Academic journal article American Annals of the Deaf

Integrating Technology and Reading Instruction with Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: The Effectiveness of the Cornerstones Project

Academic journal article American Annals of the Deaf

Integrating Technology and Reading Instruction with Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: The Effectiveness of the Cornerstones Project

Article excerpt

IN A COMPARISON between the Cornerstones approach-a literature-based, technology-infused literacy project-and an instructional method designated the Typical approach, a mixed-method design was used to answer three research questions: (a) Will children who are deaf or hard of hearing demonstrate differences in beginning reading skills as measured by three outcome variables: Identification of Words in Print (or Word Identification), Word Knowledge, and Story Comprehension? (b) Are there carryover effects from the Cornerstones approach to the use of the Typical approach in subsequent experiments? (c) What is the feasibility of using the Cornerstones approach for literacy instruction? There were significant differences between the Typical and Cornerstones approaches in Word Identification and Story Comprehension in Experiments 1 and 2, though none in Word Knowledge or Story Comprehension in Experiment 3. Teacher feedback provided some evidence for the feasibility of using Cornerstones in the classroom.

Historically, the improvement of reading skills in deaf and hard of hearing children has presented challenges to educators and researchers (King & Quigley, 1985; Paul, 1998, 2009; Schirmer, 2000; Trezek, Wang, & Paul, 2010). Much of the research has been focused on a few variables within a specified domain such as the text (e.g., word identification, vocabulary knowledge, syntax), reader (e.g., prior knowledge, metacognition), task (e.g., type of assessment used), and context (e.g., purpose of reading), or the interactions of two or more of these domains. Knowledge of literacy variables has been advanced in areas such as phonemic awareness and phonics (e.g., Conrad, 1979; Dyer, MacSweeney, Szczerbinski, Green, & Campbell, 2003; LaSasso, Crain, & Leybaert , 2003; Nielsen & Luetke-Stahlman, 2002; Trezek & Wang, 2006; Trezek, Wang, Woods, Gampp, & Paul, 2007; Wang, Trezek, Luckner, & Paul, 2008), vocabulary (e.g., Fischler, 1985; MacGinitie, 1969; Paul, 1996; Paul & Gustafson, 1991; Paul, Stallman, & O'Rourke, 1990; Silverman-Dresner & Guilfoyle, 1972; Walter, 1978), comprehension of questions (e.g., Andrews, Winograd, & DeVille, 1994; Jackson, Paul, & Smith, 1997; Schirmer & Winter, 1993), and metacognition (e.g., Andrews & Mason, 1991; Banner & Wang, 2009; Davey, 1987; Ewoldt, 1986; Strassman, 1992). Nevertheless, there is a need to implement and assess the merits of using this knowledge to improve beginning literacy skills.

In essence, there is a need for intervention research, a form of applied research with a focus on evaluating literacy instructional practices. In a perusal of the literature on children with typical hearing, it is not difficult to encounter many studies, especially those involving specific âeurooereading programsâeuro? such as Reading Recovery and Reading One-One (see reviews in Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998; Trezek et al., 2010). This line of research has yielded a preponderant amount of findings with respect to effective practices as well as a deeper understanding of basic processes of literacy (see, e.g., Barr, Kamil, Mosenthal, & Pearson, 1991; Cain & Oakhill, 2007; Israel & Duffy, 2009; Kamil, Mosenthal, Pearson, & Barr, 2000; Pearson, Barr, Kamil, & Mosenthal, 1984; Ruddell & Unrau, 2004).

The situation is quite different with respect to reading research, speci - fically instructional or intervention research, on deaf and hard of hearing students (see, e.g., reviews in King & Quigley, 1985; Paul, 1998, 2009; Schirmer & McGough, 2005; Trezek et al., 2010). There are several reasons for the dearth of intervention research, ranging from the incidence of hearing impairment to the difficulty involved in conducting and designing such research in educational settings with intact classrooms. Some of these difficulties are not unique to deafness; indeed, they can be found in investigations among other populations (see, e. …

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