The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

Association Magazine January 2018

Language development


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Focus articles
4 Beyond the word Fiona Kyle examines the reading comprehension skills of deaf children and that a major problem for deaf children is that their comprehension skills may not match their word reading skills so that they encounter difficulty being able to make inferences when the text expects the reader to be able to use their own outside knowledge to ‘fill in the gaps’.
6 Access to the language of examinations Paul Simpson provides an update on current issues related to access arrangements for examinations for deaf candidates, what needs to be in place for necessary arrangements to be justified, the need to modify the language of examinations when the questions have unnecessary complexity, the complications occurring when BSL or an Oral Language Modifier is requested.
8 Translingual practices Professor Ruth Swanwick reports on current research at the University of Leeds School of Education which recognises the increasingly linguistic and cultural diversity of deaf learners in the UK context of multilingual lives, one project examining the educational and social needs of deaf children of Roma families to plan multi-professional intervention and support, a second project is a seminar series, Signs Beyond Borders, which aims to bring together participants interested in multimodality, sign-language studies, translanguaging, sign-interpreting and deaf education to identify ways in which people with different visual/gestural and auditory/oral experience of language communicate and understand each other.
10 Stories to promote listening and language Susannah Burden encourages the use of stories to promote listening and language and how to help parents can share books with a deaf child to encourage interaction by going beyond the story and pictures on the page to make books come alive and stimulate the auditory development, cognitive ability and abstract thinking of the child.
14 A British Sign Language GCSE would help deaf and hearing children Ian Noon reflects on his experiences learning to sign and how much easier it could be for future generations if hearing students were given the opportunity to learn BSL as a language option at school and that there is a much interest from hearing students who would like to take up such an option – but also accepts that there will need to be a considerable change in Government thinking before it is a possibility.
16 A day in the life of a teenager at the Royal School for the Deaf Derby Helen Starczewski and Caroline Mitchell aim to illustrate how the school’s communication policy works in practice in the Secondary School Department throughout the day through the eyes of a pupil starting with assembly which has a Soundfield system running as well as BSL, followed by a guided reading group which discusses the language used in the book to ensure full comprehension, SmiLE modules which develop communication skills such as buying a drink in a cafe and also a Word of the Week Competition which give students a chance to win literacy points towards the school’s reward system.
20 The importance of family communication Dr Sarah Collinson summarises recent research into deaf children’s language and communication development in the first five years of life and looks at the importance of infant-directed speech by parents in order to encourage responsive two-way interaction and conversation between parent and deaf child, plus she explains how the quantity and quality of language input play a key part in development of successful language acquisition of a deaf child.
24 Using Cued Speech to support language development in deaf children Cate Calder explains how the combination of lip reading plus the manual ‘cues’ of Cued Speech can give valuable extra language information to a young deaf child which can make ensuring greater comprehension and promoting language skills closer to that of hearing children.
26 Babble in hearing and deaf babies Sasha Bemrose discusses how assessing a baby's babble can provide useful information about language development and can augment the assessment of the baby’s access to sound, the progress of their vocalisations and the likely time frame for word development.
29 Supporting mainstream inclusion through BSL Majella Williams describes how she developed a deaf friendly resource base in a mainstream school which became ‘deaf friendly’ and ‘sign language inclusive’ and where parents embraced the word ‘DEAF’ and be proud of their children and the children themselves could make impressive progress and become much more integrated and confident members of the school.
31 Boosting literacy, language and thinking for deeper learning Jo Walsh and Tracey Orpin, of Mary Hare School, share new initiatives using real talk to increase achievement by means of a whole school vocabulary policy which aims to widen students’ general, emotional and curriculum vocabulary and fill the gap left by the lack of incidental learning many deaf students experience.
32 Using apps to support deaf children’s language development Kim Hagen shares her tips on the best apps to support deaf children’s language development in the early years – covering listening skills, interacting and socialising, speech development, BSL and early reading.
34 Teaching phonics to deaf children A decade on from the publication of “Letters and Sounds”, Trish Cope explores what has changed in teaching phonics to deaf children – from the Rose Review in 2006, through the implementation of the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme and the significant advances in amplification technology available today, she looks at how the reading skills of deaf children are improving and at what more needs to be done for the future.
