Life, Literacy & Socialization

By Wray, Denise; Robertson, Lyn | Volta Voices, January/February 2005 | Go to article overview

Life, Literacy & Socialization

Wray, Denise, Robertson, Lyn, Volta Voices

How do we define literacy? Cullinan (1993) writes that, in the early days of our nation, the people who could read and write were usually ministers and schoolteachers. In 2005, an exact definition cannot be agreed upon, but it is clear that today's definition of literacy extends far beyond basic reading skills.

Many argue that the 21st century's redefinition includes both language, literacy (i.e., reading, writing, listening and speaking) and the vast array of technological literacy including computers and other advanced forms of communication (Deane, 2004).

We live in a society where both the volume and variety of written texts grow daily. Citizens are expected to be able to read, comprehend and apply these materials in a proficient and functional manner (Kirsch, Jungeblut, Jenkins, & Kolstad, 1993). Literacy plays an important role in personal fulfillment and participation in society because it acts as a type of currency in exchange for improving the quality of life. Furthermore, individuals with higher levels of literacy are reportedly more likely to be employed, work more weeks in a year and earn higher wages than those who demonstrate lower proficiencies (Kirsch et al., 1993).

How Do Parents Meet the Literacy Challenge?

The challenge to parents and professionals working with children exhibiting hearing loss is obvious. A survey by Project Hope (Blanchfield, Dunbar, Feldman, & Gardner, 1999) conducted on more than half a million individuals with severe-to-profound losses found that approximately 44 percent of those surveyed did not graduate from high school. Additionally, compared to 19 percent of the general population, 42 percent between the ages of 18 and 44 years are not working and most with severe-to-profound hearing loss are poorer than other Americans (i.e., 53% of participants have a family income of less than $25,000 compared to 35% of the general U.S. population).

However, technological advances in amplification devices and cochlear implants now provide more opportunities to improve literacy skills for children with hearing loss. The past 10 years of published research has found that children who learn to listen and speak using auditory-based philosophies can achieve at or near grade-level literacy skills in the areas of language and reading skills (Geers, 2002; Geers, 2003; Robertson & Flexer, 1993; Wray & Flexer, 2002). Skills identified by experts as "emergent literacy" behaviors can prepare children for reading. Moreover, children with hearing loss can be expected to learn the same building blocks that are cited by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (Armbruster, Lehr, and Osborn, 2001) in their publication, "Put Reading First." This document defines five areas of reading instruction (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension), as well as practical suggestions that parents and professionals can employ in teaching the foundations for learning to read and write.

How Does Literacy Impact Socialization?

As children learn to listen, they also learn to foster relationships with their families, at their schools and in other social settings. They learn appropriate social and cultural responses, and gather the important background knowledge necessary to relate socially. Socializing with others who have already developed mature language capabilities or with peers who are in the process of developing language spurs language development in children with hearing loss. Daily interaction with others is foundational to the language development necessary for literacy growth in areas of content knowledge and knowledge of language structures and uses. Emerging literacy, in turn, is helpful to learning new cultural knowledge and relating with others in a text-rich environment. The child who reads books, knows about the current movies and games and can participate in writing notes and doing schoolwork with other children will be able to facilitate relationships with their peers, as well as learn a great deal. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Life, Literacy & Socialization


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.