What Is Malleable in Literacy Teaching and Learning Among Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Readers?

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Many attempts have been made to determine what factors are most important in one’s potential for learning to read. These have been investigated for the purpose of determining effective instructional procedures. This chapter on literacy development aims to problematize instructional approaches that emphasize children’s deficits and, instead, make more visible approaches that build on children’s strengths, regardless of their individual differences. A fundamental belief must be that literacy is teachable and, for all children, learnable. This chapter will delineate those aspects of literacy that are malleable, evidenced by case studies and research review, and will suggest pathways (i.e., skills, strategies, and procedures) that are most effective for teachers and researchers to pursue. It describes connections to the broad field of deafness and literacy development and implications for teachers, administrators, service providers, and others concerned with the literacy success of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.