Listen: Deaf Studies Faculty Research Into Language Deprivation Featured on NPR’s All Things Considered

BU Wheelock Deaf Studies faculty, researchers, and alumni were featured in Monday’s episode of NPR’s All Things Considered.

Patrick Rosenburg, a researcher working with Dr. Amy Lieberman‘s Language Acquisition and Visual Attention Lab, commented on research that investigated the effects of language deprivation in deaf children: “Language deprivation can have an impact on memory development, on cognitive development, brain developments and cognitive capacity that make it harder for the child to retain [and] to understand things like mathematical representation and literacy.”

The segment also featured commentary from Melissa Malzkuhn, a graduate of Wheelock’s master’s program in Deaf Education, and detailed elements of a curriculum–designed by a team of Wheelock researchers and faculty–that aims for a “different approach to traditional language arts because it teaches kids the grammar rules of ASL first.”

Dr. Todd Czubek, one of the Wheelock faculty members who have contributed to that curriculum, notes that this curriculum seems to be working better because it assumes most kids in a class had a later start to learning language. “Our assumptions are based on what’s real for deaf kids,” Czubek says.

Dr. Naomi Caselli closed the segment with a comment about the progress her program’s research and curricular developments hope to make: “The goal is to get language to a child,” she says. “And whatever means to make that happen is the way to do it.”

WBUR’s Radio Boston followed up on the All Things Considered segment with a live conversation with Deaf Studies Professor Bruce Bucci, discussing the research on language deprivation among deaf children and what’s being done about it in Massachusetts. You can watch that video below.

Deaf Studies Professor Bruce Bucci

Deaf Studies Professor Bruce Bucci (w/an ASL interpreter) discusses the research on language deprivation among deaf children and what's being done about it in Massachusetts. Join the conversation here at 3:25 p.m.!

Posted by Radio Boston on Monday, July 23, 2018