Classroom communication between deaf students was modeled using a question-and-answer game. Participants consisted of student pairs that relied on spoken language, pairs that relied on American Sign Language (ASL), and mixed pairs in which one student used spoken language and one signed. Although the task encouraged students to request clarification of messages they did not understand, such requests were rare, and did not vary across groups. Face-to-face communication was relatively poor in all groups. Students in the ASL group understood questions more readily than students who relied on oral communication. Although comprehension was low for all groups, those using oral communication provided more correct free responses, although the numbers were low; no significant differences existed for multiple-choice responses. Results are discussed in terms of the possibility that many deaf students have developed lower criteria for comprehension, and related challenges for classroom communication access.


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pp. 415-424
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