A Deaf Child's Language Acquisition Verified through Text Retelling
Luetke-Stahlman, Barbara, Griffiths, Cindy, Montgomery, Nancy, American Annals of the Deaf
The researchers studied a method of mediation with a deaf second grader. Language needs were identified through transcription of the child's retellings of weekly basal stories. These were either targeted for adult-mediated conversations during reading activities or left "untargeted but tracked." During two intervention phases, the student's performance on semantic and syntactic features of interest incorporated into retellings improved when an adult facilitated; when an adult was intentionally unavailable to mediate retellings, documentation of positive linguistic changes indicated internalization or acquisition of these features. Analysis of language behaviors that did not improve during unmediated retellings indicated a need for continued mediation. Untargeted but tracked behaviors that went unchanged during data collection further documented that language behavior changes resulted from adult mediation, not maturation. The child achieved 1 year's reading growth during the data collection period (1 academic year) on the Gates-MacGinite Test of Reading (hearing norms; W. MacGinite & R. MacGinite, 1989). Text retelling methodology proved useful, although group design study is warranted.
The English-language and reading difficulties evidenced by the majority of students who are deaf or hard of hearing (Paul, 1998; Paul & Jackson, 1993) are cause for increasing concern because 80% of all such students now attend public school (IT.S. Department of Education, 1989). These "included" students are more apt to be reading from "new" basal texts chosen by the school district (LaSasso, 1978)stories that Hoffman et al. (1993) found place greater demands on students, abilities to decode vocabulary than did older basals (e.g., 1993 texts as compared to these produced during 1986-1987). Hoffman et al. and LaSasso also found substantially more unique words in the newer basals and a reduction in vocabulary control and repetition.
Luetke-Stahlman, Hayes, and Nielsen (1995) advised that both student and adult variables need to be considered in determining whether students who are deaf or hard of hearing and are using the newer basals are becoming better readers. Researchers have investigated student variables related to the following challenges: (a) accessing phonological processing, (b) utilizing short-term memory efficiently, and (c) processing English (Williams, 1994). More specifically, it has been found that vocabulary (King & Quigley, 1985; Moores, 1996; Paul, 1984, 1998; Paul & Gustafson, 1991; Quigley & Paul, 1984), multiplicity of meanings (Blackwell, Engen, Fischgrund, & Zarcodoolas, 1978) indefinite pronouns (Wilbur & Goodhart, 1985), subordinate structures (Engen, 1995; Paul, 1998), figurative language (Paul, 1984), and inferencing (Engen, 1995) cause comprehension problems for readers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Variables pertaining to adults behavior while they read to students have focused in part on instructional practices, for example, attention to students' weaknesses in phonology and syntax-an important skill area if deaf students are to read proficiently (Paul, 1998). In addition, Dickinson and Smith (1994) found that students who are proficient readers are those who have engaged in cognitively challenging conversations with teachers at school (e.g., discussions involving the analysis of characters, events, and problem resolution, as well as discussions about the meaning of vocabulary, figurative expressions, and grammar used). Student variables and adult variables combine to present a reading challenge that, ironically, might be met when adults carefully plan and participate in facilitated reading activities.
Mediation and Reading Comprehension
The practice of parents and teachers reading to students of all ages has been highly acclaimed by educators and researchers alike (Hoggan & Strong, 1994). Research has documented that such mediated reading experiences aid the semantic and syntactic language development of hearing children (Chomsky, 1972; Gelzer, 1988; Heath, 1983; Holdaway, 1979; Irwin, 1960; Karweit, 1989; Ninio, 1980; Peterman, 1988; Taylor & Dorsey-Gaines,1988). However, little research is available to document changes in language growth when adults read with students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Rogers (1989) demonstrated improvement in English language ability when adults simply read regularly to students who were deaf or hard of hearing at a residential school. She reported that 10 students showed receptive gains in English (as tested using Engen & Engen, 1983), as well as gains in expressive skills for prompted and imitated production (as tested using Moog & Geers, 1983). These were higher scores than those achieved by the deaf population on which the tests were normed, although lower than the norms of hearing peers.
