The communication skills used by deaf children and their hearing peers in a question-and-answer game context
journal contributionposted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Dianne Toe, Louise PaatschLouise Paatsch
Communication is frequently characterized by a sequence of questions and answers. Little is known about how well students who are deaf or hard of hearing (deaf/HH) understand their hearing classmates in the context of an inclusive setting. This study explored the communication skills used by deaf/HH children when asking and answering questions in a “trivia” game with their hearing peers. Thirty-four children with normal hearing and 34 children with a hearing loss ranging from mild to profound (>90 dB HL) participated in this study. Each of the 34 dyads included 1 child with normal hearing and 1 child with hearing loss, matched by gender and grade level at school. Dyads were videotaped and analyzed. Pairs were compared in terms of their capacity to repeat the question, strategies used to seek information, and accuracy of responses. Results showed that the group of hearing children was able to repeat more questions verbatim compared to the deaf/HH children. The deaf/HH group required a significantly greater number of repetitions, sought a greater number of general clarifications, and correctly answered more questions compared with the group of hearing children. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of peer communication and pragmatic skill development.