Graduate project

A vocabulary guide for parents of preschool deaf children

The need for language is basic to everyday existence. At home, in business, at school, and in social interaction there must always be communication. Nowhere, perhaps, is such a need more keenly felt than among people who are deaf. Lack of adequate language skills has contributed to inadequate education and underemployment for many deaf adults. The problem is evident even in early childhood. Few deaf children enter school with a total vocabulary of more than twenty words. At the same age normally hearing youngsters can generally be expected to know and use about five thousand words. Several word lists for vocabulary building among deaf children have been constructed. These lists have usually been in a form that is c1ifficult to ac1.apt for actual use --long alphabetical lists, not subdivided, and with no recommendations as to which words should be learned first. The intent of preparing this Vocabulary Guide was to propose a word list and suggestions for its use with very young deaf children. The words have been selected and arrangec1 in the order of how useful each word might be to a preschool deaf child. They are grouped in segments of manageable size for teaching and learning at home or in school.