Luetke-Stahlman (1990) found that elementary school-age students with severe and profound (unaided) hearing losses who were exposed to grammatically complete modes of communication (i.e., oral English, Seeing Essential English, Signing Exact English, American Sign Language) scored higher on vocabulary, grammar, and reading tests than students exposed to manual forms of English that did not completely encode the grammar of the language (i.e., Signed English, Pidgin Sign English). Engen (1995) recommended that direct instruction in those grammatical forms of English found to be undeveloped or underdeveloped should occur in meaningful contexts, with explicit attention to the literate use of these properties. For example, an adult might explain the use of the past perfect tense, has bad, in a particular story as an indicator of a "flashback." Once the content of text is understood by a student, adults should focus on form, allowing imitation of linguistic models (Huang & Hatch, 1978) and grammatical expansion of student utterances. They should use correct syntax in their instructional conversations and choose text in which grammar is only slightly more developmentally complex than the student's own (Luetke-Stahlman, 1998, 1999).
Literature is available that documents that successful reading interventions between students and text involve adult-facilitated interaction (Andrews, 1984; Andrews & Mason, 1991; Andrews, Winograd, & DeVille, 1996). During this "mediated learning," an adult interacts at an appropriate linguistic level with each student by supporting, modeling, and "scaffolding" responses and questions (Vygotsky, 1978). Mediation is a social, interactive event, one that is essential to intellectual development. Thus, from a Vygotskian perspective, the adult provides a support system that supplies a bridge between the familiar, contextualized (spoken, spoken and signed, signed) language and the decontextualized, analytical language of written texts.
Little is available in the educational literature to demonstrate the activity of text retelling as an assessment method to document change in language development. Two such studies, Williams (1994) and Gipe (1993) are reviewed in Luetke-Stahlman, Griffiths, and Montgomery (1998). However, no research could be found supporting the idea that the method of retelling can be used as a means of documenting semantic and syntactic linguistic growth when transcripts of retellings were compared over time.
Encouraged by recent research documenting improvement in English language abilities when adults read to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and the availability of language strategies to facilitate mediation during reading activities, we planned a detailed account of reading intervention with one deaf child. The investigation addressed the following research questions:
1. Were semantic language targets, not evidenced in transcriptions of oral retellings of text during the Baseline Phase of data collection, acquired during Intervention Phase 1 or 2, or during both?
2. Were syntactic language targets, not evidenced in transcriptions of oral retellings of text during the Baseline Phase of data collection, acquired during Intervention Phase 1 or 2, or during both?
3. Did linguistic outcomes differ when transcriptions of basal text were compared to transcriptions of "instructional" texts (i.e., material that was slightly above the subject's assessed independent reading level)?
The subject of the present study was a profoundly deaf girl, Marcy, who was 7 years, 8 months old when data collection began. She had not been exposed to reading prior to age 4 years, at which time she was adopted and came to the United States uneducated and without speech or language. Marcy evidenced a profound bilateral, sensorineural unaided hearing loss. She could only detect sound at 250 Hz at 60 dB and 500 Hz at 75 dB when aided. Marcy received her first hearing aid shortly after her arrival in America and had cochlear implant surgery when she was 4 years old. At the time of data collection, Marcy was able to comprehend simple requests and comments within context through listening only while using her cochlear implant device. Complex English was always signed to her. Her speech was intelligible to a familiar listener about 50% of the time, and she almost always signed while speaking.
Marcy was first exposed to stories when she began school, at 4 years of age. Her educational program during these first months consisted of a halfday public school program that used Signing Exact English, or SEE 2 (Gustason & Zawolkow, 1993), and a residential program that used Pidgin Sign English. The following autumn (when she started kindergarten), and thereafter, Marcy attended a full-day public school program. She was exposed to literal signing in English both at home and at school (i.e., SEE 2). In 1995, the time of data collection, Marcy was in second grade, enrolled in a resource room for most of the day and taught by a teacher of the Deaf, the second author of the present study. This resource room is where most of her literacy activities occurred. Marcy was mainstreamed for mathematics and social studies with either an interpreter or the teacher of the Deaf most afternoons.
