576_Session12 - SED-DE-576

Language and the Deaf
April 11, 2012: Session 12
Jessica Scott, Boston University
Food for Thought
 “Language [can] be expressed . . . by movements of the
hands and face just as well as by the small, soundgenerating movements of the throat and mouth. Then
the first criterion for language that I had learned as a
student—it is spoken and heard—was wrong; and, more
important, language did not depend on our ability to
speak and hear but must be a more abstract capacity of
the brain. It was the brain that had language, and if that
capacity was blocked in one channel, it would emerge
through another.”
-Harlan Lane
 Discussion: TT
 Classic Assessment
 Dynamic Assessment
 Break!
 CI Corner
 Applying Dynamic Assessment
 Housekeeping
Goals for the Session
 To understand the problems with assessment
 To think about dynamic assessment, including its pro’s
and con’s
 To consider how dynamic assessment could be used with
Deaf children
 Discussion: TT
 Classic Assessment
 Dynamic Assessment
 Break!
 CI Corner
 Applying Dynamic Assessment
 Housekeeping
Discussion Board
 This phrase in this chapter, “Culturally different children have
not fared well under the “melting pot” theory of education,
which emphasized deficits rather than recognizing
differences” (p. 137). People in general spend too much time
looking for what is wrong with Deaf children instead of
focusing on what is right with them. We need to spend time
and energy promoting all the strengths and then build on
them. Time spent on finding deficits is time wasted.
As we know, not everyone is a good test taker, but often, I
think we mistaken children’s inabilities to test well for a
variety of reasons other then their cultural background. Often
students are being misplaced in classroom settings because
they do not perform well on standardized test.
 Discussion: TT
 Classic Assessment
 Dynamic Assessment
 Break!
 CI Corner
 Applying Dynamic Assessment
 Housekeeping
Classic Assessment
 Common assessment practices:
 Formative assessment – what can the student do before
 Summative assessment – what can the student do after
 During assessment – No support given to students
 This is not really reflection of instruction, where we
modify what we do in response to students (mediation
Where is the problem?
When we’re assessing children, we often are thinking of them
as having a problem.
Classic assessments often think of the problem as being situated
in the child
Legitimization oriented assessment – we are finding what’s
“wrong” with the child
But there is another perspective – that the problem is outside of
the child in the environment
Advocacy oriented assessment – we are figuring out what in the
environment is preventing the student from being successful
Testing Bias
 Language bias (for speakers of non-standard English or
other languages)
 Academic language and vocabulary
 Figurative language
 Complex Syntax
 Cultural/Content bias (When the content on the test
does not match the curriculum – assumes general world
knowledge that is culturally specific)
Testing Bias and Deaf
 Obviously, the two main testing biases:
 Language bias (for users of ASL)
Trybus and Buchanan (1973) and concluded that the following
linguistic structures created more difficulty for deaf test takers
than their hearing peers when matched for reading level: (a)
conditionals (e.g., “if ” clauses), (b) comparatives (e.g., “greater
than, the most”), (c) negatives (e.g., “not, without, answer not
given”), (d) inferentials (“should, could, because, since”), (e)
low information pronouns (e.g., “it, something”), and (f)
lengthy passages
 Content/Cultural bias (for those that do not know hearing
Deaf students may have different world knowledge, because of
their different experience (Lollis & LaSasso, 2008)
When looking for bias…
Conceptually, is the item a good one?
(objective match, fair representation,
lack of cultural bias, single problem,
one best answer)
Linguistically, is the item appropriate?
(age appropriate, lack of excess words;
no stem/foil clues; and no negative in
Is the format appropriate? (logical
order of foils; print size and type,
familiar presentation style; equal
length in foils.)
Are diagrams (if used) appropriate?
(necessity of the diagram, quality of
the diagram, and unbiased nature of
Which grade level is the passage
For the grade level to which the passage
is currently assigned, is it easy, medium,
or hard?
Is the passage interesting to read and
does it have a beginning, middle, and
Is the frame acceptable for the passage?
Do all the objectives fit well with the
passage or should one or more not be
used and substituted with another
Do the items adequately cover the major
content of the passage? Are the most
important ideas included?
Examining a standardized
 In groups, look at the passage and questions from an
MCAS Assessment
 Is it fair to Deaf students…
 Linguistically?
 Content-wise?
 Culturally?
 Discussion: TT
 Classic Assessment
 Dynamic Assessment
 Break!
 CI Corner
 Applying Dynamic Assessment
 Housekeeping
Dynamic Assessment!
 Process:
 Assess – what can the student do on his or her own?
 Assess – what can the student do with teacher support?
 Instruction – based on both assessments
 Assess – how has the student grown?
 What can they do with and without support?
 This more closely resembles classroom instruction
Steps for Dynamic
Assessment Process
 1. Be a decision-maker: What does the student need? How are they
struggling? What in the environment might be causing that?
 2. Question placements from standardized tests: they are not always
 3. Trial teaching: move students upward from initial testing level
until they hit a frustration level
 4. Do not blindly follow labels: They can be wrong, and do not give
you the most important information about that student
 5. Be proactive: be a leader looking to help change the system for the
better, don’t wait for someone else to come and change it for you
Steps for Dynamic
Assessment Process
 6. Understand the cultural norms of your students and establish
classroom procedures that are congruent with those norms: Use
students’ knowledge to their advantage
 7. Support bilingualism: Address students in the language they know
best and use this for instruction!
