Journal Article

Language Ability and Verbal and Nonverbal Executive Functioning in Deaf Students Communicating in Spoken English

Maria D. Remine, Esther Care and P. Margaret Brown

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 13, issue 4, pages 531-545
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enn010
Language Ability and Verbal and Nonverbal Executive Functioning in Deaf Students Communicating in Spoken English

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The internal use of language during problem solving is considered to play a key role in executive functioning. This role provides a means for self-reflection and self-questioning during the formation of rules and plans and a capacity to control and monitor behavior during problem-solving activity. Given that increasingly sophisticated language is required for effective executive functioning as an individual matures, it is likely that students with poor language abilities will have difficulties performing complex problem-solving tasks. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between language ability and verbal and nonverbal executive functioning in a group of deaf students who communicate using spoken English, as measured by their performance on two standardized tests of executive function: the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) 20 Questions Test and the D-KEFS Tower Test. Expressive language ability accounted for more than 40% of variability in performance on the D-KEFS 20 Questions Test. There was no significant relationship between language ability and performance on the D-KEFS Tower Test. There was no relationship between language ability and familiarity with the specific problem-solving strategies of both D-KEFS Tests. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Journal Article.  7850 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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