All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Science (MS)


College of Education & Allied Health


Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Gale B. Rice

Second Advisor

Susan T. Lenihan

Third Advisor

Lynne Shields


readers, system, semantic, identifiers, communication


Children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HOH) are often delayed in their reading ability. Frequently, it is assumed that this delay results from a lack of phonemic, or sound, awareness. Therefore, many educational programs for children who are D/HOH emphasize the use of the graphophonic (printed words and sounds) language cuing system when teaching reading. This type of approach does not account for the individual needs of each child. For many children, other areas such as comprehension, prior knowledge and vocabulary may be severely impoverished. This study examined how six school-aged children with hearing loss utilized language cuing systems and natural reading strategies while reading. Narrative comprehension and retelling abilities were also analyzed. Finally, analyses of readers’ abilities to select deviations from a text that did not impact meaning construction verses deviations that negatively impacted comprehension were completed. Results of this study indicated that participants overemphasized the use of the graphophonic language cuing system when they came to something they did not know while reading and did not frequently utilize the syntactic and semantic language cuing systems. The most frequent natural reading strategy observed was predicting. Overall, retelling abilities of readers were limited and lacked structure. When readers were analyzed for their abilities to select deviations from a text that did not impact meaning construction, results emphasized readers views of reading as an errorless process in which deviations from the text are unacceptable. Recommendations include reading instruction with increased focus on the use of semantic and syntactic language cuing systems as well as whole text reading comprehension.

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Available to Fontbonne users only. Please log in with your id + password.

Free My Thesis

If you are the author of this work and would like to make it openly accessible to all, please click the button above.