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Systematic Review of Literature: Literacy Learning Strategies

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Systematic Review of Literature: Literacy Learning Strategies for Children and Young People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and use Signed Language (Auslan)


VDEI commissioned the University of Melbourne to undertake a systematic review of the literature to identify the latest research related to literacy learning strategies for children and young people who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) and use Auslan. The purpose of this systematic review was to build a repository of articles that will act as a resource for teachers of students who are DHH and for other professionals concerned with literacy strategies in signing and bimodal bilingual (English/Auslan) education programs.
In recent years, research has continued to demonstrate that explicit teaching of the five key components of reading benefits all children and can significantly reduce literacy gaps. Included in this literature review are 47 articles describing literacy learning strategies for deaf children and young people who sign. The articles utilise a wide variety of research approaches, using both quantitative and qualitative methods for data gathering and analysis. They are organised according to five key components of literacy learning:

  • phonemic awareness
  • phonics
  • fluency
  • vocabulary
  • comprehension

Major reviews on literacy agree on these key components of reading as well as the most effective ways of teaching them. The reviews found that explicit instruction was the most effective teaching method, especially for the fundamental code-based components of phonemic awareness and phonics. Subsequent reviews also recommended an emphasis on direct, explicit and systematic instruction rather than incidental teaching to ensure strong early progress in literacy.

You will find the full Literature Review in the links below:

   Systematic Review of Literature (PDF)