TEACHING OF SPEECH AND LANGUAGE TO DEAF CHILDREN



 

Speech is not merely the ability to utter articulate sounds but it is also the power to use words to express thoughts. Thoughts in any language can be expressed well only when the words are used in a certain order accepted by the general public speaking that language, without it all that will be spoken will not be understood easily and cor­rectly. For the above reason teaching of speech (proper arti­culation) and language must be together.

In normal children who have all their senses in that speech and language develops casually as they grow because they:

(i) Have the power to hear all that is spoken around them

(ii) Can associate all that is spoken to name any object or to express any idea

(iii) Can imitate and reproduce the sounds meantfornam­ing different objects or expressing different ideas.

Deaf children because of their inability to hear sounds properly are not able to do any of the three things described above without special help. If communication skills of deaf children are to be developed successfully and properly this special help must be given to them from thevery early stage and for this early diagnosis of deafness i.e. before the age of two years is necessary. It is because eаse and fluency in speech can be acquired only when deaf children by this special help are made to pass happily with interest and no tension through all those stages through which normal children gene­rally pass before speaking their first meaningful words.

To develop communication skills of deaf children first thing that is required is to compensate for their loss of hearing so that even if they cannot hear well they could un­derstand and associate correctly all that is spoken to name objects or express ideas. This is done by adopting multi-sensory approach and using proper methods of teaching. What deaf children are not able to hear and understand even with the help of hearing aids are enabled to watch on the face of the speaker.

Association of spoken patterns with right objects or ideas in early stages is made possible through proper home-training, schooling and situational guidance. For this me­thods that are adopted are:

(i) Incidental teaching intheir daily routine,

(ii) ”Directed Activity Method”,

(iii) “Story Method”,

(iv) “Dramatisation” etc.

Incidental teaching of sреесh and language is done du­ring the daily routine of children to create speech environ­ment, to maintain contact and to encourage them to understand all that is said in real life situations. This also encoura­ges them to vocalise or utter some words to express their feelings, moods and thoughts.

"Directed Activity Method" aims at selecting such acti­vities which are meaningful, have some educational purpose and which also suit the ages, attainments, interests and ap­titudes of children. As in these activities real objects are used and children are given opportunities to do, to think and to express under situational guidance they are helped to develop mentally аnd thus are enabled to associate correctly all that is said to them byhearing and looking at the face of the speaker. Directed Activities also stimulate them to express their thoughts orally under the help of a sympathetic teacher.

"Story Method" aims at making them tell a story of which they have the experience. They do this under the guidance of a teacher with the help of pictures for each step of the story. The teacher in it helps them to think, and express by asking appropriate questions.

Dramatisation of stories known to children not only stimulates them to speak but also provides teachers with some­thing by which they can know that children understand what issaid to them or required from them.

In primary and secondary stages to speed up the usе of correct language by deaf children besides the encouragement to speak they are also encouraged to read suitably graded ma­terial and to write their thoughts in correct language. Every lesson no matter of what subject, in this connection is so planned that it primarily is a speech and language lesson and then anything else. At this stage situational guidance and contextual guidance are given to make children understand and express.

To be able to reproduce sounds to express their thoughts they are helped to acquire speech skills which consist of:

(i) The use and management of a natural speaking voice; ability to adopt its loudness in quiet and noisy en­vironments; unconscious control of pitch according to the need of the situation.

(ii) The capacity to speak rhythmically in syllables and phrases.

(iii) The ability to combine phonemes in syllables, words and sentences.

(iv) The ability to pronounce phonemes (vowels and consonants) distinctly.

To be able to imitate a spoken pattern, speech skills from deaf children demand the ability:

(a) To perceive the pattern.

(b) To understand the instructions (i.e. what they are required to do).

(c) To control or co-ordinate their organs of speech.

To enable them to perceive the patterns and thus encour­age them to speak deaf children are given social experience. This is to arouse inthem a desire to listen and enjoy, using hearing aids, the art of lipreading. For this they are of­fered incentives in relation to their own interests and acti­vities so that theу could cultivate friendly social attitude in a talking environment; and begin to feel the desire to com­municate with others. If helped properly this brings them to the stage where they are ready to acquire speech skills.

From this stage of speech readiness to lead them оn to the stage of articulation readiness in their experience isgiven the vocabulary of such words through directed activi­ties and incidental teaching which a teacher might use to make them understand what he wants them to do when they make mistakes during a formal speech and language teaching lessons. Until deaf children are able to understand the instruc­tions of the teacher to correct the mistakes in speech and language proper control and co-ordination of speech organs will not be possible.

To plan his short and long term policies to teach speech and language to a class of deaf children a teacher first of all has the details of hearing loss of each child in the class and then assesses the structure and intelligibility of speech and language of every one of them individually. This enables him to plan his activities, stories and lessons for proper speech and language teaching either to the class using appropriate hearing appliance or to anу child individually* using speech training unit.

 

*Individual speech and language teaching is done to remove individual difficulties of children noted by the teacher during class teaching. It also helps to encourage children in their efforts to acquire speech and language because of personal teacher pupil contact.

ТЕ R M S

 

proper articulation правильнаяартикуляция

communicationskills коммуникативные навыки /навыки обще­ния/

incidentalteaching эпизодическое обучение

directedactivitiesmethod метод направленной деятельности

storymethod метод рассказа

dailyroutine распорядок дня

attainments знания, навыки

aptitudes склонности, способности

termpolicy семестровый курс

incentive побуждение, побудительный мотив

to cultivate social attitude развиватьобщественныеотношения

to assess the intelligibility оцениватьпонятность

hearing appliance слуховойаппарат

training unit дополнительныечасызанятий

situationalguidance руководство в зависимости от обстановки

 

 


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