Gallaudet University Press

15:12 Friday, December 20, 2013

Theory Meets Application

A New Study Offers Practices for Improving the English Literacy Development of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals

In their new study, authors Peter V. Paul, Ye Wang, and Cheri Williams set about to describe the theoretical underpinnings of research based on the qualitative similarity hypothesis (QSH). As Paul, Wang, and Williams explain it, “Although the targeted population is children and adolescents who are deaf and hard of hearing, it is important to apply our understanding of the development of English in other populations of struggling readers and writers. They include children with language or literacy disabilities and those for whom English is a second language. In addition, we have synthesized and applied the findings of research on the development of English in children and adolescents who are native learners. Our conclusions, however, are not the product of ‘where we got tired thinking,’ but rather—we hope—reflect the limits of current theory and research.”

Chapters 1 and 2 present the foundations of the QSH, involving constructs such as discipline structure and critical or optimal time periods of development. Chapter 3 addresses the development of English as a second language—that is, English Language Learners (ELLs). Chapter 4 synthesizes research investigations on the development of English emergent and conventional literacy, and Chapter 5 focuses on children with language and literacy disabilities. In Chapter 6, the authors review literacy-focused intervention studies that have been conducted with deaf and hard of hearing students. In Chapter 7, they then assert that there is a need for more rigorously designed research projects and for stakeholders to understand the challenges of the bench-to-bedside approach. In Chapter 8, two well-known scholars were invited to evaluate the merits of the QSH with respect to their epistemological and research paradigms. Concluding in Chapter 9, the authors provide their response to the essays in Chapter 8 as well as a summary of the salient principles of the QSH with respect to theory and research on the development of English language and literacy.

For more insight, read chapter one, “Introduction to the Qualitative Similarity Hypothesis,” and take advantage of your exclusive subscriber discount by ordering today. Enter “DEC2013” in the box labeled “use promo code” when ordering online, or order by mail.

Library Journal highlighted Deaf American Prose, 1830–1930, the second in the Gallaudet Deaf Literature Series, in a recent issue: “Following Volume 1, 1980–2010, this anthology contains a selection of fiction and nonfiction written during a pivotal era in the education and lives of deaf people living in America. Editors [Kristen C.] Nelson and [Jennifer L.] Harmon have scoured the literature of a period of 100 years in search of works published by deaf American authors in order to showcase how individual lives intersected with deaf history or reflected the typical deaf experience. VERDICT: [T]his is a useful collection for scholars of deaf or disability studies.” Read the full review here. Reference & Research Book News also recognized this follow-up collection in its December issue. Read selected pieces from Deaf American Prose, 1830–1930,  and order your copy online or by mail.

In an earlier issue of Reference & Research Book News, Deaf-Blind Reality: Living the Life, edited by Scott M. Stoffel, received the following notice: “Aiming to present the reality of the lives of deaf-blind individuals to people who interact with them, Stoffel draws on interviews with 12 deaf-blind individuals, including himself, from the US, UK, New Zealand, and South Africa to illustrate what life is like for them, rather than providing stories of inspiration that can often be the focus of books. They describe their families’ reactions and support they received; experiences in school and entering adulthood; how they coped with degeneration, ineffective treatments, and rehabilitation; their adult education, daily lives, careers, relationships, and communication; and the use of cochlear implants.” Read chapter nine, “Daily Life,” to see directly into the minds of a diverse group of deaf-blind individuals and learn what they think and feel in various real-life situations. Order Deaf-Blind Reality by mail or online now.

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