Despite Marcy's unique background, her English language and reading abilities at the time data collection was initiated did not observably differ from those of two other students who were deaf or hard of hearing who were also enrolled in second grade at her school. Marcy evidenced a 2-year expressive delay and a 1-year receptive English language delay when given formal tests that assessed academic language needs, for example, the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF), Assessing Semantic Skills Through Everyday Themes (ASSET), and the Test of Language Development (TOLD).
At the end of first grade and 3 months before initiation of data collection, Marcy took the Gates-MacGinite Test of Reading, Level 2, Form K (W. MacGinite & R. MacGinite, 1989). She scored 1.6 grade equivalents in vocabulary knowledge and comprehension (hearing norms). Her curriculumbased reading assessment scores at the end of first grade revealed that Marcy "needed further development" in narrative and expository reading relative to her peers, 70% of whom were "strong performers" on narratives and 53% of whom were "strong performers" on expository reading. These tests were readministered at the end of the retelling data collection.
The basal reader Windows to the Sky (1993) was used with Marcy. Readability of the stories in the basal reader was calculated using the Flesch-Kincaid program (FleschKincaid, 1995). This methodology was included because it provided a consistent way of comparing the level of text difficulty with Marcy's reading level. The use of readability formulas is not without criticism, but no other methodology is currently available that serves this purpose.
Calculations of 6 narrative texts randomly selected from the 28 used in the present study showed an average readability close to the fourth-grade level (Luetke-Stahlman et al., 1998). Analysis revealed that the basal on average was about 2.3 grade levels above Marcy's assessed reading level. However, the basal was used with Marcy because, in keeping with the school district's inclusion policies, it was being used in the general classroom.
Marcy was also provided an instructional reading session. Materials for these activities consisted of stories and texts that were written at a level slightly above her current independent reading ability. They were primarily books in the "Step" series published by Random House.
The study included five phases of data collection: Baseline, Intervention Phase 1, Unmediated Text 1, Intervention Phase 2, and Unmediated Text 2 (see Luetke-Stahlman, 1999).
Shortly after the start of the 1995-1996 school year, the authors met to plan the present study. We began taking data on September 18, 1995. On Monday and Tuesday, the teacher of the Deaf read aloud and discussed the basal story with the three secondgrade students who were deaf or hard of hearing. On Wednesday discussion continued, occasionally including seatwork designed by the book company, the teacher of the Deaf, or both. Adult mediation strategies in this phase included acting out parts of the text and embellishing the content with real objects, drawings, photographs, etc. For example, during the story "Curve in the River," the concepts of "bobbing" and "floating" were taught as the students actually manipulated corks in the water.
Marcy "orally" retold the basal story for the week on videotape each Friday during the Baseline Phase, for 6 weeks from September 18, 1995, to October 29, 1995, using both speech and signs. Retellings occurred in the resource room and were told to the teacher of the Deaf, who, of course, knew the story. The basal book was available to Marcy, and the teacher frequently asked questions to guide the retelling (e.g., What was the name of the story? Can you tell me what happened on this page?).
Intervention Phase 1
After the Baseline Phase of data collection, the first two authors met to discuss literacy targets for Intervention Phase 1. They decided that the teacher of the Deaf would mediate retelling ability by using a graphic organizer to focus on text components, discuss them, and act out confusing concepts, vocabulary, or grammar. Marcy's retellings were collected on videotape weekly from November 10, 1995, to January 20, 1996.
Unmediated Text 1
On February 16, 1996, a retelling of a basal story (that had been read aloud by the teacher) and a retelling of an instructional-level story (read by Marcy to her teacher of the Deaf) were videotaped without mediation. These sessions are referred to throughout the present article as Unmediated Text 1. No adult was in the room so that a lack of mediation could be assured while Marcy retold the stories.
After the first two phases of data collection, the first two authors met again and discussed future intervention plans. It was decided that videotaped retellings with the "unfamiliar adult" would continue, and that Marcy would retell both a basal and an "instructional-level" text. Again, she would only be interrupted when the listener did not understand or to mediate meaning and form targets (see Table 1).
