Greener Journal of Education and Training Studies

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Greener Journal of Education and Training Studies Vol. 2 (2), pp. 038-049, May 2014.

  ISSN: 2354-225X  

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 041414184


Speechreading Experiences of Children who are d/Deaf: A case of Harare Urban, Zimbabwe



Phillipa Mutswanga



Lecturer-Zimbabwe Open University, Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, Department of Disability Studies and Special Needs Education.


Email: phillipamutswangah @ gmail. com


The study explored the speechreading experiences of five people who are deaf and five, hard of hearing born to hearing parents. Speechreading is often used synonymously with the term lipreading though both have similarities and differences. Speechreading is more than lipreading. It is the ability to perceive speech by watching movement of speaker’s mouth and other visible cues such as facial expressions, gestures and message context. This study was driven by the encounters the researcher had with people who were deaf or hard of hearing born to hearing parents. The people complained that their hearing parents blocked them from learning Sign Language, as their first language and forced them to speechread only. Besides, debates and controversies over whether speechreading was an effective skill for communication and learning for people who are deaf or hard of hearing were other factors. A qualitative approach, which applied a case study design, was employed to carry out the study. In-depth interviews, observations and related literature reviews were used to collect data. The study was guided by the bilingual deaf education framework. Collected data was analysed and coded into patterns and themes deduced from the responses. The results of the study showed that, most hearing parents including educationists and siblings forced children who are deaf or hard of hearing to interpret all spoken correspondences and learning through speechreading. Thus, by forcing them to function as hearing people they made them sacrifice their integrity. The actions were concluded to be out of ignorance, thus, the study recommended mainstreaming of bilingual deaf education in Zimbabwean institutions including families. 

Keywords: speechreading, deaf, hard of hearing, experiences, bilingual deaf education, lessons learnt, Zimbabwe.

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