Jessica W. Trussell is an assistant professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, USA. She has a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Georgia, USA focused on communication sciences and disorders and Ph. D. and Master’s Degree from Georgia State University, USA focused on literacy development for deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) students. Additionally, she is a certified teacher of the DHH with twelve years of experience teaching DHH students from age four to adulthood. Her belief that all teachers are literacy teachers is the foundation for her research with the Center for Education Research Partnerships regarding content-area (math, science, or social studies) vocabulary instruction, focused on Latin and Greek roots and affixes, as well as reading comprehension strategies, such as prediction and summary writing.
When readers switch from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn, their reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition strategies need to adapt as well. Content-area texts, such as math or science books, require the student to read like an expert using vocabulary and understanding text structures that are not part of daily conversations or narrative texts. At the same time, students must choose the appropriate strategy for the text they are attempting to read. This complicated process has been largely ignored by researchers until recently. The results of vocabulary and reading comprehension studies conducted with older deaf and hard of hearing readers will be shared along with other recommended strategies that may be suitable for future research.