Teaching the Spoken Language

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There is more research that examines characteristics of parental talk with DHH children, and it supports our hypothesis that the same characteristics of adult talk will be beneficial for DHH children's language development. In addition, DesJardin and colleagues have extended the literature to parent—child conversations in settings other than book reading. They found that, for DHH children of up to 4 years old, parents' use of language supporting behaviors including reformulation and open-ended language elicitation, among other behaviors is positively related to child language skills DesJardin et al.

DesJardin and colleagues have also looked at the independent effect of parents' use of reformulations and language elicitations with their young DHH children. DesJardin found that mothers' use of certain types of reformulations i. In addition, she found that the rate of maternal use of open-ended language elicitation positively correlated with child language. In addition, Encinas and Plante have shown that specific types of reformulations i.

Only one study to date has considered the relation between individual behaviors for facilitating language development and DHH children's growth in language over time. DesJardin, Ambrose, and Eisenberg found that mothers' use of certain reformulations i. One of the reasons that young DHH children are delayed in language acquisition may be that they encounter unique barriers to learning language from naturalistic input.

Listening to students' spoken language | ETp

Many studies have considered types of teacher talk that can support language development for young hearing children in preschools and day care, and a few have examined conversational techniques parents may use to support DHH children's language development. However, there is little information about teacher talk behaviors in the classrooms of young DHH students and how teacher talk relates to gains in DHH students' language skills. This study is also among the first to consider the extent to which conversational language support practices, which are frequently studied in preschools and day cares, predict language skill development of elementary school students.

This is an important extension of the literature, because group size and activity context affect the quality of adult input Dickinson et al. The demanding instructional goals in elementary school classrooms may reduce the quality of adult input and its effectiveness. This study used assessment scores and video observations collected by the Center on Literacy and Deafness CLAD , a multistate, interdisciplinary research team studying language and literacy for young DHH children Easterbrooks et al.

Data were collected from two cohorts of children during the — and — school years. The CLAD sample included classrooms that used a variety of different modalities for communication.

Methods and Materials for Teaching Spoken Language

For this study, we restricted our sample to classrooms that use spoken English exclusively, because the features of teacher talk that influence language development may differ for different modalities. We used fall and spring language scores expressive vocabulary and morphosyntax to examine gains across the school year. We measured teacher talk during winter of the school year, in between the fall and spring assessments. We also wanted to separate the timing of the observation from our measure of child language to establish temporal precedence Huttenlocher et al.

This study examined two questions:. What are the characteristics of teacher talk in the kindergarten through second grade, spoken language classrooms of DHH children?

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To what extent does teacher talk relate to gains in DHH students' vocabulary and morphosyntax across a school year? Children were eligible for the CLAD study if they a were in kindergarten, first grade, or second grade; b had an individualized education plan because of a hearing loss; and c had no additional severe disabilities according to their teachers. To be eligible for the current study, students also needed to be present during the selected period for observation winter and be in classrooms that used spoken language without sign support.

This resulted in a sample of 68 children in 25 classrooms from four states and one Canadian province. Most classes were small, self-contained classrooms with an average of four students, but there were also classrooms where one DHH child was mainstreamed with an average of 19 students in the classroom. Table 1 presents the characteristics of the classrooms. Table 1. Classroom characteristics. Some children may receive Language Arts instruction with a small DHH-only group and attend a mainstream class for other parts of the day.

According to parent report, all of the children who used hearing aids used them nearly all the time. At the time of fall testing, the average child age was 6 years 8 months, with a standard deviation of 13 months. Forty-six percent of the sample was in kindergarten, All students' parents reported that they primarily use spoken language with no sign support at home, except for one parent who did not respond. Nineteen teachers returned a questionnaire with additional information about their education and certification. Fifteen had master's degrees.

Ten teachers had degrees specific to deaf education. Eighteen of the 19 teachers reported that they were certified teachers. One teacher did not respond to the certification question but reported that she had a master's degree in deaf education. One teacher had listening and spoken language certification. Four of the classrooms had two adults in the room during the observation period, and no data were available about the second adult's education or certification. For three of the classrooms, the second adult was a paraprofessional who only spoke a few times.

In one case, the second adult was a coteacher who spoke nearly as much as the primary teacher. Schools recruited for the CLAD study included schools for the Deaf, mainstream classrooms, self-contained classrooms, and a variety of different school types. A high proportion of the classrooms included only DHH students.

