Educational features of children with hearing impairment

Hearing impaired children are a heterogeneous group. Among them, only a small number are completely deaf. As a rule, all children who are completely deaf are able to perceive very loud sounds of nature, such as thunder, sounds in the street. There is reason to believe that they perceive sounds because of their vibration sensitivity. It is not without reason that the teacher can attract the attention of deaf people by hitting the table with his hand, with a heel on the floor. Among those who can’t hear, there are children who hear a loud scream. But the perception of unspeakable sounds is not enough for phonemes (speech sounds).

Depending on the age at which the hearing loss occurred, the severity of the hearing loss and the possibility of hearing-based speech formation, children with hearing loss who are deaf, late deaf and hearing impaired are distinguished (R.M. Boskis, 1988). The group of deaf children includes those whose hearing cannot be independently used to build up a sound supply. Speech development and training are possible only on the basis of preserved analysers; tactile, visual, taste and smell, and vibration sensitivity. Hearing loss can be used as an aid to correct pronunciation disorders (some hear loud vowel sounds, most often [a] and [y]). Among the deaf, there are two categories of children: the deaf with no speech (early deaf); the deaf with speech (late deaf), who have a hearing loss when they are 3 years old and later when speech is relatively established.

The second group is children with hearing loss, which hinders learning in normal conditions, but with preserved hearing function, where it is possible to accumulate speech stock with a hearing analyzer at least minimally. For pedagogical purposes, school-age children with hearing loss are divided into two categories: children with hearing loss, children with developed speech, and children with profound speech impairments. The first category of hearing-impaired children is taught according to the curriculum of the I department of the school for the hearing impaired, the second – according to the curriculum of the II department of the school for the hearing impaired.

It is important for the teacher in an Inclusive Education class not only to know the groups of children with hearing loss, but also the reasons for the hearing aid analyser. The abnormalities can be congenital, due to a genetic factor, or they can be traumatic to the fetus during pregnancy (fetal intoxication). The acquired abnormalities are often the result of inflammation of the middle or inner ear or lesions of the auditory nerve. Hearing impairments can cause acute infectious diseases such as meningitis, measles, scarlet, and certain forms of influenza. Medicines such as streptomycin, quinine, etc. can have harmful effects on a child’s hearing.

Educating children with hearing impairment in mainstream schools requires the creation of an adequate educational space, which involves screening children and identifying their special educational needs. Hearing can be checked using verbal speech (loud and whispered), audiometer. When a pupil is first examined with speech, reading from the face is excluded by placing his back to the teacher and repeating words in this position.

When teaching children with hearing impairment in integrated settings, certain methodological requirements should be observed.

First of all, it should be noted that full integration, when pupils are in the same class as the hearing impaired, is possible in relation to the hearing impaired with developed speech, i.e. children in the first section of the school for the hearing impaired. In this case, special conditions should be created which include:

  • The formation of appropriate competencies for the teachers of the general education school;
  • participation of the teacher-defectologist;
  • integration of hearing impaired children is only possible if the remedial component is provided. The curriculum of this type of special school (for hearing-impaired children of the 1st department) provides for pronunciation correction and development of listening comprehension, musical and rhythmic classes (according to a specially composed correctional program);
  • Informing ordinary students about the characteristics of the hearing impaired.

The class is assigned certain tasks, rules requiring strict execution are formulated. This includes the observance of the noise regime, which creates conditions for the hearing-impaired to identify the necessary speech information. All students use a microphone when necessary to include students with hearing loss. Hearing impaired peers are talked to clearly, expressively, avoiding patterning, creating the conditions for queries and clarifying misunderstandings.

Preparatory work is done with hearing impaired students. Above all, they are advised not to hide an existing disorder and in no case are shy about using a hearing aid, the student does not need to pretend that he or she is good.

The teacher-defectologist has an important role to play in providing inclusive education for hearing-impaired students. He or she ensures constant contact and understanding between the teacher defectologist and the teacher in an integrated classroom. In no case does he or she take on supervisory responsibilities towards the class teacher.

The teacher-defectologist informs teachers about the difficulties of hearing impaired children, helps to resolve conflicts and problems. It is also necessary to educate teachers about the rules of using hearing aids, the peculiarities of cognitive activities and methods of teaching this category of children.

When teaching hearing-impaired children with deep speech disorders, the educational work is based on the curriculum of the II department of the school for children with hearing impairment. At the same time it is planned and conducted remedial classes aimed at correction of pronunciation and development of hearing perception, musical and rhythmic classes, development of gestural speech. Read more about

Correction classes are based on individual programs. In doing so, the teacher-defectologist assists in evaluating the student’s real abilities. If necessary, parents are given the task of mastering sign language and promoting its development in their child.

Only individual cases of full integration of deaf children into regular general education school are known. Partial integration (instruction in a special class in a general education school) or instruction in a full inclusive class, where it is possible to separate classes in basic subjects and carry out the necessary amount of remedial instruction, is realistic. In this case, it is necessary to create an adequate educational space for deaf students, which implies that the teacher of the general education classroom has gesture speech and dactylology and hearing aids. Special assistance includes not only organizing training in a specific way, but also promoting social integration.

In co-educational settings, children with hearing impairment sit in front desks close to the teacher (1.5-2.0 m). The teacher should have a permanent and static position during the explanation, preferably at the table. It is easier for pupils to read from the face when it is at eye level with the pupil. It is not recommended to make an explanation by moving around the classroom, turning to the students’ profile. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to say “on the board” when the deaf are deprived of the ability to perceive what they are saying. The teacher learns to speak slowly, to articulate clearly, to make sure that the face is well lit. When he stands with his back to the window, then the face is darkened: the light should fall on the face.

In children with severe hearing loss, specific thinking is dominated by visual images. It is more accessible to students to perform tasks in a visually effective and imaginative way. If there are difficulties in solving cognitive tasks, visibility is connected on an abstract and logical level. Pupils perform interpretive activities, i.e. thinking from the verbal and logical level is translated into visual or visually effective.

In the teaching of inaudible students, it is important to clearly structure the teaching material, to use structural and logical schemes, reference notes that help to highlight the essential and to develop arbitrary memory.

Additional work is required to clarify and deepen the emotional orientation of the learning material.

In lessons of joint training, the teacher allocates 3-5 minutes for individual work with deaf students. During this time, you can check individual tasks, clarify individual provisions, and prevent improper actions.

The teacher learns the techniques used to attract the attention of deaf students. Instead of a word, the call is used by tapping on the table, desk, heel on the floor, swinging the hand, attracting attention and guiding (“look at the lips, the board, the book”, “look at the neighbor”). You can ask a neighbor on the desk to attract the attention of an inaudible student. If possible, a light signal is used.

The teacher uses special encouragement techniques, promptly informing the deaf students about their progress and achievements. You can lift your thumb up, use the gesture “right”, “right”, “excellent”, convey, imitate stroking on the head (“you are good, good”), send an air kiss. Learners need support, encouragement gestures give them confidence as they signal that the right action is being taken.

The teacher must learn to make a quick correction in the pronunciation of a silent student. Gestures that show the position of the lips, the tongue when pronouncing individual sounds, expressing that it is a high or low sound, can be used. Dactylology helps clarify the syllabic and alphabetic composition of the spoken word.