Sign language phonological awareness supports word reading in deaf beginning readers
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Spoken language phonological awareness (PA) supports word reading development in hearing children; however, deaf children, who have non-functional levels of hearing and a signed language as their first language, seem to utilize their first language skills to learn to read. We developed a new phonological decision task that can be used to assess PA in both spoken and signed languages, and investigated how these skills were related to word reading in deaf beginning readers (Study 1). We also investigated the validity of our new task in hearing beginning readers (Study 2). Thirteen deaf beginning readers with a mean age of 10 years (SD=2.3) participated in Study 1; in Study 2, 36 normal hearing children with a mean age of 7.5 years (SD=0.3) took part. Groups were well matched on word reading, non-verbal intelligence, and gender distribution. The deaf children performed the new phonological decision task both as a sign similarity task and as a rhyme task; hearing children only performed a rhyme task. Participants also performed motor speed, cognitive speed, working memory, word decoding and lexical decision tasks; in addition, hearing children completed an established test of PA. Correlational analyses across studies indicated that the new task is a valid measure of PA, and that first language PA supports word reading, even when surface forms of first and reading language are completely different. Sign language PA may support word-to-sign mapping or some aspect of orthographic analysis; however, future studies should investigate what the exact function of this skill is.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122937OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122937DiVA: diva2:875012
The third annual International Conference on Cognitive Hearing Science for Communication, CHSCOM 2015, will be held June 14-17, 2015 in Linköping
FunderForte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2008-0846