Investigating the role of phonological awareness on phonological recoding during reading in deaf children
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This study uses eye-tracking to investigate the role of phonological awareness on phonological recoding during reading in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children who predominantly use sign language as compared to typically hearing children. Phonological recoding is one of the earliest strategies employed in reading, in which the reader maps each grapheme directly to the corresponding speech sound of the language (Jared, Levy, Ashby, and Agauas, 2015). Many DHH children struggle with reading, and the severity of the delays in some children increase with age. Although there are a few studies examining the eye-patterns during reading in DHH adults, there are considerably fewer studies examining phonological recoding and the role of phonological awareness during reading in DHH children (Belanger, Baum, and Mayberry 2011; Belanger, Rayner, and Mayberry, 2013). This study will be testing influence of the visual language signal on reading in deaf children. I compare phonological awareness skills of English, ASL, and mouthing gestures to reading fluency, measured via eye-movement patterns when reading a sequence of sentences an eye-tracker. Sentences are manipulated to target phonological recoding during reading by altering target words embedded in the sentence in three experimental conditions: no change, homophone foil, and spelling control (Jared et al. 2015). Preliminary results indicate that deaf signers are proficient readers and seemingly rely on ASL skills to read. In addition, I suggest that deaf signers do not participate in phonological recoding.
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