back to Background Publications
Miller, E. M.., Lederberg, A.R., & Easterbrooks, S. R. (2012). Phonological Awareness: Explicit Instruction of Young Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. First published online January 9, 2013 doi:10.1093/deafed/ens067
The goal of this study was to explore the development of spoken phonological awareness for deaf and hard-of-hearing children (DHH) with functional hearing (i.e., the ability to access spoken language through hearing). Teachers explicitly taught five preschoolers the phonological awareness skills of syllable segmentation, initial phoneme isolation, and rhyme discrimination in the context of a multifaceted emergent literacy intervention. Instruction occurred in settings where teachers used simultaneous communication or spoken language only. A multiple-baseline across skills design documented a functional relation between instruction and skill acquisition for those children who did not have the skills at baseline with one exception; one child did not meet criteria for syllable segmentation. These results were confirmed by changes on phonological awareness tests that were administered at the beginning and end of the school year. We found that DHH children who varied in primary communication mode, chronological age, and language ability all benefited from explicit instruction in phonological awareness.