How Technology Benefits Students as Well as Focus on Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Students
Today’s wide range of tools, devices, and systems can help students who are deaf or hard of hearing thrive in an educational setting. This guide focuses on those resources, tech tools and expert tips that students of all ages can use achieve academic success.
More than half of U.S. higher education students have used this format for at least one class. Accessible on computers and other electronic devices, the additional features available in this book format may be advantageous for deaf and hard of hearing students. Interactive features such as polls, quizzes, note sharing and instructor annotations facilitate collaboration and interaction with the text, other students, and the professor. Students with mild to moderate hearing loss often find it helpful to use digital recorders. These capture lectures as sound files which can be stored in a device and replayed at the student's leisure. This can be especially useful in large seminars or locations not equipped with other assistive listening devices.
Nevertheless, like all language learners, deaf learners must notice linguistic input before they can comprehend it, process it, and ultimately integrate it as acquired grammatical knowledge. Because deaf learners primarily have access only to visual linguistic input (although advancements in technology related to audition are changing that situation), any attempt to facilitate the noticing of English input through focus-on-form instruction must obviously employ methodologies that lend themselves to visual presentation. At the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), deaf students who test at the lower levels of English language proficiency, in fact, currently receive additional English grammar instruction as a corequisite to their academic writing courses. This corequisite course consists of 1 hr of remedial grammar instruction per week in addition to the four contact hours of academic writing instruction that they receive.
The most difficult aspect of writing for these students was vocabulary and syntax; the area in which most students did well was story construction. Only a small amount of variance in overall writing was explained by demographic variables, although demographic variables explained a substantial amount of variance in the sub-scores of contextual language and story construction.
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