Examining the Relationship between Letter Processing and Word Processing Skills in Deaf and Hearing Readers
Year: 2014 Vol: 14 Number: 6
The present study aimed to examine the relationship between letter processing and word processing skills in deaf and hearing readers. The participants were 105 students (51 of them hearing, 54 of them deaf) who were evenly and randomly recruited from two levels of education (primary = 3rd-4th graders; middle = 6th-7th graders). The students were tested with four computerized paradigms assessing their processing of isolated letter/word pairs under perceptual and conceptual conditions. In both the computerized paradigms, we used the DMASTR software developed at Monash University and at the University of Arizona by K. I. Forster and J. C. Forster for stimulus presentation and data collection. All the experiments were conducted in a quiet room in the participants’ schools by a trained experimenter. Findings from the present study show that deaf participants processed letter/word pairs more slowly than their hearing counterparts but with similar accuracy, and that a significant relationship existed between letter and word processing skills in both the deaf and hearing readers tested in this study.