n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Die ontwikkeling en evaluering van 'n visuele geletterdheidsprogram vir dowe grondslagfase-leerders met lees- en spellingagterstande

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



Learning to read and write can be readily identified as the most difficult challenges for deaf learners. In practice, there are contradictory viewpoints regarding the use of auditory or visual techniques to enhance the teaching of deaf learners. The aural-oral approach, which aims to build literacy skills through the 'phonological route' (i.e. the pathway to literacy, which is based on the analysis of sounds), is still followed in some schools for the deaf in South Africa. South African sign language as a medium of instruction is used in other schools for the deaf in South Africa. Sign language is a visual-gestural language and since most deaf learners have a preference for the visual coding of stimuli, one can assume that they will benefit from visual literacy programmes. This study developed a visual literacy program that focuses on different visual coding strategies and visual imaging techniques to improve the reading and spelling abilities of deaf learners. The research results show that the reading and spelling performance of the deaf persons involved in this investigation (experimental groups from grade 1 to grade 3) were significantly better than that of the deaf learners in the control groups who had not been exposed to the visual literacy program.

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