Journal Article

The Relationships Between Reading Processes and English Skills of Deaf College Students

Edward H. Lichtenstein

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 3, issue 2, pages 80-134
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.deafed.a014348
The Relationships Between Reading Processes and English Skills of Deaf College Students

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This research project investigated the relationships between various working memory, (WM) recoding processes and English language skills in a sample of 86 prelingually deaf college students from varied educational backgrounds. Part I reports the results of a short-term memory (STM) experiment and a Recoding Strategies questionnaire. The STM results suggested that, for most deaf students, neither the speech, sign, or visual codes are as efficient as the speech code of hearing persons for the purpose of maintaining English linguistic information in WM. However, the ability to use speech-based recoding processes was positively correlated with WM capacity, and the use of sign recoding was found to decrease as the ability to make efficient use of a speech recoding strategy increased. In addition, the questionnaire data suggested that neither the speech nor sign recoding systems provide the majority of students with a complete internal representation of English surface structure grammatical information in WM. There was no evidence that the use of sign language in education interfered with the ability to develop a speech recoding strategy, or that knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) negatively influenced the acquisition of English skills. The overall pattern of results suggested that WM processes and strategies may be influencing grammatical processes, and the acquisition of English skills, in distinctive ways.

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

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