Happy Christmas and New Year from all at the Cued Speech Association UK.
Rachel Rees' article in BATOD
First published in the magazine of the British Association of the Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD) Autumn 2013.
Rachel Rees, a lecturer at University College London (UCL), explains the potential benefits of Cued Speech and reports on a case study with Judith Bladel looking at a nine-year-old deaf boy using a cochlear implant.
She writes: ‘Our study investigated the possible effects of English CS on the speech perception, phonological awareness and literacy skills of a nine-year-old boy, Harry, who was diagnosed with congenital bilateral profound deafness due to auditory nerve hypoplasia at 10 months. His parents started to use CS when Harry was 12 months old and he was fitted with a right sided cochlear implant at 27 months. In assessing the effectiveness of implantation, regular reports from the implant centre noted the limited effects on listening. A report written after this study was completed noted that Harry still found it difficult to access speech through listening alone. Despite this, his mother reported that Harry had exceeded age-appropriate literacy levels since Year 3…..
‘The use of standardised tests revealed that he had phonological awareness and literacy skills that were in the higher end of the typical range for hearing children of his age….
‘We compared Harry’s speech perception of simple spoken English sentences in three conditions: listening only (LO), listening + lipreading (LL) and listening +lipreading + CS (LLCS). Harry had some difficulties with the LO condition, had minimal difficulties with the LL condition and no difficulty with the LLCS condition. Although there was a significant difference between the LO and other conditions, the difference between the two lipreading conditions was not significant…..
‘Therefore we developed a test to assess Harry’s ability to perceive nonwords, which are similar to new words that children are learning as they will be unfamiliar and yet similar to words they know in terms of their structure. As Harry had some minor speech difficulties we decided against using a nonword repetition test. As he had good spelling skills, we chose instead to develop a nonword dictation test where Harry was asked to write down spoken words with predictable spellings such as “brosp” and “trint”. We used two versions of the test with matched items. Both versions were presented in an LL condition and the other in an LLCS condition. There was a significant difference between his performance in the two conditions where he scored 100% in an LLCS condition and 50% in the LL only condition. This suggests CS was helping Harry to perceive and store novel words and that this effect could have contributed to his development of vocabulary, phonological awareness and literacy skills that were generally in advance of those expected for his age…..’
A full description of the case study reported in this article can be found in a forthcoming edition of Deafness Education International: Rees, R,Bladel, B (in press). Effects of English Cued Speech on speech perception, phonological awareness and literacy: a case study of a nine-year-old deaf boy using a cochlear implant. Deafness Education International.
to read the whole article
The Cued Speech Interview Lynette Diederichs
Lynette Diederichs is a dedicated South African teacher of the deaf who introduced Cued Speech to the country in 2006. She is deaf herself so is uniquely placed to appreciate the impact of Cued Speech. The pupils in her school have shown great benefit within the restrictions she has had to work in. Lynette is working to give more deaf children the opportunity to learn English through Cued Speech.
So, how are you?
After a hectic and busy year – tired! Looking forward to ‘me’ time and doing renovations on our new property which never feels like work!
Have the last 12 months been good for you?
I have certainly grown! There have been a number of challenges at school, revolving around having to comply with the National Curriculum Statement and a new assessment policy. We have had 4 changes and modifications made to the curriculum since 2004 and each has become progressively more restrictive, making it impossible to teach the real language needs of our learners. Coming to grips with this and trying to implement solutions have made for an interesting year! I have been blessed with a teacher aide who is a natural in Sign Language as well as Cued Speech....and a gifted teacher too. It made my work in the class easier (with 13 learners aged 5 to 10) and the tears and laughter we have shared to keep us going, as well as watching the progress of my learners, has been very special.
When you explain Cued Speech to someone, what do you say?
Hearing children learn a spoken language through listening. A deaf child obviously struggles. If every sound we say looked different on the lips, lip reading would not be problematic. Unfortunately since this is not the case - for example, for years I thought ‘Home Industry’ was ‘home in the street’ - using a cued language takes away the confusion caused by the fact that same lip patterns have different sounds. In English, using 8 handshapes or cues for all the consonants and 4 places or cues near the mouth, the child gets a visual support to clearly show which sound is being said. No more guess work! It’s like fine tuning a radio when the reception is fuzzy or turning up the volume – it simply takes away all the stress of having to strain to make sense of what is being said!
to read full Interview
Summer weekend 2014 – definitely on!
Following on from the Autumn news, we can now confirm that we will again be organising a summer event for families and teachers.
We had such a wonderful time last August that we are even extending it for an extra day, giving us more time to hold tutor sessions and formal Cued Speech training, as well as opportunities for rock pooling, bushcraft or mini beast hunts with the fantastic staff from the Field Centre.
The feedback from our weekend in 2013 was very complimentary and we seem to have developed just the right mix of fun and education in this short break by the sea. There is something here for both families and professionals, with a crèche available to enable the older children and grown-ups to concentrate on learning the cueing!
As before, we will be based at the Start Bay Centre
with options for family rooms or camping in the grounds. We also have rooms reserved at the main Field Centre in the village if you would prefer the extra comfort.
Please note the dates for your diary – the evening of Friday, 1st
August to tea time on Monday, 4th
August. Not the weekend of the 8th as in the last newsletter!
We will be sending out a special newsletter containing more details and a booking form early in the New Year.
9 Jawbone Hill Dartmouth
Devon TQ6 9RW
Voice & textphone: 01803 832784
Charity No 279523 Company No 1477997