The support of deaf and hard of hearing children has advanced a lot in recent years. Hearing impairments are being recognized earlier as the technical tools are becoming more powerful, and the special educational needs of these children are increasingly taken into account.
A recent study by Prof. Dr. Ursula Horsch examines for the first time the relationship between early dialogic interactions and the learning processes in the deaf and hard of hearing infants and their parents. The goal is to evaluate the factor of selected dialogic elements in the early education process in the course of the first year of life. Thereby, the study describes these preverbal dialogs and their relevance for the educational process. In addition, the important aspects regarding the inclusion of hearing impaired children are examined.
The research design of the study particularly includes the video-based observation of the parent-child dyads/triads over a one year period in a natural setting and the subsequent evaluation of the generated video material. The software INTERACT of Mangold International was used for the analysis of selected dialogic elements of interaction (e.g. eye contact, motherese/fatherese, vocalization).
Currently Prof. Dr. Ursula Horsch teaches and conducts research at the University SEKOMU in Tanzania, which was opened in 2007. She developes her research field of education on deaf and hard of hearing infants in the Faculty of Education. The present study was conducted at the University of Education Heidelberg in Germany; a similar project is currently under development at the SEKOMU in Tanzania.
Horsch, U. (2013): Early Dialogs between Mother and Infant. A Study on the Situation of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants in the Process of Early Education. Tanzanian Journal of Special Education, Vol. 1, ISSN 18218407