 8. Teach in the ZPD: Children need you to meet them where they
are AND provide them with challenge
 9. Encourage peer collaboration: Children often learn best from one
10. Encourage multiculturalism and interactions
Culturally diverse
 5 socio-cultural areas to consider in assessment:
 Culture/linguistic background – What does the child
know? What is their culture? Their language?
 Experiential background – What has the student seen or
done before?
 Stage and pattern of acculturation – What does the
student know about their own culture?
 Patterns of sociolinguistic development and language
transfer – What does the student know about the
dominant culture? About their second language?
 Cognitive learning styles – How does the student learn
On the wiki
 It was pointed out that there are some negatives to the
 Subjectivity
 Lack of resources
 Resistance from teachers
 On the board, we will make a pros and cons list for
dynamic assessment
 Discussion: TT
 Classic Assessment
 Dynamic Assessment
 Break!
 CI Corner
 Applying Dynamic Assessment
 Housekeeping
 Discussion: TT
 Classic Assessment
 Dynamic Assessment
 Break!
 CI Corner
 Applying Dynamic Assessment
 Housekeeping
CI Corner
 Great expectations: Perspectives on cochlear
implantation of deaf children in Norway
 By E. Simonsen, A. Kristoffersen, M.B. Hyde, O. Hjulstad
 American Annals of the Deaf, 2009, Volume 154, Issue 3
 THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE the use of cochlear implants with
deaf children in Norway and examine how this intervention has
raised new expectations and some tensions concerning the nature
of education for deaf students. They report on two studies of
communication within school learning environments of young
children with implants in Norwegian preschools and
primary/elementary schools. These studies involved observations
of classroom discourse and teaching activity and interviews with
teachers, administrators, parents, and pupils. Results suggested
varied patterns of use of Norwegian and of Norwegian Sign
Language and several modes of communication, including
speech alone, sign alone, and speech with sign. Conclusions are
drawn regarding the reasons for the observed variations and the
future impact of cochlear implantation on educational policies
and services for deaf children and their families in Norway.
What did they do?
 24 Deaf children in Norway with CIs
 Between 7 and 11
 Some in bilingual schools, some in “special needs”
programs, and others in local spoken language only
 They observed in the schools and interviewed the
What did they find?
 Teachers in bilingual programs were more driven by
student needs when choosing the mode of
 Teachers in spoken-language only programs were driven
by external mandates when choosing the mode of
 I find this problematic – children with cochlear implants
should learn sign language, and it should be a resource
even in a spoken-language setting, if the student doesn’t
understand – language should be chosen based on the
child’s needs, not the school’s rules.
An important con
 They call simultaneous communication “sign bilingual”
 I felt this should not go unshared
 However, I think it is important to think about the
increased flexibility in meeting student needs that might
come with a program that encourages the use of sign
 Any comments or questions on this article?
 Discussion: TT
 Classic Assessment
 Dynamic Assessment
 Break!
 CI Corner
 Applying Dynamic Assessment
 Housekeeping
How can we assess ASL?
 Think about the differences found between ASL and
English in the storytelling article TT led us in discussing
 Because of the modality of language being different, the
way ideas and thoughts are expressed is inherently
 So assessments we use to determine what’s “good”
language output in English do not help us with ASL
One Example: Writing
Ideas: Can the student
write a piece in English
that has a main idea or
Organization: Does the
writing have an internal
structure, or thread? Is
the sequence of ideas
Voice: Is the writer’s
unique perspective
Word Choice: Does the
author choose rich and
colorful English
Sentence Fluency: Does
the writing have rhythm
or flow?
Conventions: Are
spelling, grammar,
punctuation correct?
How might we assess an
ASL story (dynamically)?
 Consider…
 What dynamic assessment looks like
 What the article (and we) identified as important pieces of an
ASL story
 What you know about ASL
 If you are working in Bob’s ASL Assessment lab, feel free to
take inspiration from there
 And think of the elements of an ASL story that are essential
that we would want to assess – and a way to assess them
 You can pick age/grade level
Goal: To create a checklist or some kind of rubric
 What did your groups come up with?
 We will now watch a video of one of my former students
 “Cara McElfresh, a student at East High School and
ASSDHH, created an ABC story using Ashley Fiolek's
name forward and backward. Ashley Fiolek is a
motocross champion. This poetry was submitted to the
MJP ASL literature competition and was a finalist.”
 As you watch, think about your assessment
checklist/rubric you created with your group
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGN0XPOACh8&f
What do you think?
 In groups, discuss:
 Any adjustments you would make to your rubric
 Where you think it does a good job capturing ASL
 Where this student would score on the rubric
 Discussion: TT
 Classic Assessment
 Dynamic Assessment
 Break!
 CI Corner
 Applying Dynamic Assessment
 Housekeeping
Next week…
 Is a Monday schedule
 But since I didn’t know that, there is reading on the
rubric anyway
 It is more on assessment
 There will be a discussion board on the wiki and I
encourage you to talk over ideas there, since we will not
be together in person to do so
The NEXT week…
 April 25, is when we will see each other again
 (It is also our penultimate class! Crazy!)
 The topic will be reading research completed with Deaf
 Dana will be our discussion leader
 AND we will have our final guest speaker, Erika
 Remember to come prepared with questions about
teaching in a self-contained environment
See you in two weeks!

similar documents