Deaf Pupils and Language Cover Image

Gluhi učenici i jezik
Deaf Pupils and Language

Author(s): Ljubica Pribanić
Subject(s): Morphology, Syntax, Inclusive Education / Inclusion
Published by: Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Edukacijsko-rehabilitacijski fakultet
Keywords: deaf pupils; language acquisition; morphosyntax;

Summary/Abstract: One of the main objectives in the education of children with hearing impairments is to teach them the language of the hearing community, or rather for the hearing impaired child to be competent in reading and writing skills at the end of elementary schooling. A large number of scientific studies from abroad and several studies conducted in Croatia have shown that the majority of deaf children (and children with severe hearing impairments) have difficulties in learning the language of the majority community. In the Croatian language specifically they have problems with morphosyntax. In order to study that phenomenon in more detail, a set of tasks was developed to test the comprehension of morphosyntactic structures in the Croatian language in pupils of elementary schools. The sentences were simple, comprising three to four words that the children knew well. Apart from the knowledge of morphosyntax this study aimed at checking what deaf children rely on when they interpret a sentence: experience and world knowledge or grammatical word endings and word order. That is why we varied word order and likelihood of event (expected/unexpected event). The assumption was that younger deaf children (3 and 4 graders – aged 9 and 10) will disregard morphology and syntax and mostly choose sentences (images) which most closely resemble the real world and their experience of the real world. However, it was shown that almost all tested children primarily took into account the sentence word order in the way that the first word, in their mind, had to be the agent. This indicates the kind of difficulty these children have in decoding grammaticaly complex sequences. Apart from that, as it was assumed, deaf children of lower chronological age are more prone to understanding sytactic structures by applying the strategy of what is likely, or the expected event.

  • Issue Year: 42/2007
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 55-64
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Croatian