Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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CEP 432: Language Assessment and Intervention in Deaf Education

Course Description:

The onset of a hearing loss, either before, or shortly following birth, impedes an individual’s ability to effectively perceive, comprehend, and use a spoken language. Hospital-based, newborn hearing screening, followed by home-based early intervention services and the appropriate use of digital/cochlear amplification technologies are resulting in an increasing percentage of preschool children who are deaf/hard of hearing (d/hh) demonstrating age-appropriate language skills. Unfortunately, most children who are d/hh do not receive needed early intervention, or amplification services. As a result, the majority of children who are d/hh began their preschool education at a level of language competence that is significantly below that of their hearing peers. Additionally, current research indicates that many students who are d/hh that begin preschool with age appropriate language skills, experience significant difficulties in their subsequent comprehension of language within academic contexts. Given these realities, teachers of students who are d/hh must be skilled in the identifying, understanding, addressing, and tracking the language skills and problems of their students. In contrast to speech and language pathologist, teachers of students who are d/hh must accomplish their work within the course of academic instruction. Due to the current interpretation of the IDEA legislation, instruction is most frequently carried out within the context of the general education classroom and curriculum.

This course provides preservice teachers with the knowledge, skills, and understanding needed to design and implement longitudinal, academically based, general education grounded, language assessments and interventions with students who are d/hh. The course focuses upon the use of a “functional or pragmatic language approach. Within this approach, emphasis is placed on the process through which language functions and contexts, dictates the use of language forms. Language problems occur in relation to the frequency and severity of communication breakdowns individuals experience in using language as a communication tool. Language assessments focus upon identifying when and why such communication breakdowns occur. Similarly, language intervention focuses upon individual’s becoming increasingly sophisticated in their ability to recognize and repair of communication breakdowns. Teachers, in turn, accomplish the majority of their assessment work within the context of conversational exchanges, and most of their intervention work by establishing and using an engaging, academically based learning environment.

Course Syllabus: