Word of Mouth: What an LA Auditory-Verbal Preschool Classroom Is Teaching Me About Spoken Language Development

By Kristella Montiegel

PhD Student, Sociology, UCLA

It’s estimated that California educates 14,000 Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) students annually. D/HH children have unique needs towards the successful development of communication abilities and social skills, and federal and state laws have established guidelines for assisting families and educators in successfully meeting these needs. One guideline is the requirement of a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), which involves a team of members assessing children’s communication needs and placing them in the least restrictive educational environment possible. Today, most states have laws mandating hearing screenings and services for newborns. California implemented these requirements in 2000, making all diagnosed children eligible for D/HH education programs.

While there are several options for young children who are deemed eligible for D/HH educational services, two options are considered the main approaches to education: the American Sign Language (ASL) option and the Auditory-Verbal option. However, these approaches have competing ideologies that are commonly at the center of debate about which is the better approach. The ASL approach, rooted in Deaf culture, champions signing as language equality and teaches it as the primary form of communication. Alternatively, the Auditory-Verbal approach does not teach ASL, and instead emphasizes the development of spoken language with the goal of transitioning children into mainstream society.

As a sociology student whose research interests lie primarily in the subfield of language and social interaction, I became interested in what the ASL/Auditory-Verbal approach looks like ‘on the ground,’ or, the ways in which these approaches are accomplished in the institutional setting of a D/HH preschool classroom. I was given the opportunity to pursue these interests in November of 2017, when I gained access as a volunteer and student observer in an Auditory-Verbal preschool classroom of an LA school district. I have been volunteering on a weekly basis, assisting in the daily routines and taking ethnographic notes on the learning activities and naturally occurring interactions between the students and classroom educators.

I quickly learned that a key component of the Auditory-Verbal approach is a hyper-emphasis on vocalization. Speech permeates all activities of the school day: free play, meals, and lessons. The educators encourage the students to “talk through” any activity in which they’re engaged, whether speech would be strictly necessary or not, including episodes of bad behavior. Vocalization is not only prioritized, it’s also managed with preferences, such as using complete sentences, avoiding baby-talk, and knowing the appropriate times to say certain things. Talk is the desired means for students to adequately participate and demonstrate their competence in lessons, even if their understanding of something is or could be made clear nonverbally. My curiosity grew: What does all of this vocalization in the D/HH preschool do for the children and their families?            

Students’ spoken language is monitored by the class educators and school specialists who gather assessments for periodic IEP reviews. Thus, the value of a student’s use of speech in the class transcends beyond the immediate context in that it’s consequential for their overall IEP progress. Upon graduation from preschool, parents and the IEP team must decide among options for kindergarten, which typically involves general education integration to various degrees. I began to wonder: If the Auditory-Verbal class is specialized for children who are eligible for D/HH services, yet conducts learning and literacy development according to social life in mainstream society, then how do the educators facilitate student participation in a way that is sensitive to the children’s needs while also preparing for mainstreaming?

I’m exploring these questions on talk in an Auditory-Verbal class as an ethnographic project for my Master’s thesis, keeping an emic (or participant) perspective toward the cultural context of the Auditory-Verbal classroom, so I try to always consider what things mean for the educators and children themselves. Importantly, in conducting this research, I by no means am claiming the Auditory-Verbal approach as somehow more advantageous than the ASL approach. Rather, for purposes of time, I’ve chosen not to make this a comparative research project, and am choosing to focus on the Auditory-Verbal approach since I’m already a volunteer. I’ll continue volunteering in the class for the 2018-2019 academic year, and will ideally extend the study into a larger project involving video-recorded classroom interactions, as well as video-recorded home visits to explore how and to what extent the children are participating in family interactions. I hope the impact of my research will address important factors that influence the language practices and social-skill development of D/HH children, in order to develop a communicative framework for educational support both in the classroom and in their homes.

Meeting the needs of D/HH children anywhere has its challenges. In LA, some of these challenges are exacerbated by the fact that the LA Unified School district is large, services providers are spread out across the district, and the cost of living is high. Parents are often working across town, and thus getting to all of the relevant appointments (including school IEPs) is challenging. Teachers face an extremely heterogeneous class with multiple language backgrounds, and different socioeconomic statuses and understandings of the situation. In my future work, I hope to explore how the unique LA context shapes the D/HH classroom.

