Priority Grants Research Fund

Abstracts of Priority Research Project Funded for FY 2001

Dragana Barac-Cikoja
Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology
Self-Monitoring During Speech Articulation By Cochlear Implant Users — A Longitudinal Study
Barbara Gerner de Garcia
Educational Foundations & Research
Preparing Teachers to Educate Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children from Language Minority Families
Thomas Kluwin
Educational Foundations & Research
Methodological Problems with Teacher Narratives about Using Technology while Teaching
Donna M. Mertens, Marilyn Sass-Lehrer, Kathryn Meadow-Orlans
Educational Foundations & Research, Education
Support Services for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Study of Ethnic/Racial Minority and/or Children with Disabilities Sub-Groups
Pilar Piñar, Facundo Montenegro, Donalda Ammons
Foreign Languages & Literature
LESCO/Spanish Reading Program
Sarah F. Taub, Dennis B. Galvan, Pilar Piñar
ASL, Linguistics & Interpreting, Psychology,
Foreign Languages & Literature
Language and Gesture in Cross-Linguistic Perspective
Sarah Dawson Wainscott, Marilyn Sass-Lehrer
Education
Phenomenological Study of Families with Infants Identified through Universal Newborn Hearing Screenings

Self-Monitoring During Speech Articulation By Cochlear Implant Users — A Longitudinal Study
Dragana Barac-Cikoja

This is a proposal to conduct studies in continuation of the project "Self-monitoring during speech articulation by hearing aid and cochlear implant users" that has been supported by the Gallaudet University Priority Research Fund Program for FY 2000. The new proposal focuses on cochlear implant users in their first year post-implant. The goal of the proposed studies is to investigate changes in speech production as they occur with newly gained access to auditory input. The focus of the proposed studies is on auditory self-monitoring, and its role in speech articulation control. Data from each participant will be collected immediately before the cochlear implant surgery, and at three times over the first year post-implant. Results of the proposed tests will be analyzed with respect to the audiological assessment at the time of each test and the history of the participant's hearing loss. Preliminary information on factors contributing to individual differences in utilization of auditory information as it pertains to speech production is expected. Based on that information, external funding will be sought.


Preparing Teachers to Educate Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children from Language Minority Families
Barbara Gerner deGarcia

The project "Preparing teachers to educate deaf and hard of hearing children from language minority families" is designed to address the preparation of teachers of the deaf to teach students from language minority homes. The project will include: (1) collection of data on current practices in university teacher preparation programs for preparing in-service teachers to teach deaf students from language minority homes, (2) to describe best practices for language minority students in general education, bilingual/ESL programs, bilingual special education and deaf education by reviewing the literature, (3) to describe the knowledge base needed for teaching teach deaf students from language minority homes, (4) to prepare a monograph in preparation for seeking funding for a Summer Institute for inservice teachers.


Methodological Problems with Teacher Narratives about Using Technology while Teaching
Thomas N. Kluwin

This study is a one-year preliminary exploration of the depth of processing of information about technology by teachers learning a new software system. 35 teachers in the Washington, DC area will be interviewed in a semi-structured interview. Interviews will be analyzed using a story grammar analysis system to identify how and what depth teachers have encoded new information about technology into the overall structure of their pedagogical knowledge.

Three reasons motivate this project. First, changes in technology represent a fundamental change in what and how to teach in schools. Second, previous research has not addressed the issue of how teachers think about technology and plan for its use Third, there are several competing paradigms in collecting information about teacher thinking, hence some confusion as to the most appropriate method in order to look at this new issue. Consequently, prior to large scale investigations of teachers' integration of knowledge of technology into their teaching, we need to examine alternative methodological approaches. In other words, will simple paper and pencil inventories reveal as much about the depth and content of processing as more elaborate interview techniques.


Support Services for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Study of Ethnic/Racial Minority and/or Children with Disabilities Sub-Groups
Donna M. Mertens, Marilyn Sass-Lehrer, Kathryn Meadow-Orlans

Universal newborn hearing screening programs have been established in a growing number of states resulting in a need for new and expanded early intervention services for children with hearing loss and their families. Families have no guarantee that these new or expanded programs or the professionals understand their concerns or are able to provide the services they desire. Data collected form a national survey and telephone interviews with families describe their experiences surrounding the suspicion and identification of their child's hearing loss and their concerns related to early intervention services. However, data available from specific subgroups of families who have different backgrounds or developmental priorities and concerns have not yet been analyzed. These groups include: 1) families with hard of hearing children; 2) families who are non-white; 3) families in which parents are deaf or hard of hearing; 4) families who have elected cochlear implant surgery; and 5) families with children who have multiple disabilities. The purpose of the proposed project is to expand the quantitative and qualitative analyses from existing survey and telephone interview data to address the specific situations of these subgroups. Results of these analyses will be published in a book describing the early experiences of families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing.


