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The Impact of Phonological Awareness on the Reading Development of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

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The relationship between phonological awareness and reading development of D/HH children was discovered in the early 1970s (Nielsen & Stahlman, 2002). Research found that D/HH children who read better often have phonological awareness skills. Moreover, some research asserts that D/HH students will not be able to read if they do not have phonological awareness (Nielsen & Stahlman, 2003). Some studies explicitly indicate that the D/HH students' low reading achievements refer to the lack of phonological awareness skills. Adams, as reported by Nielsen and Stahlman (2002), emphasize in his book Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print, that phonological awareness is necessary for deaf children to understand words and text that they read. In addition, Paul (1998) points out the importance of the use of phonological awareness in short term memory to develop the comprehension skills of D/HH children. Furthermore, many studies assert that phonological awareness plays a significant role in developing the abilities of D/HH children to unlock unknown words. Narr (2006), indicates that phonological awareness, in specific phonemic skills, assist D/HH children to improve their skills and abilities of sound identification, sound blending, and sound manipulation. Deaf and hard of hearing children who lack phonological awareness struggle reading because reading requires children to be able to map sound to the letters that they read (Nielsen and Stahlman, 2002). Even though some deaf children can use their visual memory of words to read, they still need to improve their phonological awareness to develop their reading proficiency (Miller and Clark, 2011). In general, phonological awareness skills are important, but it cannot...

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...m Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

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