Intervention Phase 2
The third set of data was collected from March 29 to May 18, 1996, and is referred to throughout this paper as Intervention Phase 2. Retellings were based on both basal and instructionallevel material. The routine for readalouds has been explained above (under the heading "Baseline").
The basic routine for an instructional-level text reading was as follows: On Monday, the teacher of the Deaf introduced the text, discussing the text components and using novel vocabulary (i.e., atypical for Marcy) and grammar. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Marcy read the story to the teacher, uninterrupted but with later discussion about text components and vocabulary (e.g., characters, setting, events). Marcy discussed unfamiliar vocabulary, spelling words, and figurative phrases used in the text, and recorded them in a personalized dictionary. Word work (DeFord, Lyons, & Pinnell, 1991) was completed with either the teacher at school or the parents. These activities included phonics and visual practice decoding misread words using the context of the story. (For more detailed information, see Luetke-Stahlman, 1998).
Linguistic features of meaning and form targeted for adult mediation are listed in Luetke-Stahlman et al., 1998). It was decided that Marcy would retell the text to the first author, a naive listener, rather than the teacher of the Deaf, who knew each basal selection well. The text would not be available during the retellings, as its use often interfered with the organization of the retellings. It was further decided that the first author would sit beside Marcy (a more realistic position for someone being told a story) as Marcy retold the text, questioning her only to clarify genuine misunderstanding and recasting her language to include targeted meaning and form features. Marcy read six stories during Intervention Phase 1 (see Luetke-Stahlman et al., 1998). The total number of words used to retell the text and the number of complete thoughts expressed in the retelling are provided in LuetkeStahlman et al., 1998.
Unmediated Text 2
Again, an adult was not available for Marcy's retelling of stories during a second unmediated retelling. On May 25, 1996, a retelling of a basal story and a retelling of an instructional-level story, both without mediation, were videotaped.
The Gates-MacGinite Test of Reading, Level 2, Form K (W. MacGinite & R. MacGinite, 1989) was again administered to Marcy following Intervention Phase 2. She scored a 2.6 grade equivalency on both the vocabulary section and the comprehension section of the test. This performance constituted an improvement of one full grade level in 12 months' time (i.e., since the previous standardized assessment). Curriculum-based assessments at the end of the second grade revealed that Marcy was a "strong performer" on narrative reading but "needed further development" on expository reading. She had changed from a reader who "needed further development," to a "progressing reader," to a "strong narrative reader" during the course of data collection.
The total number of words used to retell each text across the phases of the study is provided in LuetkeStahlman et al., 1998. The number of grammatically correct thoughts expressed in the retelling also is provided in Luetke-Stahlman et al., 1998.
Baseline Phase Results
In response to the first research question (Were semantic language targets, not evidenced in transcriptions of oral retellings of text during the Baseline Phase of data collection, acquired during Intervention Phase 1 or 2, or during both?), we conducted a semantic analysis. Marcy used at least one novel word and several multiplemeaning words in her retelling of each story during Baseline. However, she was unable to define words, and was unable to do so in a manner that assisted the listener, and used neither subordinate terms nor details that distinguished a word from others in the same class. For example, when defining a "cakewalk," Marcy said: "And who win the cake? Then when in one, one in two, five, that. There another (unintelligible) not stand on someone then pick a cake. Have music on. When music stopped when you standing on it. You win, win, win." Use of novel vocabulary during the baseline period (atypical for Marcy): "Family Pictures": Spanish, taco, ax, pinata, cactus
"Frog and Toad": wasps
"Willie's Not...": mug
"Never Kiss an Alligator": fascinating, ancient, algae, China, either
"Martin Bigger than Martin": stilts
"Nine in One, Grrr, Gm": mate, flap, cubs
Indication of comprehension (using) word/phrases with a multiplicity of meanings: "Family Pictures": We talking about the fair. It look cool [figurative].
"Never Kiss an Alligator": Signs "not fair" and "They look pretty as melook weird [attempted to sign pretty weird]. Marcy linked the events of her retellings by only using the cohesive devices and, then, or and then. Her pronoun usage often confused the listener, as she sometimes used singular instead of plural pronouns, provided no referent, and used masculine and feminine pronouns interchangeably. The following example, in which bracketed information has been provided by the authors, illustrates these difficulties.
"Family Pictures": "Taco is-hard to eat it. It have grease. You put them in a taco shell and sometimes put meat in it [taco shell]. People love tacos. She [?] is-her favorite to drink her pop."
"Frog and Toad": "He mean girl."
In response to the second research question ( Were syntactic language targets, not evidenced in transcriptions of oral retellings of text during the Baseline Phase of data collection, acquired during Intervention 1 or 2, or during both?), a grammatical analysis was conducted. It was found that Marcy avoided the use of his and her and never used these or those. She used some modals (e.g., will, can, could, couldn't) appropriately but never used other modals (e.g., would, should, won't). Marcy often omitted various forms of to be and was unable to use the past-tense forms was and were correctly. She did not evidence consistent noun-verb agreement (e.g., "he were going"). Syntactic analysis revealed that Marcy never used a thirdperson singular verb marker correctly and was inconsistent in marking pasttense verbs (e.g., "Do you know that if alligators eats people?"). Neither did she say or sign the variations of to do correctly, with the exceptions of don't and did. Marcy inconsistently used the plural /s/ marker but used the affixes -d, -ing, -ly, and -ful appropri ately. Intervention Phase 1 Results As she had for the Baseline Phase, Marcy read six stories during Intervention Phase 1 (see Luetke-Stahlman et al., 1998). With regard to semantic analysis, she again used at least one novel word and some multiple meanings in her retelling of each story. For each of the following stories, she used the following novel vocabulary words, atypical for her: "Pig Pig's Ride": deliver, imagine "The Mysterious Tadpole": mysterious, enormous, treasure
"The Goat in the Rug": naked, ticklish, weave, loom "The Love of Your Gift":friendship "Henry's Wrong Turn": Statue of Liberty, New York, Coast Guard
"Swimmy": hey, misspell, invisible, barbor Marcy indicated comprehension using words or phrases with multiple meanings: "Pig Pig's Ride": "Beat the turtle twin; it over, the end. "
"The Mysterious Tadpole": "He race (hurry), he race to get tadpole out the pool. " the Goat in the Rug": "Pig out (eat a lot). "Henry's Wrong Turn": "Fast as he could go; figure it out. " "Swimmy": Did not understand school of fish. Used the word spelling as a noun. Because she was unable to define words appropriately in the Baseline Phase, Marcy was almost always asked by her teacher to define a word or two from the text at the end of the retelling in Intervention Phase 1. Even given a frame (e.g., "A [target word] is a
[subordinate] that [detail]"], Marcy initially was unable in this phase to provide a subordinate term in her definition (e.g., a whale is a fish) or use correct English syntax. She defined two words "completely" (i.e., using a subordinate term and one distinguishing detail), and six words "incompletely" (i.e., using either a subordinate term or a detail), and did not provide a subordinate term or detail when asked to define six other forms. In addition, she independently attempted some definitions using synonyms. In "Pig Pig's Ride," the listener did not understand the sign for deliver. When asked, Marcy responded,"Like when the bus driver takes kid to school." When asked about the sign for imagine, Marcy responded "pretending."
In "Mysterious Tadpole," the mediator asked about Marcy's convention of signing L-on-the heart for a character's name. Marcy responded, "I'll spell it for you: L-O-U-I-S. I decided on that word [sign]." In the retelling of "The Goat in the Rug," Marcy described "G" as Indian (the Grandmother) and supplied distinguishing details ("she had black hair").
Marcy's use of cohesion devices increased steadily in variety during Intervention Phase 1. For example, she demonstrated the novel use of so in "Pig Pig's Ride" and expanded the conjunction to so the next, so finally, and and so in another story later (see Table 2).