36 A sign bilingual approach to language development and learning in deaf children A sign bilingual approach to language development and learning in deaf children>Dani Sive argues that, rather than choosing between sign language and spoken language, deaf children can benefit in many ways by learning to be fluent in both. At Frank Barnes school, they have used a Sign Bilingual approach to teach their deaf children for nearly 20 years, based on learning British Sign Language (BSL) as the first language and to learn English as the second language.
38 Peterborough's diverse deaf population Teresa Quail and Becky Frewin give the Peterborough perspective on supporting deaf children, young people and families with English as an additional language by the means of group work with families including older siblings, working with young adults in a college setting and also providing specialist assessment for young deaf secondary students newly arriving in the UK.
40 Using technology in an infant school Nicola Temko shares her delight in seeing the difference that technology, such as radio aids and cochlear implants, can make to young students and how the Specialist Centre at Mead Infant School instills in deaf children expectations of good quality sound plus dialogue with Audiologists and Auditory Implant Centres ensures any problems are solved quickly.
42 Developing language naturally takes a team Laura Hunter and Cate Statham emphasise the benefits of families and professionals working together and discuss how they have used the Natural Aural Approach, have been involved in DELTA events and how much they feel that ToDs and other professionals are key to empowering families with a deaf child.
General features
45 Cochlear implants and lip-reading in deaf adults Read my lips: the key to successful hearing with a cochlear implant – says Dr Carly Anderson, who has used a brain imaging method called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), which uses light to measure the brain activity of cochlear implant wearers who cannot be tested with fMRI. This study shows that lip-reading can be positively beneficial and that increased brain activation by lip-reading is linked to greater activation by sounds and better hearing abilities following cochlear implantation.
48 iCARE conference Paul Simpson reports from the final iCARE conference held at the University of Leuven including lectures by Professor Guido Lichtert, Birgitte Sahlen, Brigitte Charlier, Carsten Svensson and Ann-Charlotte Gyllenram followed by discussions and even a session with Sam the Robot, developed to support auditory rehabilitation.
51 Inclusion Shake-Up M.G. Hardie-Davis puts forward a proposal for a national inclusion strategy (NIS) which aims to define standards achieved by deaf children and criteria to establish exact levels of deaf children’s performance in literacy using the principals of Communication and Written English skills plus she also advocates the creation of Centres of Language and Communication.
54 MESHGuides in the making... share your experiences! Ann Underwood encourages BATOD members to share their experiences to add to the knowledge base of the MESHGuides, including worldwide MESHguides, new MESHGuides from BATOD Foundation and a request for members to share their experiences to demonstrate the effectiveness of strategies or equipment in order to build up a collection of case studies.
Association Business
03 Shaping practice, influencing change Stuart Whyte looks back on his time as President and looks forward to new initiatives, such as the research project that aims to improve educational provision and outcomes for deaf children and young people, and the new BATOD?web-based resource which will help members easily record courses, training and other activities that develop their skills, knowledge and experience and link these against national accreditation requirements as a specialist teacher.
56 BATOD North Study day in Huddersfield Trish Cope reports from the Huddersfield Textile Centre on November 8th which was a very busy and popular event with talks and workshops by Wendy McCracken, Nick Atkins, Jackie Salter, Gwyn McCormack, Helen Chilton, Michael Mahoney with Trish Cox and Sue Denny with Michele Eaton – the ‘sell out’ event was attended by 80 delegates and even had a waiting list.
52 What went on at NEC – September 2017 Sue Denny reports from the NEC meeting in Birmingham which discussed next year’s Conference, the CPD logo, supporting progress for ToDs, a report on the new BATOD website and a round table discussion. Following that, there were reports from the President Elect, National Executive, the Treasurer, the BATOD Consultant, adept and also reports from the regions.
61 Review – ‘Mary D Sheridan’s Play in Early Childhood From Birth to Six Years – Fourth Edition’ by Justine Howard. An updated version of a classic text for those working with small children which explains how children’s play develops and how they develop as they play.
61 Representing You Between the NEC meetings, members of BATOD attend various meetings that are of particular interest to Teachers of the Deaf. This list is not exhaustive. Your representatives at the meetings listed (as known at the time of writing) included: David Canning, Sue Denny, Stephanie Halder, Liz Reed-Beadle, Paul Simpson, Carol Thomson, Stuart Whyte.
62 Abbreviations and acronyms
63 Membership, Officers, Regions and Contacts
564 Calendar