Title: 'Reading books with deaf children: Strategies used to enhance literacy development'
Track: 3 - Language Acquisition and Development
Keyword(s): shared reading, literacy development, deaf mothers reading techniques
Learning Objectives:
  1. understand the importance of shared reading with deaf and hard-of-hearing children
  2. identify strategies that can promote literacy development for deaf and hard-of-hearing children
  3. observe reading techniques that deaf mothers use when reading with their children


Shared reading has been shown to have a positive relationship with children’s literacy development for all children, deaf and hearing alike. It has been proposed that deaf parents utilize specific techniques to mediate between the two languages in use: American Sign Language and English in its printed form. The techniques, or indigenous practices that deaf mothers use may be one reason for the higher rate of academic achievement of their deaf children. Results will be shared from a study that examined ten deaf mother/deaf child dyads with children who were between 3 and 5 years of age. Dyads were videotaped in their homes on at least two occasions reading books that were provided by the researcher. Descriptive analysis showed specifically how deaf mothers mediate between the two languages, ASL and English. These techniques can be replicated and taught to all parents of deaf children so that they can engage in more effective shared reading activities.
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Michele Berke - POC,Primary Presenter,Author
California School for the Deaf
     Credentials: Ph.D., Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder; Multiple Subjects and Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teaching Credential; California
      Michele Berke has worked for over 30 years in programs within the Deaf community. Her experience includes management of a rest home for deaf and deaf-blind senior citizens, directing Gallaudet University's western regional office, coordinating a US Department of Education funded project to develop an ASL Assessment tool, and teaching college-level Linguistics of ASL courses. Berke currently works at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont as the Student Outcomes Specialist where she is responsible for assessment and data analysis. Her doctoral studies in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from the University of Colorado in Boulder focused on exploring the shared reading practices of Deaf and hearing mothers and their pre-school children.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.