Literacy Method for Young Deaf Children

Hearing children learn to read by linking letters to sounds, for Deaf and hard of hearing children a different approach is needed; therefore we develop and pilot a Deaf specific reading method in both Tanzania and Uganda.
Our pilot consists of training lecturers/tutors to be reading coaches who (co)train teachers. The teachers implement the method in pre-school and the first years of primary education. The effect on teaching is monitored to show the impact of our approach.

The Reading Project; a Method to Develop a Literacy Method for Young Deaf Children in Africa

Our colleague Kika Meereboer has spent a year in Tanzania working at a school for the Deaf through the Tanzatoto foundation. During her time at the school she worked with the teaching staff to develop a reading method specifically for young Deaf children, based on methods and techniques used in the Netherlands.
A specific method for Deaf children is pivotal because reading methods tend to be focused on phonics; the link between letters and sounds. By making this connection a written text or word is immediately linked to the spoken language hearing children already know and use constantly. Deaf children cannot make this connection (as easily) and they have less knowledge of the spoken language; this means that a phonics based reading method is not effective for Deaf learners.
Therefore we have developed a reading method, based on Kika’s work and best practices and research at Kentalis. The method addresses Sign Language communication development, linking written text to meaning through Sign Language, and using meaningful contexts. Apart from teaching skills the teachers are also trained in making their own teaching materials.
In the project we also address prerequisites for teaching Deaf learners, such as use of visualizations, communication development, and effective feedback for learning. The reading coaches are also trained to use Video Interaction Guidance, to coach and support teachers beyond the training weeks.

In this project we work with several partners and consultants, such as: The National Curriculum Development Centre of Uganda, Dr. S. Lutalo-Kiingi from the Kyambogo University Uganda, AMUCTA, Anders Mutembei, and Godfrey Muganda from the University of Dar es Salaam.

Project duration:December 2014 - December 2019
Contact person: Emmie Wienhoven

Reading child