Saint Joseph's University

SPE 731 Language, Literacy and Communication Development for Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Open up a world of possibilities. Learn up-to-date techniques for teaching literacy to students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change without notice as course and student needs change over time. For current course descriptions, please see the Online Academic Catalog.

Format: Online

Duration: 16 weeks

Credits: 3 credits

The elements of language – spoken, written, and signed – are significant challenges to a student who is deaf or hard of hearing. As a teacher, your assessment of a child’s abilities can be the beginning step to his or her future success in learning. Week by week, you discover methods of intervention, and theories for teaching language and reading

By observing a classroom that includes students who are deaf and hard of hearing, you begin to explore effective instructional practices. As you participate in discussions with classmates and your professor, you share in the exciting challenges of teaching students who are hard of hearing and deaf.

This course introduces you to the elements of languages, which are spoken, written and signed.  It addresses the impact of hearing loss upon language acquisition and the array of communication methods available to families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.  Principles of first and second language acquisition are applied to the development of English and American Sign Language in deaf children or deaf families.    

The National Reading Panel’s essential components of reading are presented, accompanied by strategies for making them meaningful for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. You explore effective classroom instructional practices in language and reading for students who are hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf. Other topics include how Visual Phonics help develop communication skills, ways to improve fluency,  and the concept of “bilingual” as applied to students with hearing loss.

Sample Course Topics  

Throughout this course, weekly topics may include:

  • Language Acquisition
  • Communication Options
  • Language Assessment
  • Language Planning and Classroom Instruction
  • Introduction to Reading
  • Components of Reading Instruction
  • Reading Fluency
  • Vocabulary and Comprehension

Examples of What You’ll Learn

Upon completing SPE 731, you can:

  • Describe how the stages of language development differ between children who can hear and those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Discuss the variety of sensory pathways and communication options for students who are deaf and hard of hearing to acquire language.
  • Appreciate the bilingualism debate as it relates to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Identify the three different types of language assessment: classroom observation, language sample, and standardized assessment.
  • Illustrate how language-learning principles are used with students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Explain Chall’s Stages of Reading Development and how students experience these stages differently.
  • Apply the concepts of phonemic awareness, phonics (alphabetic principle), fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension to appreciate the experience of teaching reading to students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Discuss how reading fluency affects a student’s ability to comprehend language and retain information.
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of using the same vocabulary teaching strategies with hearing students and students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

To learn more about the online Master of Science in Education – Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing PK-12 certification curriculum from Saint Joseph’s University, including Language, Literacy, and Communication Development for Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, call (866) 758-7670 to speak with a Program Manager or request more information.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change without notice as course and student needs change over time. For current course descriptions, please see the Online Academic Catalog.

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