With regard to syntactic analysis in Intervention Phase 1, Marcy demonstrated self-correction in her pronoun usage (e.g., in "Pig Pig's Ride": "He, she say"). She often used the pronouns he, she, her, and it correctly, in contrast to the confusion she showed with these words in the Baseline Phase. Some evidence of influences from Pidgin Sign English with regard to pronoun usage appeared in retelling samples as well (e.g., "That made, he, Louis, sad"). However, the pronouns or adjectives these and those were never used appropriately. Marcy was inconsistent in marking past-tense verbs and correctly used some of the appropriate forms of the verb to do (e.g., do, didn't), while she consistently negated does, doesn't, and done. She correctly used most forms of the verb to be (e.g., am, is, was, are, it's, I'm) but consistently omitted is or -ing when using the progressive tense of that verb. Marcy used the modals could and might once in Intervention Phase 1. With most stories, she frequently used correct noun-verb agreement (e.g., 26 times in "Mysterious Tadpole") but always used say instead of said.
Unmediated Text 1 Results
Comparison of Baseline Phase data with Unmediated Text 1 data documented positive changes in the use of cohesion conjunctions (see Table 2), pronouns, do verbs, be verbs, and noun-verb agreement, (particularly with said). No observable change was documented at this point in the data collection with the use of these/those or modals (see Table 3).
Intervention Phase 2 Results
With regard to semantic analysis in Intervention Phase 2, Marcy used at least one novel word, some multiplemeaning words, and some figurative expressions in each story except "The Best Friends Club." For each of the following stories, she used the following novel vocabulary words, atypical for her:
"Pompeii": harmonica, skeletons, flute, destroy
"Everett Anderson": taco
"Triplet Trouble: warning, enormous, refuse, hugely, seriously
"Princess Pooh": chores, braces
"Soccer Sam": shy, introduce, embarrassed
"Soccer League": dribble
Arthur": search, unload, loot, announced, tore
"The Grasshopper and the Ant": shiver, fable
"The Little Mermaid": golden, soul, sailors, rose [verb]
"Sun, Wind, and Rain": layers, valleys
"Annie Oakley": poor as a mouse, ace of hearts, canyons, shift
"Curve in the River": solid, comparing, message, bob [verb], cork
Marcy's ability to define words was analyzed with regard to whether an adult coached her to do so at the conclusion of the retelling or whether she spontaneously defined a word within the story. Spontaneous defining occurred when she assumed that the listener (i.e., the viewer of the video) was unfamiliar with the term. Her ability to provide a subordinate term, a detail, or both (i.e., a complete "definition") improved from 64% in Intervention Phase 1 to 82% in Intervention Phase 2. There were no observable differences in Marcy's ability to define words when expository text was compared to narrative text.
Syntactic areas of interest in Intervention Phase 2 included Marcy's use of pronouns, conjunctions, the verb to do, modals, correct use of the past tense of the verb to say, and nounverb agreement.' Marcy used numerous and various pronouns. She used a previously unused pronoun in almost every Intervention Phase 2 retelling (e.g., someone, their, them, everyone, somewhere, everything, himself). She used a mean of 13.5 different pronouns in the basal, as compared to a mean of 17.4 with the instructionallevel texts. With regard to her use of these and those in Intervention Phase 2, Marcy used these words infrequently.
Marcy used numerous and varied conjunctions during her retelling of Intervention Phase 2 stories. For example in "Triplet Trouble," she used and, and so, and then, and finally, so, so then, after a while, after that, suddenly, but, and then. Across the analyzed texts, she used a mean of 54 total conjunctions per retelling (9 different conjunctions). With regard to use of the verb to do, Marcy used some form of it in all retellings (doing so correctly 78.6% of the time).
During the Baseline Phase, Marcy often omitted the verb to be. However, during Intervention Phase 1, she began to use some forms correctly. Yet Marcy consistently omitted is, -ing, and was/were. In Intervention Phase 2, she used to be correctly 76% of the time. She also increased the variation of modal usage, using the words could (24 times), couldn't (2), should (2), and would (1) in Intervention Phase 2 (see Table 3).
Unmediated Text 2 Results
Comparison of Baseline Phase data with Unmediated Text 2 data documented positive changes in the use of conjunctions, variety of conjunctions, pronouns, those, forms of the verbs to do and to be, noun-verb agreement (especially with said), and modals. Comparison of Unmediated Text 1 data and Unmediated Text 2 data revealed progress in the use of all features of interest.
