Date of Award

Spring 3-23-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Brenda Schick

Second Advisor

Anne Whitney

Third Advisor

Jeff Coady

Abstract

The present study was designed to observe teachers’ use of facilitative language techniques (FLTs; types of language that facilitate children’s language; e.g., models, recasts, repetitions) in oral deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) kindergarten classrooms and to determine correlations between these FLTs and students’ language skills. It was expected that few FLTs would be used in the classroom. The use of higher level FLTs that promoted higher level thinking was predicted to be positively correlated with children’s language scores, while the use of lower level FLTs that elicited less critical thinking was predicted to be unrelated to children’s language scores. Videos of 5 oral DHH kindergarten classrooms gathered by the Center on Literacy and Deafness were coded, and a Pearson product moment correlation was run to determine correlations among the 5 teachers’ FLT use and the 17 children’s language scores on the Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test, Fourth Edition (EOWPVT-4), the Elaborated Sentences and Phrases subtest of the Test for Auditory Comprehension of Language, Third Edition (TACL-3), and the Word Structures subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Fourth Edition (CELF-4). Results indicated a low use of high level FLTs in relation to low level FLTs and housekeeping language, and negative correlations were found between numerous FLTs and children’s language scores. These findings indicate the need for further detailed analysis of FLTs and interactions between children and teachers.

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