Recently, I took some steps to begin a tutoring business. Within two months, I have three students who are consistent clients. Each student has different needs, and I am enjoying the challenge.
Speaking of challenges, I have a deaf student who can read and write. First of all, let me say this amazes me. How can a deaf student read and write if they don’t know the sounds of the letters? How can they know where the letters go? I’m researching this now, but feel free to chime in and explain it to me. I’ve heard they can feel vibrations in your throat and use visuals (either pictures or ASL), but I’m still baffled how the brain does that.
Another question is how do I determine her reading weaknesses? I cannot understand her speech, and she can’t tell me no matter how many times I rephrase the question. I started by having her reada list of words. Even though I couldn’t understand her, I could tell that activity was too easy by how quickly she read.
Next, I had her read a nonfiction paragraph and summarize with the 5Ws. She could tell me who, where, and when, but she couldn’t tell me what the main idea and details were. I did the same with a fiction paragraph. She did better, but still wasn’t confident in what the paragraph was about. Hmm, where do I go from here?
Here’s my plan:
1. Start with relearning the alphabet sounds, blends, digraphs, and dipthongs. She just got a cochlear implant do now she can at least hear sounds.
2. Continue working on summarizing. Once she has that skill, I can start asking questions about main ideas, themes, details, inferences, etc.
If you have any advice, I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for your input in advance.