Reader Comments

Auditory–oral education for learners with deafness in South Africa

by Dr Magteld Smith (2014-02-15)

The improved technology of digital hearing aids and
cochlear implants has given severely and profoundly deaf
children increasingly more access to sound. When early
educational intervention capitalises on early access to
sound, the result is faster acquisition of spoken language. It
is as simple as this: The more young children hear, the
better they talk. 

The goal of auditory–oral education is for children to learn to communicate using spoken language. Auditory–oral programs are auditory in the sense that an emphasis is placed on developing listening skills. These programmes are oral in the sense that instruction is directed developing spoken language, understanding it, and producing it. 

Beside the that there are no deaf schools offering solely spoken language of instruction up to matric, not only in the Free State, but in South Africa. The current challenge for educating deaf children is that
there is a critical shortage of professionals to provide the
level of instruction and support needed for children with
hearing loss to achieve their potential in learning spoken

I hope that Dr Iain Butler's article will inspire teachers,
speech-language pathologists, and audiologists to consider a
career working with these children and helping them
acquire the truly life-changing skill of using spoken
language to communicate.