Factors that contribute to low literacy achievement among grade seven(7) pupils with hearing impairment in Lusaka District, Zambia

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Chibuye, Langson
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This study sought to establish the factors that contribute to low literacy achievement among grade seven (7) learners with hearing impairment. The study was driven by four (4) objectives. These are: to find out the factors that could be responsible for low achievement in reading among grade seven hearing impaired pupils; to establish the sign language competence levels of teachers teaching hearing impaired children; to establish factors that could be responsible for low achievement in writing among grade seven hearing impaired pupils and finally, to establish whether the techniques used by teachers teaching reading and writing to hearing impaired children related to the communication mode of deaf children which is usually visual rather than auditory.Quantitative data was collected through comparative test examinations administered to pupils (both hearing and non-hearing) and was analysed using SPSS in order to establish relationships among variables. This was done through bivariate correlations. Qualitative data was obtained through focus group discussions, participant observation and open ended questionnaires administered to parents and teachers of hearing impaired learners and were analysed using manual calculations.Results indicate that children with hearing impairment achieve low in reading and writing because they lack alphabetical knowledge / awareness and are not able to relate the letters of the alphabet with print as they lack phonological awareness. It was also established that lack of exposure to visual learning aids such as wall pictures, charts, television sets and computers have made hearing impaired learners to lag behind in reading and writing. Additionally, most teachers teaching children with hearing impairment were not trained in Special Education. It was also established that parents of hearing impaired learners did not assist deaf children to read and write at home. The following recommendations were made: The government should provide visual teaching and learning materials in schools for hearing impaired learners and train more teachers in special education. Parents should provide reading and writing materials to hearing impaired learners in the home. They should also learn sign language skill to enhance communication between them (parents) and their deaf children. Schools should integrate learners with hearing impairment in the main stream to promote interaction between hearing impaired and non-hearing impaired learners.
Special Education-Zambia , Children with disabilites-Education-Zambia