Students have difficulty when they encounter new vocabulary within the classroom.  When teaching lessons where the new vocabulary words are essential to the content of the lesson, the teacher should provide a vocabulary list to the student ahead of time.  This will allow the student to learn the vocabulary prior to the class and help with the use of speech reading.  The vocabulary can also be placed throughout the classroom with picture cues for the students as a reminder of the definitions and the context in which the words will be used.  The teacher should also write the vocabulary on the board as it is discussed in the lesson for the students to use as a reference (NDCS, 2004).   Wherever possible, the sign for the vocabulary word should accompany the picture cue.  This will enable all students to learn both simultaneously.

For appropriate assessment, students with hearing impairments may require adapted tests or testing environments.  Oral directions prior to the test may be difficult for the student to follow; therefore, some modifications may be necessary for the student to understand the instructions for the activity.  Beech (1999) noted that some accommodations that might be necessary include:

  • Extended time for testing
  • Converting oral examinations to written examinations
  • Change in location of test due to noise distractions
  • Written instructions instead of oral instructions for completing the test
  • Providing picture cues of directions (such as a stop sign or arrows)
  • Underlining or highlighting important words in the instructions
  • After the test, the teacher may want to discuss any problems the student encountered and how he/she felt about them, with suggestions for improvement of the testing process in the future.

Teachers should not find it necessary to write new tests for students with hearing impairments.  Rather these accommodations can help the student be successful when taking a test in the classroom (Beech, 1999).