In the field of reading for deaf children, teaching strategies to teach a deaf child to read aloud seems impossible. Although it may seem strange to us in an advanced society like today, this is usually the first reaction of many parents and teachers of deaf children, who think that their children or students cannot learn to read aloud, or that they cannot. they can do so because of their deafness.
But the reality is different, deaf children can learn to read aloud and understand what they have read, using sign language and mime. Some teachers and parents have been left with the phonetic chart and learning the mechanics of speech.reading, thinking that, as listeners learn to read, so too, deaf people will learn to read. This idea is wrong as long as phonetic methods are used exclusively, without taking into account the particular needs of the deaf child.
Much research has been done on how to develop reading in deaf children. Reading is an essential element in education of the deaf child due to its importance in the development of the language. However, little research has been done on the application of the 'aloud' storytelling technique for deaf children and its effects. This technique is highly recommended by specialists in deaf education as an effective means for the development of literacy. But how to do it?
Some authors have investigated how deaf adults read to their deaf children and have found certain elements that are repeated in the reading sessions of stories. For example, in a 1993 study by Lartz and Lestina, it was found that deaf mothers followed a repeating pattern when reading to their deaf children.
The patterns were identified and presented as strategies that were then suggested to teachers and hearing parents to use when reading aloud to their deaf children. Likewise, there are authors who suggest that if we follow these strategies used by deaf adults, we can develop the skills of literacy in our deaf children, both at school and at home.
1- The use of sign language, mime and body / facial movements at all times.
2- Maintain both languages, the sign and the Spanish of the text, visible.
3- Not limited to the written text but add elements to the narration that are implicit.
4- The more times the story is read, the shorter the explanations giving more importance to written text and not to pictures.
5- Follow the child's instructions, not isolate him, but take your observations into account.
6- Adjust signs and its size to maintain the variety and interest of the child.
7- Connect reading with the child's reality.
8- Locate the signs in the book or outside of it.
9- Demonstrate character changes through the body expression, mimicry, use of space.
10- Ask questions by facial expression.
These were the strategies used by deaf adults in the United States when reading to their deaf children. We can apply them. Do not forget that the best activity that an adult can carry out with a child is to read a story.
Reinaldo Saliva González. Special Care Teacher. Specialist in Education for the Deaf.
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