Recruiting schools or classrooms with many eligible children allowed CLAD to include the maximum number of participants while minimizing the cost of data collection. As part of the CLAD study, kindergarten through second-grade DHH children took a large battery of language and literacy assessments in the fall and spring of a single school year.

Testing for an individual child was usually completed within a single week. Assessors tested children one at a time in a small, quiet room in the child's school. To prevent testing fatigue, children were tested for short periods on several usually consecutive days. An observer also video-recorded Language Arts instruction three times—a single day per classroom in the fall, winter, and spring. The institutional review board of all universities involved in this project approved of the study, as did all of the schools from which data were collected.

Parent notification, rather than parent consent, occurred in the majority of schools. Data were collected from the vast majority of students who met eligibility criteria. The test requires children to look at a series of pictures and give a one-word name for each picture.

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Because children varied widely in age, we used the standard scores derived from the hearing norming sample. Standard scores for this test have a mean of and a standard deviation of Testing reliability scores of. For example, the child sees a picture of a single book and a picture of several books.

Here are some…. Scores are based on a norming sample of 5- to 8-year-old hearing children. For the norming sample, the Word Structure subtest has an average internal consistency of. Researchers coded teacher talk observed during the winter observation in three passes. The first pass was to select the time segment to code, the second pass was to transcribe the interactions, and the third pass was to code the characteristics of teacher talk. All coding was performed by the first author, a doctoral student with extensive experience in observational coding under the supervision of the second author.

The first author trained another doctoral student in the coding scheme using classroom observations from fall and spring until the two coders reached acceptable levels of agreement. The coders identified the first 20 min of the winter observation, which met three criteria. The first criterion was that instruction was focused on the meaning of texts or language. Coders decided about the focus of instruction using a coding scheme based on the work of Connor and colleagues Connor, Morrison, et al. This scheme differentiates meaning-based instruction such as reading comprehension activities, vocabulary instruction, composition instruction, or general language practice from code-focused instruction such as phonological awareness, spelling, or decoding instruction.

We selected to code only meaning-based activities because they would provide the richest source of the teacher talk variables we were examining. More information about the types of activities observed in each classroom is available in Table 1. The most common meaning-based activities included book reading, reading comprehension activities, and prewriting activities see Connor, Morrison, et al.

Although the 20 min that were selected for analyses were focused on a number of different reading activities, they all provided a context where teachers and children interacted in activities that focused on the active extraction and construction of meaning from text and speech Connor, Morrison, et al.

The next criterion for the selection of the min observation was that the largest number of participating children possible were present, and the third was that the lesson was led by the teacher who spent the most time teaching. Interrater reliability for the first pass of coding was Coders transcribed all teacher and child talk in the min meaning-based segment.

The transcriptions were broken into conversational turns. Conversational turns were defined as speech that was bounded at the beginning and end by another person's speech or at least 2 s of silence. Transcription reliability was based on agreement for conversational turns. We transcribed and coded all teacher talk that the participant children likely heard. This occurred in two contexts. The majority of teacher talk took place during group instruction. In this context, we transcribed all teacher talk. Our assumption was that the participants would have heard all the teacher's utterances, even if a particular utterance was directed to a nonparticipant.

In contrast, when classes broke into smaller groups and the teacher worked with a single group at a time, we only transcribed teacher talk when the teacher was working with a group that included one or more participating students. The teacher talk in this article therefore represents all the language that participating students were exposed to, although portions of it may have been directed to a nonparticipating child. The majority of classrooms had only a single teacher present during the Language Arts period, but four classrooms had two adults present and interacting with the children.

In these cases, the language of both adults was transcribed without differentiating between speakers because we were interested in the total adult language input children experienced.

We coded teacher talk along five categories: repetition, language elicitation, explicit vocabulary instruction, explicit grammar instruction, and wait time. For the first four categories, if the turn did not contain any code for that category, it received a null code.

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Each category was mutually exclusive and exhaustive for a conversational turn, meaning that each teacher conversational turn received a code from the repetition, language elicitation, explicit vocabulary instruction, and explicit grammar instruction categories. Only turns that received a code for language elicitation either open-ended or closed received a code for wait time. For example, a single teacher conversational turn might be coded as containing a reformulation, an open-ended language elicitation, a null code for explicit vocabulary instruction, a null code for explicit grammar instruction, and a code for allowing wait time.

Each category is defined here see Table 2 for a summary and Appendix A for excerpts from coded transcripts. Table 2. Summary of coding scheme. Repetition category.