Basal Versus Instructional Text Results
Although there were some minor discrepancies when the transcripts of retellings based on the read-alouds (which had been read by the teacher of the Deaf) were compared to instructional retellings (which had been read by Marcy to the teacher), there was not appreciable difference in Marcy's ability to define words. use more or different conjunctions, use pronouns, use forms of the verbs to do and to be, use modals, and use these/those. However, she used a greater number of different pronouns during retellings based on instructional material (13 in basal, 17 in instructional retellings), and used said instead of say more often (65% in basal, 82% in retellings) than during retellings based on readaloud materials.
Despite Marcy's atypical lack of early education, her language and reading abilities were indiscernible from those of the other two deaf students enrolled in the same resource room when data collection began. Text read aloud from the basal reading series provided Marcy with 28 stories and text that were an average of two grade levels above her assessed independent reading level. Both semantic and syntactic language development was evidenced across mediated and unmediated oral retelling conditions. Marcy also demonstrated a full-year gain in vocabulary growth and reading comprehension on the Gates-MacGinite Test of Reading (W. MacGinite & R. MacGinite, 1989) (using hearing norms). District curriculum-based reading assessments revealed that Marcy had improved from "needing further development," to being a "progressing reader," to "being a strong narrative reader" during the time that data were collected. Despite the single-subject design of the present study, these changes are seen as positive findings. This is because of the increasing number of students who are deaf or hard of hearing who are enrolled in public school classrooms in which reading curriculum developed for hearing peers is used. The need for adult mediation in such inclusive settings is supported by the results of the present study.
Results of the present study also support the findings of researchers whu louna tnat rea lng experiences mediated by adults aid language development for hearing children. Our results contribute to the literature in the field of deaf education by investigating, in an in-depth manner, the strategy of retelling with a single deaf student across 28 texts. The student made observable changes in her ability to tell longer stories, although the average number of grammatically complete utterances did not increase. This finding is counter to that of Evans and Strong (1996) but not unexpected given the student's difficulties with the grammar of English.
Other observable changes included Marcy's use of cohesion devices and conjunctions tO link the also ideas of her retellings. She also included pronouns and conjuncous and varied pronouns increased her correct use of the to do and to be verbs, and increased her correct use of the her variation of mo do and to be over and increased her months of investigation of modal usage over the While there were no of investigation.
differences in there majority of the no appreciable differences in the majority of interest analyzed from the feabasal of interest analyzed from the basal and instructional were dissimilar: Marcy two behaviors greater number of different Marcy used a greater number ouns and used sdid correctly more often during retellings and used said correctly more often during read stories. Linguistic based on instructional read stories. Linguistic features on which her performance improved from the Baseline Phase to Unmediated Text 1 or from Unmediated Text 1 to Unmediated Text 2 indicated Marcy's internalization or acquisition of these features. Analysis of language behaviors that did not improve during unmediated retellings may have indicated a need for continued mediation, substantiating the value of adult mediation with literacy content. "Untargeted but tracked" behaviors did not change during the data collection period (see Table 3).
The method of retelling was useful with one deaf student in providing documentation of linguistic growth. The procedure continues to be used at the school where Marcy is enrolled. In Spring 1999, Marcy was completing fifth grade. She was now in a general classroom for reading, and was judged on the state assessments and by her general education teacher as being "a strong narrative reader."
We recommend study of the method of retelling described in the present article and in Luetke-Stahlman et al. (1998) with a larger sample of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
1. Tables with additional detail are available from the lead author upon request: B. Luetke-Stahlman, 15540 S. Downing, Olathe, KS 66062, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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eracy. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Huang, J.. & Hatch, E. (1978). A Chinese child's
acquisition of English. In L. Ducken (Ed.). Language issues Readings./or teachers (pp. 117-129). New York: Longman. Invin, O. C. (1960). Infant speech: Effect of systematic reading of stories. Journal of Speech and Heanng Research, 3, 187-190. Karweit, N. (1989). The effects of a story,-reading program on the vocabulary and story, comprehension of disadvantaged prekindergart7 and kindergarten students. Baltimore: Center for Research on Elementan and Middle Schools. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 313 655) King, C., & Quigley, S. (1985). Reading and
deafness. San Diego, CA: College Hill. LI,aSasso. C. (1978). National survey of materials and procedures used to teach reading to H. I. children. America. Annals oj'theDeaf 123, 22-30.
