The Importance of Morphemic Awareness to Reading Achievement and the Potential of Signing Morphemes to Supporting Reading Development
The ability to access and understand the meaning of multi-morphemic words is essential for age-appropriate literacy growth as well as for achievement in other participants, such as science and social studies, which are so print-dependent. This paper provides a theoretical basis for focusing on the morphology of English when teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing to read through a review of the literature on the role of morphology in reading for both hearing students and those with a hearing loss. In addition, the authors review the empirical literature on Signing Exact English (SEE), a system of signing English constructed in which the morphology of words is made visible to children who might not be able to hear them. The authors propose that students’ use of SEE can provide a bridge to developing the morphemic awareness so necessary for age-appropriate reading development and achievement.