Journal Article

How Do Deaf Signers of LSQ and Their Teachers Construct the Meaning of a Written Text?

D. A. Ducharme and Isabelle Arcand

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 16, issue 1, pages 47-65
Published in print January 2011 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online May 2010 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enq020
How Do Deaf Signers of LSQ and Their Teachers Construct the Meaning of a Written Text?

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Many studies have investigated why learning to read is so problematic for deaf individuals. However, we still know very little about how to teach reading to signing students. In this article, we report on an exploratory qualitative study of deaf LSQ (Langue des signes québécoise) signers learning to read with two teachers, in an effort to better understand what strategies might be most useful in constructing the meaning of a text. By videotaping reading sessions between each teacher and student, then conducting recall interviews, we found that both students and teachers used a number of strategies to construct meaning. The list of strategies observed was categorized as word attack or global meaning types. Developing readers showed different patterns of strategy use, with more global meaning strategies being used by the more independent reader. We also found that the deaf teacher and hearing teacher had different patterns of strategy use, although both favored global meaning types. Finally, our findings indicate that both teachers adapted their strategy use to the needs of the students, but with a different focus. Namely, the deaf teacher used more global meaning strategies with the weaker reader and less with the more independent reader, whereas the hearing teacher showed the opposite pattern.

Journal Article.  10259 words.  Illustrated.

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

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