DEFINITION OF TERMS
The word “hearing impaired” replaced the word “deaf’, while the term “hard of hearing” has been introduced to replace the phrase “partially deaf’. Hearing impaired are children who have slight to severe hearing loss.
Hearing impairment: A genetic term indicating a hearing disability which may range in severity
from mild to profound. It includes the subject of deaf and hard-of-hearing.
The communication of ideas through and arbitrary system of the symbols used according to rules that determine meaning.
Deafness and individual acquired after having acquired spoken language of the catchments area.
Prelingual deafness: Deafness presents at birth or occupying early in life at an early age prior the
development of language.
Primary Education: Is the provision of first level instruction to children usually in the six to
fourteen age groups. In Kenya it takes eight years.
Is means of communication used by the hearing impaired.
Is an individually designed instrumental services meeting the unique educational needs of the handicapped persons. It appropriate form of education for children where physical or mental conditions makes normal teaching methods unsuitable for them. (Farrant 1964 pg 29)
Globally, language been classified as one of the intelligence that man can posses. Gardner,
(1989) the capacity to use words effectively, whether orally for example as a storyteller, orator
and politician or in writing. For example as a poet, play whiter, editor or journalist is something
that must be learned in everyday life.
Hearing impairment has had its effect on language
development that is the spoken and written languages. The study was carried out in Special school Lafia Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
it investigated and evaluated factors affecting language development in a hearing impaired learners. The researcher used a case study design. It involved sample learner and teachers at Special school Lafia for the Deaf. The basic instrument used was questionnaires. Questionnaires involved open ended and closed ended questions. Data collected were analyzed by descriptive statistics and content analysis after which the results were presented using tables and bar graphs.
Finding from the study included the problems of language development of a Pre-lingual and
post-lingual hearing impaired learner, level of language development of a hearing impaired
learner bom to hearing impaired parents Vs that born that born to a hearing parents and the effect
of curriculum the teaching of language to the hearing impaired learners.
concluded that there are many factors in a hearing impaired learner that affect their language
development. The research finding reveals that the prelingual learner had more problems in
language as compared to postlinguals. Farther findings should that hearing impaired learners born to hearing impaired parents.
Last but not least, the current curriculum (adapted) being used in hearing impaired schools does
not provide adequate content to teach language to learner. However, teachers handling them work round the clock to help the learners face the challenges in life in terms of language
1.0 Background to the Study
Globally language has been classified as one of the intelligences that man posses, (Gardner 1989 P. 101). The capacity to use words effectively, whether orally (for example, as a storyteller, orator and politician) or in writing (for example as poet, playwright, editor or journalist) is
something that must be learned in everyday life.
Hearing impairment has had its effect on
language development, that is, spoken and written languages. A learner cannot pronounce what she/he has not heard and understood consequently. One cannot write what she/he does not know (Jensema 1978 P. 58).
In African continent with many languages, acquisition of both spoken and written languages have been a problem, in that, a hearing impaired child is presented with a scenario where she/he has to master three or more languages at the same time and be able to sign and fingerspell inoder
to communicate with others.
It has been known that the hearing impaired children in a
community where written and spoken languages are used more, develop the ability to manipulate the syntax or structure of the language, the phonology of language, the meaning and practical uses of language unlike the hearing impaired child brought up with the Deaf community alone who will only learn how to sign and fingerspell in order to communicate everyday conversation (Karchmer et al 1979 PP. 67-68)
Lafia District is
region with a relatively high number of hearing impaired
children, some of whom have been assessed and placed in various institutions such as in Special school Lafia. for the Deaf Hearing impairment has had its effect on language development in this region because there is only a few researchers competent in assessing the child linguistic efficiency by observing the child’s use of sign language. Furthermore, sign language has a grammatical structure of its own which does not follow spoken or written English. As a result, when the hearing uses sign language as compared to spoken language, he/she is penalized because of differences in grammar in the order of presentation. (Karchmer et al 1979 pp. 81-83).
Result of the written language of hearing impaired children shows that in the whole, they lag behind significantly compared to hearing children and are therefore punished for not being competent enough. The patterns have been documented in Nigeria after analyzing written compositions of the hearing impaired children enrolled at in Special school Lafia Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
Hearing impairment also varies among different learners and because the ability of child to understand the speech correlates with the degree of hearing loss, effective communication has become a problem because some teachers prefer speech as the primary mode of communication, others prefer a combination of both speech and signs. Learners therefore fail to grasp important concept in class because communication is not effective.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
The issues of language and hearing impairment had been a grossly neglected area, even by those how had specialized in working with the hearing impaired. Quite simply, other much more .contentious issues had occupied the center stage, such as whether to teach child sign language or speech.
There had been a bitter three dimensional debate among those who how advocate for the use of natural signs and those who propose language which approximates to English grammar and those who wanted the hearing impaired to speak. However, among the hearing impaired learners, none of these methods appear to guarantee the child sufficient language development to support high academic achievement Learners with hearing impairment in Nigeria according to National Examination had not been doing very well in Nigeria Certificate of Primary Education
Competence in a language, being the basis of knowledge acquisition, the researcher wanted to find out if hearing impairment is the major barrier to language development among such learners.
According to records, poor performance has been noted among learners with hearing impairment in Lafia.
1.2 Objectives of the Study
1.2.1 General Objectives
The purpose of this study was to find out the effects of hearing impairment on language development of a hearing impaired learner.
1.2.2 Specific Objectives of the Research were
To investigate the problem that hinders the hearing impaired learner from acquiring language.
To find out the problem of language development of a pre-lingual learner.
To investigate differences in language development levels of a learner born of impaired parents and that bom of hearing parents.
To find out the effect curriculum on the teaching of language to the hearing impaired learners.
1.3 .Research Questions were;
What problems hinder the hearing impaired learner from acquiring the language? How is language development affected by the pre-lingual and post-lingual hearing impairments?
What effect do hearing parents and hearing impaired parents have on language development of the hearing impaired learners?
How does the curriculum affect the teaching of the language on the hearing impaired learners?
1.4 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study were hoped to benefit the Education policy makers in the Ministry of Education in ensuring that mother-tongue or language of the catchments area is used to the media of instruction in pre-school or lower primary classes 1-3 to enable learners to acquire pre- requisite skill for language development.
The findings of the study is hoped that would help the curriculum developers to design specialized curriculum for the hearing impaired learners so that the may develop their in a clear and systematic manner.
The information gathered from research findings was meant to assist future researchers to do further investigation on possible ways of assisting hearing impaired learners on language development.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The research exercise was carried out in in Special school Lafia Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
The above named school is the only one for the learners with hearing impairment within Northern Nigeria; however, most of these learners come from other district within the country Nigeria, thereby giving the researchers a chance to base his/her research finding on a wider geographical area. The information was obtained from the samples learners through observation and interview in different areas of language development and also from their teachers through the use of questionnaires.
1.6 Limitations and Delimitations
The following were the conditions that would hinder the researcher from carrying out the proposed study effectively.
The study limited itself to only one zone, and one school. It could be better if the whole district would have been studied but due to financial constraints, it will be impossible for the researcher to carry out the study in the whole district.
o The researcher overcomes this limitation by the fact that learners at in Special school Lafia for the Deaf were coming for several districts all over Nigeria; therefore, the research findings were based over a wider geographical area.
The study only deals with learners with hearing impairment. The research was conducted in local areas that the learner is familiar with. This gave the researcher easy time in collection of data since most of the interviewers were familiar with her hence they could volunteer information with a lot of confidence.
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