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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

South Carolina: Six Big Ideas for Teaching Phonological Awareness to Children with Hearing Loss Who Use Spoken Language

Dr. Krystal Werfel, director of the Written Language Lab and an associate professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, has collaborated with a student in her department’s doctoral program, Ms. Gabriella Reynolds, to publish a paper on six big ideas for teaching phonological awareness to children with hearing loss who use spoken language. Their paper was included in SIG 9 Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.

“Because children with hearing loss experience difficulty in developing word decoding and spelling skills, effective phonological awareness instruction for this population is vital,” Dr. Werfel says. “Children with hearing loss are often delayed in their development of phonological awareness compared to peers with normal hearing; however, the developmental progression appears to be the same for both groups of children. Some modifications to typical phonological awareness instruction are warranted for this population.”

By reviewing recent research – much of it from Dr. Werfel’s lab – on phonological awareness instruction for children with hearing loss from several research groups, this paper synthesizes the current state of research in this area into six big ideas that have led to impressive gains in phonological awareness skills for this population.

Big Idea 1: Be Explicit. Explicit, systematic instruction is vital for children with hearing loss across a variety of language domains.

Big Idea 2: Follow Developmental Progression. Follow the progression of the ability to analyze increasing smaller units of sounds.

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