Teachers and professionals working with students with hearing loss attended Professor Greg Leigh’s presentation, 'Literacy in deaf education research' on 16 June 2014.
In his presentation, Professor Leigh took current research into how children learn to read and clearly articulated the research through the lens of a practitioner working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The knowledge presented was skilfully turned into salient ideas that at times challenged and equally, expanded the prior knowledge of participants. Skills and instructional sequences for developing students reading skills were examined, highlighting Professor Leigh's skills at turning research into practice.
Professor Leigh provided links to books and journals which were useful to teachers of the deaf. Participants explored what might influence the language outcomes of the children being taught. Greg looked at the language proficiency of some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and how that impacted their abilities to read. He discussed the importance of phonological awareness, word identification (especially through phonics), vocabulary development, syntax, and text comprehension (including metacognitive abilities). It was wonderful to see research results, look at different assessments, and hear about some ‘hands on’ ideas that can be implemented with the children being taught.
Professor Leigh is the Chair of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) Renwick Centre at the University of Newcastle. He is also Director of the Centre for Special Education and Disability Studies at the University of Newcastle.
Professor Greg Leigh recently made the Queen’s Birthday 2014 Honours List for distinguished service to the deaf and hard of hearing community, particularly children, through education, research, public policy development and specialist services. VDEI congratulates him for this outstanding achievement.