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The researcher below has agreed to actively monitor the "Discussion" pages associated with his research efforts for a three week period starting Monday, February 16, and ending Friday, March 6, 2009. In order to facilitate a discussion of this work, information has been posted below. To discuss your questions, comments and suggestions with the researcher please:
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  • Topic: Vocabulary Research: Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • Title:A Summary of the Vocabulary Research Undertaken with Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
  • Contact Information: John Luckner, Ed.D.,University of Northern Colorado,School of Special Education,501 20th Street, Campus Box 141,Greeley, CO 80639 (970) 351-1672 v/tty john.luckner@unco.edu
  • Type of Research: A synthesis of the research summarizing the evidence pertaining to the effectiveness of educational interventions and approaches used to promote the vocabulary acquisition of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Subject Pool: All studies (e.g., experimental, descriptive, correlational, quasi-experimental, single subject, causal comparative, or qualitative) focusing on vocabulary and students who are deaf or hard of hearing. To be included, a study had to meet the following criteria:
    • Published in a peer review journal between 1958 and 2008.
    • Participants identified as students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
    • Addressed vocabulary.
    • Sample consisted of children and youth between 3 and 21 years of age.
  • Research Description: For normal hearing children and youth, a strong correlation has been reported between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension skills (e.g., Anderson & Freebody, 1981; Stanovich, 1986). Given the less than optimal literacy outcomes for many students who are deaf or hard of hearing (e.g., Qi & Mitchell, 2007; Traxler, 2000), it is essential to identify research-based interventions that can be implemented with students who are deaf or hard of hearing to improve their ability to read and write. This point was emphasized in The National Agenda: Moving Forward on Achieving Educational Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students (April, 2005), where it was stated, “Research is the foundation upon which quality educational practices for deaf and hard of hearing students is based” (p. 37), and suggested that one of the most important questions for researchers to address was, “What are the research-based practices in reading instruction for deaf students?” (p. 38). Similarly, the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (2006) recently wrote that schools and programs for students who are deaf or hard of hearing should “Ensure that your school’s teaching methods are scientifically-based and/or peer reviewed.” Regrettably, unlike general education or the other areas of special education, often referred to as high-incidence disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, mental retardation), the field of deaf education does not have a large body of research to draw upon to establish evidence-based practices (EBPs) (Luckner, 2006 Easterbrooks & Stephenson, 2006, Luckner, Sebald, Cooney, Young, & Muir, 2005/2006; Schirmer & McGough, 2005). In instances when a lack of experimental research has been undertaken, it has been suggested that syntheses of research summarizing the evidence pertaining to the effectiveness of educational interventions and approaches be produced and disseminated (Valentine & Cooper, 2004). Consequently, the purpose of this study is to examine the evidence derived from research on vocabulary and students who are deaf or hard of hearing and to create a summary that could be used by practitioners, researchers and administrators in the field of deaf education.
  • URL for more information concerning posted research: We do not have a URL summarizing this work. However, we are in the process of writing up the results and plan to submit the paper for publication soon.
  • Collaborative opportunities within posted research: I would be very interested in working with an individual or a group of individuals who would like to conduct similar synthesis of the research in other aspects of literacy such as:
    • Conversation
    • Alphabetic principle
    • Fluency
    • Written language
    • Motivation
  • Feedback sought concerning posted research: As is often the case, this work has raise several questions:
    • 1. Are there additional ways, other than syntheses of research, to determine effective interventions for students who are deaf or hard of hearing?
    • 2. What small n research designs would be appropriate for trying to further evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions that were identified as being a “tentative evidence-based practice” that were identified through the summary of the research literature?
  • Grant “RFPs” opportunities related to posted research: At this time, I am unaware of government agencies or private foundations funding studies that focus on literacy and students who are deaf or hard of hearing that do not require large sample sizes. I hope through this online research forum that we are able to identify some potential funding sources.


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