The Efficacy of Fingerspell Coding and Visual Imaging Techniques in Improving the Spelling Proficiency of Deaf Signing Elementary-Phase Children: A South African Case Study
Source: Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, Volume 22, Number 6, December 2010 , pp. 581-594(14)
Abstract:Research suggests that restricted access to phonological coding exacerbates deaf children’s reading and writing problems. Conversely, bilingual-bicultural programs are advocated on the hypothesis that well-developed sign language skills and visual coding strategies (based on sign language) may offer deaf children phonological/orthographic link, thus enhancing their written English skills. To test this hypothesis, this study used a quasi-experimental pre- and post-test design among prelingually profoundly deaf (late-signing) elementary-phase children attending a residential school for the Deaf in rural South Africa (treatment group: N = 32, mean age = 119.19 months, SD = 22.73, comparison group: N = 32, mean age = 117 months, SD = 21.36). After a year of computer-based exercises explicitly guiding them in fingerspell coding, visual imaging and the principles of “print-language mapping” between South African Sign Language and English, the pre- and post-test results revealed that the treatment group had made significant gains in spelling proficiency.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology of Education, Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 9330, South Africa, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2: Research Directorate, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 9330, South Africa
Publication date: December 1, 2010