Ana Belén Domínguez Gutiérrez

University of Salamanca

Reading Assessment of Deaf and SLD Students: Similarities and Differences

Participants: Juana Soriano Bozalongo1; Gema de las Heras Mínguez2; Virginia González Santamaría3

1University of Zaragoza; 2 University of Castilla La-Mancha: 3University of Salamanca

Symposium Summary

The objective of this symposium is to compare the reading strategies used by deaf students and students with SLD (Specific Language Disorder). In previous works we have shown that regardless of the reading level achieved, most deaf students, including those using an early CI, tend to employ in sentence reading a strategy that we have called Keyword Strategy (KWS), based on the identification of frequent words with semantic content specific to the sentence by insufficiently processing functional words (Dominguez et al., 2012; Dominguez et al., 2016). In addition, we found that the tendency to use KWS is related to a linguistic difficulty, especially with problems in the processing of functional words.

In this symposium we showed that the use of KWS is not a particularity of deaf readers, but the strategy shared by all readers who lack insufficient morphosyntactic resources, such as SLD students.

The results seem to indicate that children with SLD have a reading efficiency level below that established for their age, and that they use KWS in a similar way to the deaf readers group, with a great heterogeneity.

The data show that reading based on the use of KWS does not contribute to improving syntax. This is because sentences are not syntactically processed. For this reason, KWS does not decrease with progress at the reading level, that if it increases with age is based on the identification of key words with their own semantic content.

In this sense, our proposal is to use morphosyntactic skills programmes such as "The Adventures of Ana and Coco: In Search of the Lost Chrome" (, to reduce the use of KWS and improve the reading comprehension of both groups of students.

Short CV

Professor at the Faculty of Education of the University of Salamanca. Doctor in Education Sciences from the University of Salamanca and Specialist in Speech Therapy. She teaches subjects in the area of Special Education in various Degrees, Masters and Doctoral Programmes. Her research focuses on the teaching of written language and its difficulties. She has participated and directed R+D+i research projects funded by public calls. She has been collaborating for years in research in the field of written language in deaf students with professors from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium). Expert evaluator of the National Agency of Evaluation and Prospective in the area of Education, Member of the Accreditation Commission of the National Agency of Evaluation of the Quality and Accreditation, and reviewer of originals manuscripts for several educational journals. She has published books, book chapters and articles in various journals of national and international impact. She has given lectures in Congresses, Symposia and training courses for education teachers of different educational levels. She has been Secretary and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Education and Director of Permanent Training at the University of Salamanca.

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