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We typically learn to understand many complex literacy concepts through what we hear, but also what we can touch, see, and manipulate. Students may have hearing loss, Auditory Processing disorder, or difficulty with spoken language as a result of a broader neurological or developmental condition. Students with hearing loss can lack early learning experiences and accordingly may have difficulty developing phonological skills.
Hearing is measured as the ability to hear sounds in the typical human range of approximately 20 - 20,000 Hz. Hearing loss typically impacts high frequency speech sounds (e.g., /sh/, /s/, /f/, /th/) more than other frequencies. However, students with auditory processing disorder may not have hearing loss, but still struggle with understanding the content and context of spoken language.
Students with hearing loss may learn sign language as their primary communicative language or as supportive communication access. Because hearing loss and other auditory processing issues sometimes take upwards of 5 years to diagnose, students with hearing loss are vulnerable to missing sensitive windows for development that can make some concepts harder to grasp. Hearing aids and cochlear implants do not always completely restore hearing or support full language comprehension. Approximately 77% of deaf students are learning in general education classrooms, so steps should be taken to ensure that their learning environment accommodates any Hearing-related needs to ensure language skills do not impact other academic skills.
When peers are able to work together to plan, draft, edit, and revise during the Composition process, their writing quality improves.
Dictation can allow students with transcription difficulties to still participate in the writing process and generate ideas.
Seeing and using new words repeatedly and in many contexts is critical for Vocabulary acquisition.
Overtly encouraging all students to seek support, ask questions, and advocate for what they believe in creates a safe space for risk-taking and skill development.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthens their recall.
Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills and Background Knowledge that are necessary to remember procedural and content information.
Multiple display spaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Using visual aids, such as pictures, diagrams, and charts, allows for additional processing time and supports learners by breaking down content and skills into more manageable parts.
Decreasing extra audio input provides a focused learning environment.
When students monitor their comprehension, performance, and use of strategies when reading and writing, they build their Metacognition and actively participate in the reading process.
Providing ways for students to adjust sound level supports individual auditory needs.
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