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Reading and writing are the only direct, fully accessible avenue to English for deaf people. As more postsecondary programs enroll deaf students, there is a need to improve the teaching of writing skills to this unique group of deaf college-age students, many of whom use American Sign Language or contact signing as their first language and learn English as a second language. Babcock (Univ. of Texas of the Permian Basin) provides outstanding guidelines for writing centers that serve both deaf and hearing college students. She demonstrates how to conduct tutoring sessions between a deaf tutee and hearing tutee, and also covers common tutoring techniques, including reading aloud (with an interpreter for deaf students), dealing with directiveness, and monitoring and authority. Her research identifies factors that sensitize tutors to the communication, feelings, characteristics, and culture of learners. From the perspective of social-constructivist theory, the author outlines how meaning-making activities shape the action of groups and individuals toward developing good writing skills. She bases her qualitative study of writing center activities on 36 interviews and 19 tutoring sessions involving both deaf and hearing college students. Summing Up: Recommended. All students, faculty, and writing professionals, from two-year and technical programs through graduate school.
Rebecca Day Babcock is Associate Professor of English, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, TX.
ISBN 978-1-56368-548-4, 6 x 9 paperback, 224 pages, tables, references, index
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