Purpose: The present study reports a detailed analysis of written and spoken language samples of Hebrew-speaking children aged 11-13 years who are deaf. It focuses on the description of various grammatical deviations in the two modalities. Method: Participants were 13 students with hearing impairments (HI) attending special classrooms integrated into two elementary schools in Tel Aviv, Israel, and 9 students with normal hearing (NH) in regular classes in these same schools. Spoken and written language samples were collected from all participants using the same five preplanned elicitation probes. Results: Students with HI were found to display significantly more grammatical deviations than their NH peers in both their spoken and written language samples. Most importantly, between-modality differences were noted. The participants with HI exhibited significantly more grammatical deviations in their written language samples than in their spoken samples. However, the distribution of grammatical deviations across categories was similar in the two modalities. The most common grammatical deviations in order of their frequency were failure to supply obligatory morphological markers, failure to mark grammatical agreement, and the omission of a major syntactic constituent in a sentence. Word order violations were rarely recorded in the Hebrew samples. Clinical Implications: Performance differences in the two modalities encourage clinicians and teachers to facilitate target linguistic forms in diverse communication contexts. Furthermore, the identification of linguistic targets for intervention must be based on the unique grammatical structure of the target language.
- Children with hearing impairments
- Grammatical deviations
- Language assessment
- Spoken and written language