Conférence de Claudia Becker

07
mar.
10h00
12h30
Conférence de Claudia Becker : “THE MIND READERS” – A training to promote deaf and hard of hearing children's theory of mind and the associated skills in spoken and sign languages

Conférence de Claudia Becker, Professeure invitée (équipe SLS), Professeure en linguistique et acquisition de la langue des signes allemande (DGS), Université Humboldt de Berlin

 

“THE MIND READERS” – A training to promote deaf and hard of hearing children's theory of mind and the associated skills in spoken and sign languages.

Language acquisition interacts with the development of social-cognitive competences like Theory of Mind (ToM). For example, knowledge of lexemes for mental states and of complement sentence structures as well as general linguistic competences for participating in social interactions are key prerequisites for ToM, and ToM is, in turn, a prerequisite for the acquisition of storytelling. Previous studies and also our own studies have revealed that deaf and hard of hearing children are particularly at risk of lagging behind in the development of ToM due to restricted access to both spoken and sign languages.

Therefore, we designed the multilingual training programme "THE MIND READERS" together with for research partners and seven schools from Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Cyprus. THE MIND READERS promotes ToM and the related bimodal-bilingual skills in deaf and hard of hearing children. It is strictly theory-based and follows the different stages of ToM development (Peterson et al 2005, Pons et al. 2004). It is the first programme that combines exercises on ToM and on the associated skills in spoken and sign languages and is available free of charge also in French and LSF on a website (www.protom-education.com).

In my presentation I will first explain the theoretical background including the developmental steps of ToM and the relationship between language and ToM. Secondly, I will introduce the concepts and objectives of the training programme and show some of its exercises and materials. Thirdly, I will present data from our evaluation. To test the effectiveness of “The Mind Readers”, two intervention phases were carried out including 116 deaf and hard of hearing children aged 6-12 from 8 schools in Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Cyprus. A mixed method approach was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data before and after the interventions. The results have shown that most children of our study lagged behind ToM at the beginning of the training and that their skills correlate significantly with their language competencies. The children could improve their skills by THE MIND READERS. Especially the group with very low language competences benefited from the training. Teachers and children gave an overall positive feedback and teachers reported that children show more reflective behaviour in social interactions after the training.

Peterson, Candida C.; Henry M. Wellman & David Liu (2005): „Steps in Theory-of-Mind Development for Children With Deafness or Autism“. In: Child Development 76 (2), 502–517. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00859.x (10.01.2018).

Pons, F., Harris, O. & deRosnay, M. (2004). Emotion comprehension between 3 and 11 years: developmental period and hierarchical organization. European Journal of Developmental Psychology,1, 127-152.

La séance sera interprétée anglais-LSF.