches and more involvement than printed texts. The activity of pretend-play would allow deaf children to communicate informally with one another and with objects such as dolls. Playing with objects and friends creates a model of informal learning and develops signed concepts in a bid to make friends understand what the child wants them to do. Making letter signs with hands while pretend-playing also develops comprehension of printed texts.
Consider a young deaf child who has just been assessed, and who routinely signs two sign utterances, mainly consisting of N+V patterns. Identify at least 3 logical next step/instructional goals for this child's language instruction.
Goal one would be to teach some basic words that involve the sounds that the child can sign in "N", and "V" sounds such as Nanny, No, Valve, Vanessa etc.
Goal 2 would be to teach the child other letters that are easily signed using lips. The letters would include "B", "C" which uses the teeth and the tongue, "M", which uses lips and so on.
Goal 3 would be to teach the child to make logical sign expressions in a way that they would communicate. The teacher would use sign language and lip movements to converse with the child. The child would then read gestures and gain a better understanding of how to use them in his or her communication.
Consider a student with normal intelligence that has a moderate hearing loss.
Look at the TEKS and select a language goal. State the TEKS goal, briefly describe 5 language skill-building activities for supporting that goal, and briefly explain how you would assess the child's mastery of that goal.
The TEKS goal stated is "The students in the public education system will demonstrate exemplary performance in the reading and writing of the English language" (Texas Education Agency, 2018). The language skill-building activities to meet the TEKS goal are:
Storytelling. The child would be involved in telling stories to the classroom to gauge his or her narration skills. The stories would be aspects such as how they spent the weekend, what they want to be when they grow up.
Team activities. The child would be assigned t a team of other children, and they would accomplish a task together. The action would allow the child with a moderate hearing loss to converse with others, read their lips and listen attentively.
Read out a text loudly to the child. The teacher would read a story or a chapter from a book to the child in a private setting. This step allows the child to understand the pronunciation of words and aspects such as intonation and mood of a written text.
Dictate short notes to the students. The teacher would dictate and request the child with a moderate hearing loss to write what they hear. This activity would nurture listening and allow the teacher to gauge the level and progress of the hearing loss condition.
Making symbolic sounds and body language. The teacher would make sounds and show the student the facial expressions corresponding to that sound. This activity would enhance the conversation skill of the child and make him or her confident of expressing opinions and feelings.
The child's progress would be gauged by observation method. Since much of the learning is informal, formal tests on reading and writing are not entirely possible. The teacher would request the student to read out loud to the classroom or express himself or herself in English. Observation of word choice, expressions and general tone used by the child would allow the gauging of learning.
Find a simple children's poem or song that every child should "know." Identify all the figures of speech in that poem/song. the name and the full text of the poem or song, and the figures of speech you would have to pre-teach for the deaf child to "listen responsively to stories and other texts read aloud, including selections from classic and contemporary works."
A simple children's poem that most children know is "Aim High to the Sky" by James McDonald (McDonald, n.d). The poem reads:
Aim high to the sky,
In all that you do.
Because you just never know,
What it takes to be you.
Be strong and be brave,
But at the same time be kind.
And always be sure,
That you're using your mind.
The major figure of speech in the poem is hyperbole. The deaf child needs to be taught the purpose of hyperbole and typical examples of its use in life. For instance, a good case that virtually all children have experienced is the phrase "I have told you a hundred times" the phrase is common and means multiple times that may not necessarily total to a hundred. The teacher also needs to explain the sky literally as what humans see when they look vertically upwards on a clear day. Just as the sky is high, set aims and goals should be high too. Listening attentively to the poem would nurture self-confidence by showing the children that they can be anything they want as long s they work hard for it. It nurtures courage in oneself and appreciates the purpose of the human mind as the central command centre. The poem also cultivates interpersonal values such as the virtue of kindness.
McDonald, J. Aim High to the Sky. Best Poems Encyclopedia. Retrieved from 100.best-poems.net/aim-high-sky.html
Texas Education Agency. (2018) Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Retrieved from tea.texas.gov/curriculum/teks/
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