Research Translated! Communication Technology and Deaf Individuals’ Literacy Skills

Aug 10, 2017

[Subtitles available in English & Spanish | Subtítulos disponibles en español y inglés]

How often do you talk to people online? Do you think that your English has improved because of that? Let’s find out! Here is the full video of “Chatting Online: The Impact on English Skills” – this Research Translated video explores how online chat may contribute to English skills for deaf people.

#ResearchTranslated #NDC #OnlineChat #EnglishSkills

Read full publication here:…

Visual description available here:

Video Description:
[bright, upbeat music]
 [There is a white background and an animated graphic of research papers and pie graphs and bar charts pop up. It transforms into a video, and it shows a person with a blank face except for a smile, with a pie chart, bar graph, line chart, and connected circles next to the person. Text reads: “Research TRANSLATED!” with the NDC logo below it. The video fades to a paper document, which is titled “BRIDGING THE COMMUNICATION DIVIDE: CMC AND DEAF INDIVIDUALS’ LITERACY SKILLS”. It fades to a purple background with the following text in white: “CHATTING ONLINE: THE IMPACT ON ENGLISH SKILLS” with a phone next to it, with four speech bubbles that say “WYD?”, “LOL”, “IKR” and “WHZ UP?” The video cuts to the narrator, an african american female in a black shirt signing in front of a plain background and a couch in the back.]
Both deaf and hearing people use technology to communicate and interact with the world around them. The more prevalent technology has become the more deaf people have been taken advantage of its uses.
[The video cuts to a dark skinned male in a blue shirt.]
Yeah, I use my phone a lot in both school and life and it’s very helpful. Especially in situations where I am driving for Uber, I can more effectively communicate the details of the trip with the rider, sometimes just by using the notes section that is readily available in the app.
[The video cuts to a phone, a thumb is scrolling a long text inside the phone. It cuts again to show hands typing on a laptop. Then it cuts back to the narrator.]
Deaf people use all types of technology to communicate, whether it be email, text messaging, or instant messaging.
[The video cuts to a white female dressed in a black blouse and tan jacket. She is wearing glasses.]
Yes, in college in the early 2000’s it was great, we were using online chat rooms, where you could have a large number of deaf people, up to 30 of us, chatting away, which opened a number of networking opportunities.
[The video cuts to a white male wearing a black polo shirt and glasses.]
Whether its for a job interview, just to catch up, or for communicating with the doctor’s office, I can use email, or another third party app to communicate.
[The video cuts to a phone, and we see a text message being created. It cuts to show an asian woman with glasses using the phone. Then it cuts back to the narrator.]
There is a belief held by people, that those who are overly reliant on technology see a decline in their literacy skills, but is this true?
[The video cuts to a slightly zoomed in frame of the narrator.]
It would seem that those who are constantly using technology to navigate their world in fact, see improved literacy skills.
[The video cuts to the narrator standing behind a white background, she is standing on the left side of the frame. There is a text that slowly fades in and out on the bottom right corner: “Barak & Sadovsky, 2008” then it changes to “Okuyama & Iwai, 2011” then “Shoham & Heber, 2012” while the narrator is signing.]
A study that compared deaf individual to other groups, found that deaf people utilize technology to communicate at much higher rates.  It’s great because you can use technology to communicate about possible plans to meet up, or to just stay connected. Or to collectively support each other by sharing news and information all on their mobile devices.
[The video cuts to a white man wearing a tan polo shirt standing next to a bookcase.]
My wife and I are the only deaf people in our neighborhood, if we happen to be looking for our son while he’s out playing, we will use text messaging with the other families in the area.
[The video cuts back to the white woman in the black blouse, tan jacket and glasses.]
My husband and I recently bought a house. It was great to be able to communicate through email, rather than going through the process of calling and leaving messages. Emailing back and forth or even text messaging, was a really nice way to open up communication to us.
[The video cuts to the white man in the black polo shirt and glasses.]
I think today’s technology has been extremely beneficial to deaf people.
[The video cuts to a white woman wearing a red shirt sitting outside.]
