There are just too many vocabulary words to teach one at a time! Kids with hearing loss need to ‘unlock clues’ so they can figure out new words. Children with hearing loss have access issues that reduce their opportunity to learn words by overhearing them in the naturally occurring communication in their everyday environments. Early intervention can greatly decrease barriers to language learning, but not eliminate them. Children who are identified early and receive early intervention demonstrate language in the “low average” level (i.e., standard scores 85-88%) compared to children without hearing loss. Even with early cochlear implantation, language abilities remain on average below those of hearing peers. There is a much evidence supporting that students with hearing loss experience increasing challenges in comprehension of print literacy. To compound this, students with hearing loss are less aware than hearing students when they do not comprehend what they are reading. (From Evidence-Based Practice in Educating Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students, Spencer & Marschark, 2010).
The reality for most students is to start school with “low average” language ability. As new vocabulary is introduced more and more rapidly in increasing grades and students are expected to “read to learn” their reading comprehension increasingly falls behind. As of 2000, the median reading achievement among 18-year-old students with hearing loss in the US was roughly equivalent to that of a 9-year-old with typical hearing (Traxler, 2000). Vocabulary instruction needs to occur in meaningful contexts as opposed to simple drill or practice of definitions. However, vocabulary cannot be expected to develop sufficiently without direct instruction. It is necessary to teach students the use of context for identifying word meanings and provide them with an understanding of how root and base word, prefixes and suffixes can be used to infer the meaning of new words that are spontaneously encountered (pp. 99-100, Spencer & Marschark).
In other words, students who are only taught whole words as a means to broaden their vocabulary will not be able to keep pace with their hearing peers.
Super Fun Deck: 500 Prefixes, Suffixes, and Stems
This unique deck presents 500 illustrated prefixes, suffixes, and stems.
One side of each card presents a word part and its meaning, along with two words and their definitions.
A whimsical picture helps illustrate the first word. Use this side of the card to teach the word parts.
The other side is a flashcard to test your students’ knowledge.
Cards measure 3″ x 4″. Includes a sturdy tin with handle for easy storage.
For grades 4 and above.