Fifteen Principles for Reading to Deaf Children

David R. Schleper outlines 15 principles for adults to use when reading to deaf and hard of hearing children. The research is based on what deaf parents do when reading to their deaf and hard of hearing children.

The fifteen principles are: Translate stories using American Sign Language; Keep both languages (ASL and English) visible; Elaborate on the text; Reread stories on a "story telling" to a "story reading" continuum; Follow the child's lead; Make what is implied explicit; Adjust sign placement to fit the story; Adjust the signing style to fit the story; Connect concepts in the story to the real world; Use attention maintenance strategies; Use eye gaze to elicit participation; Engage in role playing to extend concepts; Use ASL variations to sign repetitive English phrases; Provide a positive and reinforcing environment; and Expect the child to become literate*.

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* Used with permission from: Schleper, D. R. (1997). Reading to Deaf Children: Learning from Deaf Adults. Washington, DC: Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University. (ISBN 0-88095-212-1).