4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 21, 2013 8:54 PM by Tammy Dewan RSS

How do I help my hearing-impaired ELL student?

rsieger New User
Currently Being Moderated

I have a Kindergarten ELL who has a serious hearing disability. He is not progressing for me in any language domain even though he has two hearing aids. Does anyone have any ideas about how I can make my lesson input comprehensible in this situation? This student can compensate, to a certain extent,  for his hearing impairment by using his good sight.

  • Re: How do I help my hearing-impaired ELL student?
    mso Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for joining the group and posing your question with us...

    This is certainly a first for me...have been working with ELLs for over 20 years...

    My initial thought is to use lots of TPR (total physical response - acting out of words and concepts), engage in pantomime type activities, along with showing visuals and print examples of those words. Though for K students, reading and sight word vocabulary is so limited.


    What is your student's first language? Does he know/understand sign language? This also could be helpful in communication.  We have teachers in our school district who have sign language clubs...elementary students are so excited to learn this alternative mode of communication.

    What ELL services is your school providing?


    Perhaps other members in our group have additional suggestions for you.  I will continue to research websites that might be helpful and look forward to continued dialogue on this topic as well as updates on your student's progress!

    You have quite the challenge ahead of you...


  • Re: How do I help my hearing-impaired ELL student?
    Lynne Hoffman Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Robert,

    I am pleased to see that you joined this group and posted your question here.  As I mentioned in a previous discussion, these are some additional resources that may be helpful.  I am posting them here so others can benefit and add their suggestions.


    I located a discussion where you may want to add your question and/or response:  How many do consider deaf and hard of hearing when we discuss 21st century updates?


    Also, I found one resource which may have some useful information.  See English Language Classroom and Students with Disabilities.  The section on deaf/hard of hearing students is part of the longer tipsheet (English Language Classroom and Students with Disabilities) that offers a resource for ESL teachers both in America and abroad who are looking for suggestions on working with students with disabilities in their class.


    I look forward to following this discussion.  Thanks for your question.


    Lynne Hoffman

    Verizon Thinkfinity Community Host


    • Re: How do I help my hearing-impaired ELL student?
      mso Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks for your support on this question Lynne...

      You found excellent resources for working with ELLs who have physical challenges...tips, power points and articles in your links are packed with info for all teachers.


      One suggestion mentioned was use of interpreters (sign language) as classroom support - that would be ideal...

      Robert, have you checked with the Child Study Team in your district?

  • Re: How do I help my hearing-impaired ELL student?
    Tammy Dewan Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Robert,

    Although I haven’t had a hearing impaired ELL, you are not alone. I looked up statistics and found some interesting ones from the Department of Educational Foundations and Research stating that:

    • “The 2001-2002 Annual Survey of Deaf Children and Youth indicates that nearly 48% of the school-age deaf and hard of hearing (D/hh) population are racially and culturally diverse.
    • Nearly 23% of deaf and hard of hearing students are Latino.
    • 10.8% of all d/hh students are from Spanish-speaking homes, and 23% of all d/hh students are from multilingual homes.” (Garcia, 2004)

    I have had a hearing impaired student, I will call “Katie” in my 1st grade classroom and I found the most helpful way for me to help her was to assign different students to be her helper for the day. Her helper was to explain assignments to her and make sure she was able to start her work. This came about because I found that when I was doing my reading rotations and working in small groups, Katie was often not able to get started because she wasn’t sure what to do. It could be 20 minutes while I was at the reading table and Katie hadn’t been able to do any work and was sitting the whole time feeling confused. So, with her classmates' help, she gained confidence and was able to understand more of what was going on in class. We used all kinds of methods for communicating with Katie. The best method was by modeling what we wanted. Maybe you can try assigning buddies to your Kindergartener. It makes kids feel very important to help. Let us know how things progress!
    Cheers, Tammy

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