An analytical study of the reading habits of deaf children



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Investigations show that for hearing children ability in word perception correlates highly with ability to read, and that although deaf children surpass hearing children of the same reading age, both in spelling and word perception, they are markedly inferior in their ability to interpret printed material in context. Do the eye-movement records of deaf children throw any light on this lack of relationship between these apparently related factors? Do deaf children indicate this lack of interpretative ability by numerous regressive movements? Do deaf children fixate on words in rapid sequence, regardless of the degree of comprehension, with few regressions? Do deaf children ever reach a stage of maturity in language symbolism at which units instead of words are perceived? Is there a high degree of correlation in the levels of maturity of the three fundamental elements studied? Is there a high degree of variability among the individuals on the different maturity levels of these elements, or does the level of maturity appear to be a function of school experience, and, therefore, to be correlated highly with school grade and years in school? This investigation is an attempt to throw some-light on these and other related problems with reference to the reading of deaf children. Stated more specifically, the purpose of this investigation of the reading habits of deaf children is: (1) to determine the presence or absence of developmental stages in three fundamental elements of the reading habit; (2) to study the degree of relationship between the fundamental elements in reading and other measurable factors related to the reading process; (3) to make an analytical study of the individual performances in the reading of deaf children of different school grades and different mental age levels