 

Kristella Montiegel (BA Department of Communication, Media and Culture at Coastal Carolina University; MS, Department of Communication at Portland State University) is a PhD student in UCLA’s Department of Sociology, and the Coordinator for the UCLA Center for Language, Interaction, and Culture (CLIC).

82 replies
  1. furtdso linopv
    furtdso linopv says:

    Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Cheers

  2. usa proxies
    usa proxies says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any manner you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  3. wow 51900319
    wow 51900319 says:

    Thanks , I’ve just been searching for information about this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon so far. However, what about the bottom line? Are you certain about the supply?

  4. fornecedores de roupas
    fornecedores de roupas says:

    Great site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get advice from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!

  5. new invention ideas
    new invention ideas says:

    Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any helpful hints for novice blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  6. Albert Sturchio
    Albert Sturchio says:

    Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  7. http://bit.ly/2PTZtO6
    http://bit.ly/2PTZtO6 says:

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  8. invention patent
    invention patent says:

    Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  9. Ha Duffek
    Ha Duffek says:

    I have been browsing on-line more than three hours lately, but I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It?s pretty value enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  10. inventhelp wiki
    inventhelp wiki says:

    That is really attention-grabbing, You are an excessively skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and sit up for in search of more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  11. Free Instagram Auto Followers
    Free Instagram Auto Followers says:

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there.

  12. click over here
    click over here says:

    Hi, Neat post. There is an issue together with your website in internet explorer, might test this… IE still is the market leader and a big element of folks will pass over your wonderful writing because of this problem.

  13. see this here
    see this here says:

    I’d have to verify with you here. Which is not something I often do! I get pleasure from reading a publish that can make individuals think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  14. iqdir.com web directory
    iqdir.com web directory says:

    Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  15. Judi Bola online
    Judi Bola online says:

    Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, amazing blog!

  16. Situs Judi
    Situs Judi says:

    I together with my pals have been analyzing the good procedures located on the website then instantly came up with a horrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the site owner for them. All of the women were definitely as a result thrilled to see them and already have in fact been taking advantage of them. Many thanks for actually being considerably helpful as well as for deciding on such tremendous resources most people are really eager to know about. My very own honest regret for not saying thanks to earlier.

  17. Judi Casino Slots
    Judi Casino Slots says:

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  18. Agen S128
    Agen S128 says:

    This is a very good tips especially to those new to blogosphere, brief and accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article.

  19. testopro 500
    testopro 500 says:

    I’ve read several good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to create such a wonderful informative website.

  20. Baixar Filmes torrent
    Baixar Filmes torrent says:

    I believe this is among the most important info for me. And i am satisfied studying your article. However should remark on few general things, The website style is ideal, the articles is in reality excellent : D. Just right job, cheers

  21. Clan Division
    Clan Division says:

    There are some attention-grabbing points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There is some validity but I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like more! Added to FeedBurner as nicely

  22. inventhelp
    inventhelp says:

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What an ideal web-site.

  23. làm bằng đại học giả
    làm bằng đại học giả says:

    I discovered your weblog web site on google and test a number of of your early posts. Proceed to maintain up the excellent operate. I just further up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. In search of ahead to reading more from you afterward!…

  24. Digital Drugs
    Digital Drugs says:

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?

  25. SEO
    SEO says:

    Great paintings! This is the kind of information that are supposed to be shared across the internet. Disgrace on Google for no longer positioning this submit higher! Come on over and discuss with my website . Thanks =)

  26. jamb runs
    jamb runs says:

    Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What an ideal site.

  27. Local SEO
    Local SEO says:

    Nice blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  28. his explanation
    his explanation says:

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  29. visite site
    visite site says:

    Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this info. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and net and this is actually irritating. A good blog with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  30. have a peek at these guys
    have a peek at these guys says:

    I don’t even understand how I ended up here, however I believed this publish was once great. I do not know who you’re however definitely you are going to a well-known blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  31. dig this
    dig this says:

    Someone essentially help to make seriously posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular publish incredible. Wonderful job!

  32. important link
    important link says:

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *