Communicating With Children Who Are Deaf Pitfalls and Possibilities Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   October 01, 1997
Communicating With Children Who Are Deaf
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David Wood
    University of Nottingham, U.K.
  • Heather Wood
    University of Nottingham, U.K.
  • Contact author: David and Heather Wood, ESRC Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and Training, Department of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, England.
    Contact author: David and Heather Wood, ESRC Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and Training, Department of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, England.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Clinical Forum: Educational Considerations for Children With Hearing Loss
Clinical Forum   |   October 01, 1997
Communicating With Children Who Are Deaf
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1997, Vol. 28, 348-354. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2804.348
History: Received April 1, 1993 , Accepted January 18, 1994
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1997, Vol. 28, 348-354. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2804.348
History: Received April 1, 1993; Accepted January 18, 1994

Adults vary in how far they control what is talked about in interactions with children who are deaf. The evidence discussed in this article involves teachers and students in classrooms, but the same principles apply to interactions between children and parents, speech clinicians, or other clinicians. We analyze teacher communication in terms of four dimensions: power, repair, pace, and linguistic complexity. These features of teacher discourse are associated in that teachers who exert the most power (e.g., who ask frequent questions) also spend more time repairing students’ communication and exhibit a relatively rapid turn rate in discourse. Their language also exhibits fewer complex grammatical features. Students in communication with these teachers produce shorter utterances, ask fewer questions, offer less frequent contributions, communicate less often with peers, and show more signs of confusion and misunder-standing than they do with teachers who exert less power. We also discuss evidence that demonstrates that adults can change the way in which they manage conversations with children who are deaf in order to bring about more productive interactions. The implications of these findings for the development of linguistic competence in children who are deaf are explored.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and Training is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (U.K.). Most of the empirical research on which this article is based was funded by grants from the Medical Research Council.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access