What really matters in the early literacy development of deaf children.J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2007 Fall; 12(4):411-31.JD
With much earlier identification of hearing loss come expectations that increasing numbers of deaf children will develop literacy abilities comparable to their hearing age peers. To date, despite claims in the literature for parallel development between hearing and deaf learners with respect to early literacy learning, it remains the case that many deaf children do not go on to develop age-appropriate reading and writing abilities. Using written language examples from both deaf and hearing children and drawing on the developmental models of E. Ferreiro (1990) and D. Olson (1994), the discussion focuses on the ways in which deaf children draw apart from hearing children in the third stage of early literacy development, in the critical move from emergent to conventional literacy. Reasons for, and the significance of, this deviation are explored, with an eye to proposing implications for pedagogy and research, as we reconsider what really matters in the early literacy development of deaf children.