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Evidence of an association between sign language phonological awareness and word reading in deaf and hard-of-hearing children
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1896-8250
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5025-9975
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2016 (English)In: Research in Developmental Disabilities, ISSN 0891-4222, E-ISSN 1873-3379, Vol. 48, 145-159 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Children with good phonological awareness (PA) are often good word readers. Here, we asked whether Swedish deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children who are more aware of the phonology of Swedish Sign Language, a language with no orthography, are better at reading words in Swedish.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

We developed the Cross-modal Phonological Awareness Test (C-PhAT) that can be used to assess PA in both Swedish Sign Language (C-PhAT-SSL) and Swedish (C-PhAT-Swed), and investigated how C-PhAT performance was related to word reading as well as linguistic and cognitive skills. We validated C-PhAT-Swed and administered C-PhAT-Swed and C-PhAT-SSL to DHH children who attended Swedish deaf schools with a bilingual curriculum and were at an early stage of reading.

OUTCOMES AND RESULTS:

C-PhAT-SSL correlated significantly with word reading for DHH children. They performed poorly on C-PhAT-Swed and their scores did not correlate significantly either with C-PhAT-SSL or word reading, although they did correlate significantly with cognitive measures.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

These results provide preliminary evidence that DHH children with good sign language PA are better at reading words and show that measures of spoken language PA in DHH children may be confounded by individual differences in cognitive skills.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 48, 145-159 p.
Keyword [en]
Deafness; Handshape; Phonological awareness; Sign language; Word reading
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122930DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2015.10.008ISI: 000367766100014PubMedID: 26561215OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122930DiVA: diva2:874962
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2008-0846
Note

Funding agencies: Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare [2008-0846]

Available from: 2015-11-30 Created: 2015-11-30 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Signs for Developing Reading: Sign Language and Reading Development in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Signs for Developing Reading: Sign Language and Reading Development in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Tecken på läsutveckling : Teckenspråk och läsutveckling hos döva och hörselskadade barn
Abstract [en]

Reading development is supported by strong language skills, not least in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children. The work in the present thesis investigates reading development in DHH children who use sign language, attend Regional Special Needs Schools (RSNS) in Sweden and are learning to read. The primary aim of the present work was to investigate whether the reading skills of these children can be improved via computerized sign language based literacy training. Another aim was to investigate concurrent and longitudinal associations between skills in reading, sign language, and cognition in this population. The results suggest that sign language based literacy training may support development of word reading. In addition, awareness and manipulation of the sub-lexical structure of sign language seem to assist word reading, and imitation of familiar signs (i.e., vocabulary) may be associated with developing reading comprehension. The associations revealed between sign language skills and reading development support the notion that sign language skills provide a foundation for emerging reading skills in DHH signing children. In addition, the results also suggest that working memory and Theory of Mind (ToM) are related to reading comprehension in this population. Furthermore, the results indicate that sign language experience enhances the establishment of representations of manual gestures, and that progression in ToM seems to be typical, although delayed, in RSNS pupils. Working memory has a central role in integrating environmental stimuli and language-mediated representations, and thereby provides a platform for cross-modal language processing and multimodal language development.

Abstract [sv]

En god språklig förmåga bidrar till god läsutveckling, inte minst hos döva och hörselskadade (D/H) barn. Studierna som ingår i avhandlingen undersöker läsutveckling hos D/H elever som går på teckenspråkiga specialskolor och som håller på att lära sig att läsa. Arbetets huvudsakliga syfte var att undersöka om deras läsförmåga kan förbättras via datoriserad teckenspråksbaserad lästräning. Ett annat syfte var att undersöka samtida och longitudinella samband mellan läsförmåga, teckenspråk, och kognition i samma population. Resultaten indikerar att teckenspråksbaserad lästräning kan bidra till ordläsningsutveckling. Vidare pekar resultaten på att medvetenhet om och manipulation av teckenspråkets sublexikala struktur stöttar läsförmågan och dessutom att imitation av kända tecken (i.e., vokabulär) var associerat med utvecklingen av barnens läsförståelse. Dessa fynd visar att teckenspråkskunskaper kan utgöra en grund för läsutveckling hos teckenspråkiga D/H elever. Resultaten indikerade även att arbetsminne och Theory of Mind (ToM) är relaterade till läsförståelse i denna grupp. Vid sidan av resultaten rörande läsutveckling, framkom också att teckenspråkserfarenhet leder till starkare etablering av representationer av manuella gester och vidare att barnens mentaliseringsförmåga (Theory of Mind) uppvisade en förväntad progression, om än försenad. En implikation av detta är att insatser som stöttar utveckling av teckenbaserade representationer och deras användning vid bearbetning av skrivet språk kan främja läsutveckling hos teckenspråkiga D/H elever. Arbetsminne föreslås genom sin roll i integration mellan inkommande stimuli och språkmedierade representationer fungera som en plattform för modalitetsöverskridande språkbearbetning och multimodal språkutveckling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 95 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 681Studies from the Swedish Institute for Disability Research, ISSN 1650-1128 ; 79
Keyword
Deaf and hard-of-hearing, intervention, sign language, reading development, word reading, reading comprehension, working memory, imitation, Theory of Mind, Döva och hörselskadade barn, intervention, teckenspråk, läsutveckling, ordläsning, läsförståelse, arbetsminne, imitation, Theory of Mind
National Category
Psychology Specific Languages Clinical Medicine Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-128207 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-128207 (DOI)978-91-7685-767-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-10, Key 1, Hus Key, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Holmer, EmilHeimann, MikaelRudner, Mary

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