Abstract

A pressing concern in the education of deaf children is their lack of academic success as measured by literacy rates. Most deaf children finish high school reading below a fourth-grade level. Educational television programs have successfully fostered preschool hearing children's emergent literacy skills. As for preschool deaf children, however, there has been only limited research on whether this medium can be effective. This study uses descriptive analyses to determine the type and frequency of literacy behaviors that preschool deaf children engage in while viewing an educational video in American Sign Language. Children were videotaped during three such sessions, and the videos were coded for literacy-related engagement behaviors. The results of this study indicate that preschool deaf children engaged in a variety of such behaviors regardless of age and ASL exposure and that these behaviors increased after multiple video viewings.

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