Language and Communication

For the majority of children on this planet, language is acquired following milestones typical of the society in which they live.    In most cultures it happens that mature users of language facilitate the acquisition of that language  through authentic communication during the critical language learning years.  When hearing status interferes with the communication process between parent/ caregiver/teacher and child,  the child is at risk for missing timely arrival at designated linguistic milestones on the journey to language competence.  Vigilant attention to providing abundant communication opportunities will assist children with hearing loss in reaching linguistic milestones following a typical timeline.

Accessible Materials Project:  The Accessible Materials Project (AMP) provides video resources to support language, literacy, and academic development among  signing students with hearing loss.  Numerous videos and links are available at each internet location listed.  Various video models are appropriate for ages pre-school through high school and are designed to be used by educational professionals, parents, and students.  For further information or to request DVDs for individual use contact AASD AMP at

AMP on Facebook/ AMP on YouTube/ AMP on SchoolTube

American Society for Deaf Children:  ASDC has been a resource for families of deaf and hard of hearing children since 1967.  ASDC works to support and educate families of deaf and hard of hearing children.  Their website includes news, online resources, articles and a blog related to the education and support of deaf and hard of hearing children and their families.

Beginnings of North Carolina - Learning of Language: Provides a brief overview on the different periods of development babies go through.

Beginnings of North Carolina - Reference Chart: Provides a reference chart on the different communication options so families can determine which modality best meets the child and the family’s needs.

Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf:  CEASD provides an opportunity for professional educators to work together to improve schools and educational programs for deaf and hard of hearing people.  CEASD works to involve all stakeholders in education  to examine what is done in the education of deaf and hard of hearing students.  Examination of how to impact educational policy and decision making is also a part of what CEASD strives to do.

Deaf Child's Bill of Rights Sample Worksheet:  Sample worksheet for addressing communication needs as mandated by Georgia law when developing IEPs for students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Forming Connections:  An interactive PowerPoint created by Valdosta State University that provides information about understanding the difference between American Sign Language (ASL) and Contact Signing (CS).

Hearing Journey - The Listening Room: The Listening Room provides downloadable resources on language and listening for all age groups who have a hearing aid or cochlear implant.  The site is maintained by Advanced Bionics Corporation.

HOPE - Project 'Versatile Vocabulary':  This is a PowerPoint presentation presented by the Cochlear America’s Commitment to Educational Outreach that discusses the importance of a vocabulary as an asset to helping a child learn to read and different methods parents and professionals can  use to assist children who use cochlear implants learn vocabulary.

Kids World Deaf Net:  KidsWorld Deaf Net provides information, a virtual library of research related to deaf education and an online forum for parents and professionals involved in the education of deaf and hard of hearing children.

Language Builds Language:  Provides a case study and insight into how supporting a child’s home language can positively affect literacy. 

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University:  Provides information and resources related to the development and education of deaf and hard of hearing children.  Includes Info to Go, Training and Technical Assistance, National Outreach Resources, Products and Publications, Shared Reading Project, and the Cochlear Implant Education Center.

Lesson Plan - PreK: This pre-kindergarten lesson plan demonstrates how teachers use a variety of strategies to support language and vocabulary growth. The teacher makes use of graphic organizers, a Circle Map, to assess and support students in accessing prior knowledge about the topic. Upon completing the circle map, the teacher can then assist students in making connections between prior knowledge and new concepts. The teacher also implements phonics strategies to further support language and vocabulary acquisition. By using multiple strategies across the PreK curriculum, teachers can reinforce vocabulary acquisition for students with different learning styles as well as varying levels of hearing loss.

Lesson Plan - Preschools/PreK: This lesson plan is an excellent demonstration of establishing a language rich environment for young students with hearing loss. These lessons, founded upon Georgia Preschool standards, use quality children's picture books to provide students with differentiated opportunities to develop breadth and depth in vocabulary knowledge. By connecting language instruction across the daily curriculum, teachers provide students with multiple opportunities for exposure to concepts. Also, note that 3 and 4 year-old students with limited language skills, can be afforded guided opportunities throughout the day to develop higher order thinking skills.

MED-EL - Activities and Games:  Provides free downloads for activities and games to support listening and language and is developed by MED-EL Corporation.

National Association of the Deaf:  NAD is a non-profit organization that works to support and advocate for deaf and hard of hearing people and their families in education, employment, and everyday life.

NTID Deaf Index: The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Deaf Index was created to help locate articles, papers, publications, and information on Interpreting, Interpreting Issues, Sign Language, Deaf Studies, Deaf History, and other related materials. It contains over 20,000 entries.

Raising Deaf Kids:  Raising deaf kids addresses many issues faced by parents of a child with a hearing loss.  These topics are discussed through stories from real parents telling stories about making decisions for their child.

Storytelling Videos using ASL:  Providing students with rich language models is critically important. An excellent way to support students in developing rich vocabularies is by engaging them in storytelling. Rich stories related in either spoken English or American Sign Language provide students with strong models for developing background knowledge that leads to later success in reading and academics.

Video - Surprise on the Farm (English) / Script – Surprise on the Farm (English)

Video - Surprise on the Farm (Spanish) / Script – Surprise on the Farm (Spanish)

Video - Star Wars A Long Time Ago But Far Away (English) / Script – A Long Time Ago But Not Far Away (English)

Video - Star Wars A Long Time Ago But Not Far Away (Spanish) / Script – A Long Time Ago But Not Far Away (Spanish)

Utah State University - Auditory Learning Research: The Department of Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education provides links to full text research articles on auditory learning and spoken language.

Vocal Development: This site, developed by researcher David Ertmer, is designed to share information about early speech development and to provide examples of the delightful speech sounds that children produce before they say words on a regular basis.

Word Walls:  Why? When? Where? & How?:  Children who are D/HH can learn vocabulary through interactions in print-rich environments, including the use of word walls. Word walls present printed words within different categories, such as theme-related words, high frequency words, or words with shared spelling patterns, in a visual display in the classroom.  In addition to providing background knowledge about the use of classroom word walls, this PowerPoint presentation shows multiple examples of both high frequency and thematic word walls in classrooms.

Zero to Three - Early Literacy and Language Tips and Tools: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families provides free downloads that describe resources and activities for facilitating early language and literacy development from birth to five.