Technology today has made a big difference, it’s helped me to feel like I almost have total access to communication. Not just with other deaf people but with hearing people as well.
[The video cuts to another light-skinned male standing outside.]
At work I am the only deaf person in an office full of hearing folks, so I almost always use technology to communicate. While the machines are running, I can communicate with colleagues through text.
[The video cuts to a purple background with the following words in white text: “DOES ONLINE CHAT IMPROVE ENGLISH SKILLS?” Then the video cuts back to the narrator standing on the left side of the frame. A graphic image of a phone appears on the right, and the speech bubbles appear animatedly: “WYD?” “LOL” “IKR” and “WHZ UP?” The images disappear and text on the bottom right fades in and out: “Wood, Jackson, Hart, Plester, & Wilde, 2011” while she is signing.]
Slang is widely used in text. Phrases like  L-O-L, B-R-B,  abbreviating Y-O-U to U, and others, can cause others to think the users English skills are subpar. When in fact research shows slang use can in fact support English literacy skills.
[The video cuts to a zoomed in frame of the narrator in the middle.]
 Is this true of deaf people?
[The video cuts back to the narrator standing on the left side of the frame. A green bubble appears on the right, with the following text in white: “STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES” then another red bubble appears alongside with the words: “DEAF STUDENTS” then the green bubble disappears, then a line graph shows a purple silhouette of a person with the text “X 1000” next to it. This is happening while she is signing.]
From a dataset of students with disabilities, a sub set of about 1,000 deaf students were surveyed.
[The video cuts to a slightly zoomed in frame. The graphic on the right now shows a green schoolhouse with a clock on the top tower and a flag above it. Speech bubbles show up above it: “MEET ME THERE!” “YOLO” and “BRB”. The speech bubbles disappear and the schoolhouse shrinks and moves slightly to the left, a line appears from the schoolhouse and ends in an arrow, the text above it reads “2 YEARS LATER…” this is occurring while the narrator signs.]
We took this information and analyzed it with this question in mind,  “What is the impact of a deaf student’s use of text based communication on their English literacy skills, 2 years after their educational experience?”
[The video cuts to the narrator standing closer to the center of the frame.]
What we see is that deaf students used text based communication to varying degrees. From those who reported using text based communication all throughout the day on a daily basis, to those who reported only occasional use. Of that varied group, those who reported using text based communication daily, all throughout the day, showed stronger English literacy skills 2 years later.
[The video cuts to a white background with the schoolhouse and the line/arrow. A purple line forms upwards to the right and shows a speech bubble: “ENGLISH LEVEL IMPROVED”. Then it cuts to a slightly opaque purple background with a video of the narrator using a phone. In white the following text reads: “TAKEAWAY MESSAGE: LET’S CHAT ONLINE MORE OFTEN!” Then the purple background and white text fade in to show the video. The narrator puts away her phone and signs.]
So is text based communication really that bad? Well, it seems to help boost English literacy skills over time and can be utilized anywhere. For example, text based communication can happen at home between family members, at school teachers can use technology to interact with their students. And all deaf people, regardless of communication modality, can benefit from it.
[The narrator returns to her phone and chuckles at something. The video fades to white and shows the following text in black: “Garberoglio, C.L., Dickson, D., Cawthon, S., & Bond, M. (2015). Bridging the communication divide: CMC and deaf people’ literacy skills. Language Learning & Technology, 19(2). 118-133. Then that fades out and the NDC logo appears. Then a green line moves apart the logo to the left and another text shows up in the right: “This video was developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, OSEP #HD326D160001. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.” with the logos for OSEP, TA&D and Department of Education below.]

Do you have questions? Email us at: [email protected]

© National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes
Video licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International

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Topic(s): Research & Data
Type of Resource: Videos

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