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Paper details

Linguistic Competence of the Persons with Severe Hearing Impairment in English as a Foreign Language

Ewa Domagała-Zyśk
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin


Contemporary deafness is understood not as a condition of total lack of cognitive abilities but as a situation when properly  recognized competencies and talents of the hearing impaired students can be magnified and can lead to successful cognitive development. The task of the professionals working with the hearing impaired students is to carefully diagnose the individual student’s conditions and potentialities in order to find ways to support his/her education. In such a perspective students with severe hearing impairments can be also perceived as persons who present specific predispositions to learn foreign languages which might be connected with their experiences as users of more than one language (national and sign) before starting to learn a foreign language, their ability, gained through extensive lip-reading, to decipher meaning out of the context that is not fully understood, and their consciousness of speech production process that they received during their speech therapy classes. These predispositions are magnified by the contemporary technological development that offers new generation of hearing aids, cochlear implants and other equipment.

The aim of this paper is to present the language competence of Polish students with severe hearing impairment which they present during the English as a foreign language classes learning to speak foreign languages. The paper is based on the authors’ 10- year experience as a teacher of English for the deaf and on scientific research conducted in this field during last two years.

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