Luetke-Stahlman, B. (1990). Types of instr-uctional input as predictors of reading achievement for hearing-impaired students. In C. Lucas (Ed.), Sign language research: Theoretical issues (pp. 325-336). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.
Luetke-Stahlman, B. (1991) Following the rules: Consistency in sign. Joun:al of .5peecb and Hearing Research, 34, 1293-1298. Luetke-Stahlman, B. ( 1998). Language issues in deaf education. Hillsboro, OR: Butte.
Luetke-Stahlman, B. (1999). Language across the cu rriculrm Zu hen students are deaf or hard of hearing. Hillsboro, OR: Butte. Luetke-Stahlman. B., Griffiths, C.. & Montgom er*, N. (1998). Development of text structure knowledge as assessed by spoken and signed retellings of a deaf second-grade student. American Annals oJ the Deaj; 143, 337-346.
Luetke-Stahlman. B.. Hayes, L., & Nielsen, D. (1995). Essential practices. American An
nals of the Deaf 140, 309-320. MacGinite, W., & MacGinite, R. (1989). Gates
MacGinite reading tests. Chicago: Riverside. Moog, J., & Geers, A. (1983). Grammatical analysis of elicited language. St. Louis, MO: Central Institute for the Deaf.
Moores, D. (1996). Educating the Deaf. Psy,chology, principles, and practice. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Ninio, A. (1980). Picture-book reading in mother-infant dyads belonging to two subgroups in Israel. Child Development, 51. 587590.
Paul, P. (1984). The comprehension of multimean ing words from selected frequency
levels by deaf and hearing subjects. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of IIlinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Paul, P. (1998). Literacy and deafness. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Paul, P., & Gustafson, G. (1991). flearing-impaired students, comprehension of high-fre
quency multimeaning words. Remedial arand Special Ed u cation, 1S4), 52-62. Paul, P., &Jackson, D. (1993). Toward cz pschology of deafness: Theoretical and empirical perspectites. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Peterman. C. L. (1988, December). Successful stoyreading procedures: Working with kindergarten teachers to improve childrenssto0' understanding. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Confer ence, Tucson. AZ. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 314 739)
Quigley, S., & Paul, P. (1984). language and deafness. San Diego, CA: College Hill. Rogers, D. (1989). Show-me bedtime reading. Perspectives for Teachers of the Hearing Impaired, 7(6), 2-5.
Taylor, D., & Dorsey-Gaines, C. (1988). Crouuing Up literate: Learning from inner-city ,families. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. li. S. Department of Education. (1989). Eleventh annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Education of the Handicapped Act Washington, DC: Author.
Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The dec,el opment of higher psychological processes (M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & R. Souberman, Trans). Cambridge, MA: Han ard University Press.
Wilbur, R., & Goodhart, W. (1985). Comprehen sion of indefinite pronouns and quantifiers
by hearing-impaired children. Applied Psycholinguistics, 6, 417-434.
Williams, S. (1994). The influence of topic and listener familiarity on aphasic discourse. Journal of Communication Disorders, 27(3), 207-222.
Windows to the sky. (1993). New York: Macmillan-McGraw Hill.
Luetke-Stahlman works in deaf education at the University of Kansas and as a language & literacy consultant. Griffiths has worked as an interpreter, a teacher of the Deaf, and a resource teacher in the Blue Valley (KS) School District. Montgomery is completing a doctorate at Univ of Kansas and has accepted a position at Rockhurst College, Kansas City, MO, as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders.…
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Publication information: Article title: A Deaf Child's Language Acquisition Verified through Text Retelling. Contributors: Luetke-Stahlman, Barbara - Author, Griffiths, Cindy - Author, Montgomery, Nancy - Author. Journal title: American Annals of the Deaf. Volume: 144. Issue: 3 Publication date: July 1999. Page number: 270+. © American Annals of the Deaf Summer 2008. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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