LESCO/Spanish Reading Program
Pilar Piñar, Facundo Montenegro, Donalda Ammons

We will develop a coordinated series of Spanish readings and Spanish closed captioned narratives in Costa Rican Sign language (henceforth LESCO). We will evaluate to what extent watching a signed, captioned version of the readings will improve the subsequent comprehension of the Spanish texts. LESCO and ASL share 80% of their vocabulary and their grammars also share many similarities. With some basic LESCO vocabulary instruction and with the help of the Spanish captions, we expect students will be able to abstract the main ideas of the videotaped stories. The students will use the LESCO renditions to understand the Spanish captions. Correspondingly, they will use the Spanish captions as a tool to understand the LESCO signs that they miss. We will test whether, by watching the LESCO signs and the captions simultaneously, the students will develop LESCO-Spanish word associations that will later help them recognize the vocabulary of the written texts. We expect to find that the videotapes will improve reading comprehension: 1) the signed presentations will provide a natural way for the students to capture the main ideas of the reading; 2) Associating signs and Spanish words will help students to both deduce and retain the vocabulary.


Language and Gesture in Cross-Linguistic Perspective
Sarah F. Taub, Dennis B. Galvan, Pilar Piñar

This project's goals are to establish a corpus of speech/gesture and signing in typologically different languages (English, Spanish, and ASL) and to compare, quantitatively and qualitatively, how these languages typically express motion information. The effect of language on organization and expression of information has been debated for many years (cf. whorf 1956, Gumperz & Levinson 1996). Taking motion events as a test case, linguists have established groupings of languages based on what information they express and their means for expressing it (Talmy 1985). These differences lead to differences in rhetorical style and total information conveyed at the narrative level (Slobin 1996). Yet overall, these studies have not looked at gesture.

McNeill (1992) showed that gesture accompanying speech supplies much additional information. Comparative work should therefore focus on speech/gesture combinations; and signed languages should be compared to speech/gesture rather than speech alone (cf. Liddell 1995). Our project will thus bring signed languages into a flilly universal linguistic typology. We hypothesize that if gesture is considered, languages are approximately equivalent in amount and type of information expressed. Applications will aid translation/interpretation and second language teaching: explicit knowledge of language-specific principles for conceptual expression will enhance the current strategy of intuitive learning.


Phenomenological Study of Families with Infants Identified through Universal Newborn Hearing Screenings
Sarah Dawson Wainscott, Marilyn Sass-Lehrer

As a result of recent legislation mandating universal newborn hearing screenings, service providers in identification and intervention are encountering families earlier than ever before, and often within newly established service systems. Although the potential for benefiting infants and families is tremendous given the possibility of identification at birth, there is a need to review our evolving practices to determine how well we are meeting the perceived needs and priorities of families that we serve. The goal of this study is to gain insight into the experiences of families, from their own perspective, as they progress through various service systems, encounter various professionals, and engage in the decision-making process. The investigator will use a purposive sample, a quantitative approach and a phenomenological model to explore the experiences of a diverse group of about seven families. The families will participate in interviews and observations at three-month intervals for a period of nine months to one-year. Families selected will have been recently identified through the universal newborn hearing screening program, and the study will follow them as they make the transition from identification to the initial placement in early intervention programming. Implications of the study will include recommendations for professional training, suggestions for service system improvements, and identification of future research questions.

[Last modified: 2011.12.05 16:50:38. by Kevin Cole]

DISCLAIMER: This website contains documents with terms that may be considered by today's reader as outdated and even offensive. For example, the term "hearing impairment" is sometimes used as a category for levels of hearing loss, such as hard of hearing and deaf. Some people now see cultural identification and communication preference as defining characteristics behind terms such as hard of hearing and deaf, and they do not favor terms conveying medical distinctions and loss. Yet we recognize that removing and changing terms may alter the precise meaning of the scientific author. A solution may be found by expanding the scope of future research to include non-medical perspectives.
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